Yumbah abalone big part of KI flavour at Aurora Ozone Hotel

First published on The Islander, 16 December 2018. Click here to read the full article.

Abalone from Yumbah Aquaculture make up a big part of the amazing seafood menu at the Aurora Ozone Hotel.

Kangaroo Island produce is key to the locally focussed menu, constantly updated by head chef Lenny Numa.

He currently has confit of abalone on the menu, one of several containing the Yumbah’s green-lip abalone, farmed on the North Coast of KI at Smith Bay.

The confit abalone is slow cooked in oil for up to 16 hours in its shell to maximise flavour.

“I let it cool down in its shell, so it can capture all the flavour before thinly slicing,” Lenny says.

He is constantly looking at new techniques such as making yuzu pearls by dropping the citrus juice into a specially formulated liquid to allow the pearls to form.

He also uses the slow-cooking method on Yumbah’s Abalini or juvenile 3cm abalone, which are vaccum packed and cooked in water using the sous vide technique.

These are served with young garlic from KI Fresh Garlic and a miso sauce.

Abalini, now a trademarked name for Yumbah, are juvenile 3cm abalone about one year old and weighing about 20 grams.

Yumbah’s farmed Abalini abalone are also used in the Ozone’s seafood platter and paella.

Yumbah’s standard abalone takes three years to grow, is about 10cm in size, weighing about 120 grams.

The menu:

  • American River oysters with yuzu pearls and wakame seaweed
  • Confit Yumbah abalone with wakame seaweed and finger lime pearls
  • Yumbah Abalini cooked sous vide on a cedar plank with baby KI garlic and a miso dressing
  • Seafood plate featuring Yumbah Abalini, Spencer Gulf king prawns, KI marron, giant American River oysters, Boston Bay mussels and Harvey Bay scallops.
  • Paella with Spanish style chorizo from the Barossa, Spanish bomba rice, blue swimmer crabs, Yambah Abalini, Boston Bay mussels, pickled KI garlic salsa finished off with a sofrito.
  • Abalone ice-cream

“96 per cent of menu is Australian and the only things that aren’t are what I can’t get,” Lenny said. “There is real emphasis on KI produce with at least half coming from the Island.”

Lenny said working with Yumbah Aquaculture was great because the product was always available and always of the highest standard.”

Yumbah KI general manager David Connell praised the creativity of the Kingscote-based chef, saying he was coming up with menu items like no other chef in the world.

“Come and eat our seafood prepared by a great chef right here in Kingscote,” he said. “He is using our product in so many fantastic ways.”

Lenny said he enjoyed using local products as it opened a line of communication with the local producers.

He enjoyed creating menu items that visitors to the hotel and Kangaroo Island had never heard of or tried before.

Abalone from Yumbah’s farms compared favorably on price point to other seafood such as oysters, and yet offered something truly unique, with not many having tried baby abalone before.

“As a chef it’s really important to know where your product comes from and I know exactly where all my Kangaroo Island produce is coming from,” Lenny said.

“I can work with my suppliers to come up with the freshest and most unique dishes.”