Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pilu at Freshwater

The perils of high expectations.

After a near-perfect experience at Berowra Waters Inn, one could not help but set high expectations for this fellow two-hat restaurant. A string of good reviews. The setting of a beautiful heritage Federation beach house. The glistening views of Freshwater beach, one of my favourites in Sydney. And the promise of a delicious Sardinian fare.

Unfortunately, we left Pilu feeling a bit underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, the dishes were good, not great but certainly not bad. Having said that, none was outstanding either. Not even the Giovanni Pilu's signature suckling pig dish. Skin was crispy as advertised, but be warned of the thick layer of pork fat underneath. Too greasy in fact that we could not finish it - definitely a first for us during a degustation!

The use of salt was also a bit heavy-handed in some of the courses. And if the dessert had been more spectacular, perhaps all would have been forgiven.

Roasted scampi with sea urchin butter

Bread rolls were fantastic though

Ravioli of potato, mint and Pecorino served with butter, sage and black truffle

Fregola with tomato and cured meat ragu

Palate cleanser - green apple sorbet

Snapper fillet with Vernaccia and green olives

Oven roasted suckling pig, served on the bone with condiments

Sardinian fried pastry filled with ricotta and served with orange blossom honey

End of Moore Rd,
Harbord Beach,
02 9938 3331
Pilu at Freshwater on Urbanspoon

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19 comment(s):

Sydney Shop Girl September 25, 2010 at 12:32 PM  

Stunning photos, though foodwink!

SSG xxx

Simon Leong September 25, 2010 at 4:33 PM  

the Ravioli and Scampi look pretty good though. i'm sure i'd be happy eating those. i love the new photo layout look your doing. looks great! i have food blog envy now :-). the moral of the story — never have too high expectations i guess.

thang @ noodlies September 25, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

what a shame.. the location and photos were stunning though

joey@forkingaroundsydney September 25, 2010 at 9:32 PM  

Yeah, even if the food was not up to standards, your photos make them look delightful!

Celia September 26, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

What a shame...although you couldn't fault them on presentation! Having said that, it all comes down to taste, right?

Aaron John September 27, 2010 at 3:18 AM  

The food and your photos look outstanding! Too bad it didn't live up to your expectations.
Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

greenbeenfood September 27, 2010 at 6:00 PM  

you have a brilliant eye for photography! Sad about the meal lacking but the pics make me want to go!

shaz September 27, 2010 at 11:42 PM  

I've never been to the big house although I frequent the cafe quite a bit. The pork goes very well in a sandwich! Shame it didn't live up to expectations, maybe it was an off day? LOve your photos (as everyone else has said :))

Anh September 28, 2010 at 11:25 AM  

Not this restaurant but I recently went to a three-hat one and left feeling underwhelmed as well… The photos are so beautiful!

Miss Kitty-Cat September 29, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

We had the opposite experience of you - we adored Pilu and thought it was fabulous but left Berowra Waters Inn totally underwhelmed. I guess it really depends on what your expectations are - we thought BWI was really overpriced for what we got and we adored the suckling pig at Pilu. I agree with one point though - the dessert at Pilu could be a bit more special, but it is traditionally Sardinian.

JT @ areyouhungary October 7, 2010 at 3:10 PM  

Yes, I've had that same underwhelmed feeling at Pilu before as well. I loved it the first time but the second time wasn't as great. Still, that view on a sunny day is perfect!

Adrian @ Food Rehab October 8, 2010 at 9:26 PM  

Well at least your photos make the food seem amazing! Damn food porn :P

Yes, I totally understand the issue with the suckling pig. It gets worse as the dish cools! eek..

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella October 12, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

What a shame that you didn't leave thrilled :( Your photos are stunning though! I went to Berowra Waters Inn and was so impressed there too!

Any Idiot Can October 16, 2010 at 4:20 AM  

Wow, those are amazing photos. I love the seemingly random ones of the windows and light fixtures. Gorgeous.

Cathy x. November 9, 2010 at 12:54 AM  

what? is that it? 6 courses for a dego doesn't seem like much. was it priced accordingly? the scampi looks nice although i have to agree. too much salt can really kill a meal. i experienced the same problem at movida. well that and bad service, extra things on the bill etc etc.

Unknown March 29, 2011 at 1:51 AM  

looks all so yummy, want to eat it all haha

justachef October 16, 2011 at 10:29 PM  

Incredible photos, and the food does look amazing, even if the taste was a bit of a let down.

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