The Shorehouse

Alex Lavery may be young, but his determination to excel as a chef has seen him cook in some of the best restaurants in Australia, Europe and Asia.

He is the type of chef who will take time off just to train and learn new skills. Presently, he is redefining modern tropical Australian cuisine at the beachside diner, Shorehouse, in Townsville, North Queensland.

Where is Shorehouse?

The name says it all. We are right on the beach in Townsville. The owners wanted to capture the laid-back atmosphere of those beachside places you find in Southeast Asia where the food and drinks are brilliant, but the decor is chill. We’re soon undergoing renovations to really concentrate on outdoor dining – and when you have 330 perfect days a year – why not?
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What is the style of dining?

We have a focus on Asian dining but dishes that suit a broad range of tastes and palates. We have a lot of people who love to explore exotic flavours, but we also have customers who like to play it safe. So, while some customers just love the hiramasa kingfish sashimi with ruby grapefruit, shallots and puffed rice furikake, or the spanner crab noodles with dashi butter and grilled corn, we have loads of people who just want the katsu chicken with tangy ginger shallot dressing and rich aioli. It is like an Asian chicken parma.
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Your skills in Asian cooking are quite impressive.

I guess I have a curious mind. I love to know how different cuisines work. I went to Thailand on holiday and the food, the different types of Thai cooking, really connected. I went back four times, and I did an internship with David Thompson at Nahm in Bangkok. That was an amazing experience. I loved working with the Neil Perry team at Rosetta in Melbourne and when I got a chance to work with its sister restaurant Spice Temple. It is a cuisine that suits the climate here in Townsville. Our guests love it and really enjoy that beachy exotic feel. More than 60% of our guests are women and they love our cocktail menu. We do sell some white wine, particularly dry white wine, but the cocktails are king. We have Stone & Wood on tap, which does well, but some of the men just won’t go past Great Northern.

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