Locaton, location, location
It was an extraordinary dining experience. It truly was. How often do you get whisked across the Hawkesbury River on a private ferry? Or find yourself in a gorgeous restaurant built on a site where indigenious Australians once lived over 10,000 years ago? Or enjoying, quite possibly, one of the best meals of your life? How about all of the above?
Love the glass lourve windows. And the views through them.
If you are after a short review, let me tell you Berowra Waters Inn ticks all the boxes. The location. The VIEWS. The architecture. The decor. The professional yet friendly service. The seasonal menu with the fresh produce. And most importantly, the meal was simply amazing. It did come at a price though - AUD145 for five tasting dishes or AUD200 with matching wines. But it was my birthday. And it was worth it.
The simple yet stylish decor
In case you are wondering, I am a proud member of Generation X. Nearly made it to Generation Y. Child of the 80s and 90s. Former fan of New Kids on the Block. Don't laugh. I blame my sister on the last one. Her obsession with Jordan Knight in the early 90s deserved an Olympic medal. You know how some people like to return to their school or university years? I'm not one of them. I spent years and years in academic pursuit, so I do not want to relive those years again. And the age doesn't worry me at all (ask me again in 10 years).
L: Lemon cured salmon with salmon roe and avocado puree on a crisp biscuit. R: Carpaccio sea scallops, mud crab, celeriac, wild rocket, sweet green pea.
Sorry, where was I? The amazing food. My favourite dish was the sea scallops carpaccio. It was simply divine, beyond optimal in fact. Quite generously portioned, the sea scallops and mud crab were delicately sweet, and the thinly sliced celeriac introduced a slightly different texture. I'd be quite happy to eat this every day for the rest of my life.
Chilled vichyssoise, oscietra & salmon caviars, beignets of Hawkesbury oysters
This was one of mr foodwink's favourites. The beignets (a.k.a. deep-fried) of oysters were delicious. The batter was light and the accompanying chilled vichyssoisse (a.k.a. leak and potato soup) was creamily smooth, with croutons and oscietra and salmon caviars providing the occasional burst of flavours and texture.
Murray cod fillet, sort of minestroni
The minestroni was a gentle companion to the subtle flavours of the cod fillet, which was beautifully cooked. The baked cheese slice added an interesting touch.
Slow cooked ocean trout, Hawkesbury calamari, cauliflower and kalamatta olives
The slow cooked ocean trout was a melt-in-your-mouth wonder and the calamari swirls tender and moist. My favourite element of this dish was the cauliflower puree, which was creamily soft and delicious. The kalamata olive paste was not overpowering and tied in all elements together.
Ballontine of local quail, foie gras and yabbies
Another one of mr foodwnk's favourites. The ballontine of quail was beautifully cooked - extremely tender meat with an oozy foie gras paste at its core. The yabbies were fresh and juicy. It was another standout dish.
p/s: Sorry Kate Winslet. I won't have foie gras again after this meal.
Roast pheasant breast, leg confit, parsnip, brussel sprouts and chestnut
The pheasant breast was moist. Perhaps the most tender poultry breast meat I've ever had. The leg confit was a slight letdown though - too salty on the palate and overpowering for its delicate vegetable neighbours.
Sweet corn and saffron soup
Lamb shank, steamed bone marrow dumpling, spinach, roast shallot jus
I've never seen lamb shank served like this. Nor steamed bone marrow dumpling, but this dish worked beautifully with the roast shallot jus.
Rangers valley grain fed "minute steak", peppered oxtail croustillant, pumpkin
The most interesting component of this dish was the peppered oxtail croustillant. Mr foodwink thought the oxtail was gelatinously good and soothing. But I found the crunchy croustillant wall to be overly salty. Perhaps seasoned by the same guy who did the pheasant leg confit.
Watching the world goes by while enjoying pineapple jelly with Malibu foam
Pre-dessert was refreshing. Love the fresh pineapple pieces in the jelly.
Dessert variation on a theme for two
To be honest, we were quite full (and sleepy) by now. It's true. Eating is a tiring business. But who could say no to four beautiful desserts arriving on the same plate?
L-R: Pithivier with new season quince and cinnamon gelato. Nougat glace with fairy floss and slow cooked rhubarb. Dark Amadei chocolate tart with raspberries and yogurt cream. White peach souffle with blood peach sorbet.
Each and every one of the desserts was fantastic, with the nougat glace winning by a nose. Notice how the souffle had flopped a little? The fault was mine - I took toooo many pictures of it that by the time we were ready to eat, the souffle had decided to take a rest. Souffles hold a very special place in our hearts because it was on the menu of our first degustation ever. It was a memorable affair. I think it was our 5th anniversary, and the meal went for almost 5 hours at The Melting Pot in Adelaide.
Four hours later, it was time to go home. While on the ferry, mr foodwink whispered to me that he preferred this meal to the 13-course degustation at Tetsuya's. I felt the same.
Fly here by seaplanes from Rose Bay to escape from the commoners.
BEROWRA WATERS INN
Berowra Waters NSW 2082
+612 9456 1027
4/5/6 courses: AUD130/145/160 or 180/200/225 with matching wines.
Additional course: AUD25 each or 35 with matching wines.
Remember to bring your AMEX card. Payment by Mastercard and Visa attracts a 2% surcharge.