San Sebastian, Spain and Williamstown Beach, Melbourne isn’t an association that immediately comes to mind. But when it comes in the form of Sebastian – it’s genius!
Honestly, why didn’t someone think of this before! Combine one of the best sunset beach views in Melbourne, an iconic art deco beach pavilion and fresh seafood-focused meals perfect with a cold beverage.
I just love the refreshed look of the old bathers pavilion. From the outside, it’s all curved lines and sleek monochromes while inside the views are heightened by bright whites, marine tones and natural wood.
The decor’s stunning without being fine-dining stuffy.
I’m happy to say that Sebastian has made a conscious effort to accommodate families. There’s space to park a pram in the main dining room or on the spacious deck outside, colouring sheets and pencils are offered from the start and there are numerous high chairs. The waiter also asks if I want the kids meals to come out first.
There’s a small kids menu with Spanish Rice and smoked chicken, spaghetti with olive oil and cheese and fish bites with thick cut chips (all $12) or you can choose to share dishes from the main menu.
To start there are pintxos (Basque style tapas) which are literally one bite affairs ranging from $3.50 to $7. I try the charred local octopus which is tender and served with an a la greque dressing ie lemon, olive oil, oregano ($7).
If you’re wanting to share food I think a more cost-effective option is choosing a couple of the small plates rather than the pintxos or large plates. Just make sure you order at least one thing that’s made from the custom grill!
The school prawns are crunchy with paprika and lemon ($9) and extremely moreish. The charred local calamari is just as tender as the octopus though I think the ink romesco sauce is overly salty ($16). My favourite is the crunchy yet softly yielding Basque crispy mussels with a fermented chilli aioli that I just want to slather on bread ($15).
We also try the Spanish rice with Cloudy Bay clams, tarragon and breadcrumbs ($16) while the kids have a simpler version of it with smoked chicken. The rice is cooked perfectly but unless you really love risotto/hot wet rice I think there are more interesting items on the menu.
Finally, leave room for dessert and make sure you share them – they are pretty hefty on their own. The standout is the orange, lemon and cinnamon infused Crema Catalana, complete with brulee top ($15). The extremely rich Chocolate Pot is so thick you can stand a spoon up in it and will no doubt please chocoholics ($9).
I’m so happy that Sebastian has come to Williamstown to bring delicious Basque-inspired food to a suburb which frankly isn’t known for its culturally adventurous food. It’s a place that’s equally suitable for a first date, Sunday lunch with the in-laws or just a casual hangout with the kids. The open deck makes the most of its amazing views and it’s just a step to the sheltered, shallow beach.
Click here for my review of the other dining option at Williamtown Beach – The Kiosk d’Asporto.
Click here for my review of the rock pools of Point Gellibrand nearby.
- pram access;
- high chairs;
- children’s menu;
- standard menu suitable for kids;
- colouring in;
- beach is right on the doorstep;
- Williamstown Beach also has a playground nearby and the rockpools of Point Gellibrand are walking distance.