Donovan Cooke’s fancy seafood cocktail

Everything old is new again, and the special occasion dishes our parents used to serve are now firmly back on menus around the country. The humble seafood cocktail is still a show-stopping start to a dinner party, and the version served up at Melbourne’s fine-dining seafood restaurant The Atlantic elevates the dish to new heights.

The Atlantic’s executive chef Donovan Cooke is a culinary legend, who worked alongside Michael Roux and Marco Pierre White from a young age, followed by stints at The Savoy Hotel and the Waterside Inn in London. He moved to Melbourne in 1996 and launched Est Est Est in 1997. He became partner of The Atlantic in 2010.


In short, this man knows his way around a seafood cocktail.

Here’s his signature recipe.

What you’ll need


Moreton Bay bug
Spanner crab
Soft boiled quail eggs
Cubed rockmelon
Cubed green apple
Homemade cocktail sauce (see below)
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Smoked paprika
Black salt
Micro basil

Step one – poach the seafood

bugs Poach the prawn, bug and scallop quickly in salted simmering water – be sure not to overcook the shellfish. It should still be slightly translucent when you pull it from the water and slice it into bite-sized pieces.

Step two – get saucy

mixSlice the shellfish into pieces and place in a mixing bowl with the shredded spanner crab, cubes of green apple and rockmelon and several tablespoons of cocktail sauce.

The cocktail sauce is equal parts whole-egg mayonnaise and tomato sauce with a squeeze of lemon juice and a shake of Tabasco.

Toss to combine.

Step three – plate it up

lettucePlace a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce at the bottom of your serving plate and drizzle over a lattice of extra cocktail sauce.

Step four – soft-boil the egg


Place quail eggs in boiling water for 2.5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold tap, peel off shells and slice in half.

Step five – final presentation


Spoon the seafood mix onto the iceberg and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Top with halved quail eggs sprinkled with black salt. Garnish with micro basil.

Serve and enjoy.

Can’t be bothered cooking? Try the cocktail at The Atlantic, Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.