Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Restaurant Review: Berowra Waters Inn

I've never been an hour and a half late for a restaurant booking before. I hope it never happens again!

I was a bit too stressed to fully appreciate Berowra's first eccentricity, the fact you can only arrive by private boat. I'd imagined an isolated and idyllic inn located on a secluded bend in the Hawkesbury river. In truth, you are quite close to a busy marina, but I'm just nit picking. It is a majestic and stunning location.

When we finally arrived at the restaurant most diners were being served their desserts and I was worried our experience would be affected. However, the lovely staff were friendly and accommodating. They'd all heard about our travel woes and wanted to help us relax at what must have been quite an inconvenience to them.

Lucky enough to have a window seat, the water had a soothing effect and the tension was soon slipping away. I was a bit worried that we'd be rushed through our meal, but it quickly became apparent that wouldn't be the case.

You don't receive a menu, just a sheet of paper advising you that you'll be served six courses and inviting you to go with the flow.

Two courses left and we're all alone!

The food was universally excellent. There was a lot of technique and different flavour combinations in each dish. Some of the main courses had three accompanying sauces. However, it didn't feel over complicated or fussy. All of the different combinations and textures worked well together. They served a purpose.

Before the other guests departed, we were sitting between a loud drunk and a group of English men who I'm afraid to say were all money and no class. Think east end barrow boys. However, for the most part it was incredibly tranquil watching the river slip past and see three sea planes come and go.

I think you're allowed a few grumbles at the prices Berowra charges so here are mine. It took us two attempts to order a bottle of wine. The waiters that brought out our food frequently mumbled inaudibly so you weren't quite sure what you were eating. The restaurant was very pleasant on an autumn afternoon, but with no air conditioning I wouldn't want to visit in summer.

Berowra Waters Inn must be one of New South Wales best all round restaurants. I can only think Quay would rival it for views and food. I might just have to visit to find out....

Canapés of aubergine caviar, buffalo mozzarella and fresh baby basil and 
sugar cured salmon, avocado, finger lime and salmon roe

Beignets of Hawkesbury oysters, chilled vichyssoise, oscietra & salmon caviars

White asparagus, goats cheese fondue, quail egg and Rockerfella sauce

One of the few things I didn't 'get' on the menu. The texture of the crumbed quails eggs were a little bit rubbery for me. The elegant spots of beetroot round the edge of the plate had obviously been done in advance and had dried out to a film on the plate.

Roast barramundi fillet, vinegared wood mushrooms and mushroom sauce

Oh the Baramundi! Beautifully soft and open flesh with a very crispy skin. The vinegared mushrooms went very well with the fish.

Celeriac and truffle soup

Roast quail breast, yabbie tails, potato gnocchi, onion soubaise and sage beurre noisette

I haven't had a yabbie before, but it was gorgeous. All of the flavour of a sweet prawn, but a more meaty open texture. I think I might have found a new favourite seafood. Just a shame you don't see them very often.

Roast rack of lamb, croustillant of aubergine

The lamb was excellent. I loved the aubergine sauce, but the crispy pancake (?) it was wrapped in was a little bit oily. My second and final complaint of the meal.

Fresh lychees and raspberries, lychee sorbet and prosecco

Dessert plate of raspberry sorbet, pistachio sablee, créme caramel, 
chantilly cream and blood plums

Beautiful raspberry sorbet. I like the sharpness of the blood plums too.

Petit fours, my favourite was the mango jelly

I had a feeling that the mango jelly would be my favourite so I saved it until last. It didn't disappoint.

Berowra Waters Inn on Urbanspoon


  1. great to read your review. so you didn't give an explanation of why you were running 1.5 hours late? looks like the menu has changed a bit since i visited. i got a menu to choose from so i'm wondering if it's now become a set degustation? in terms of the bad customers i guess you can never choose them and it's always a gamble what you get. i had a mum with a very young crying kid when i visited. glad to hear you enjoyed the food overall. i'm hoping to revisit Quay one day. i'd be keen if you're in need to form a small group :-)

  2. We attempted to get their via public transport and had a complete nightmare with taxis from the station down to the wharf. When I look back through now I don't remember the angst, just a lovely lunch.

    I over heard a waiter telling a nearby table that they've recently changed the menu concept, so it doesn't surprise me that it is different from when you went.

    Quay might have to be done near the end of the year. I'll let you know if I arrange anything!

  3. Awwwwwww =)
    Hey, think about it, you were able to pretty much get 'exclusive' use of the restaurant at the end part of your meal without really having to arrange it ;) Why would you want to have pesky drunkards around to ruin your meal. Celeriac and truffle soup sounds magestic! And give me that dessert any day!
    You might have to get in quick if you want Quay at the end of the year, they're already booked our Friday and Saturday nights until November! But I reckon lunch is a nicer option =)

  4. We went in summer and it was fine. In fact it was during a heatwave (45 degrees on the car temp was memorable). We had a nice Hawkesbury afternoon/evening river breeze there though. One of the world's great unique dining experiences.

  5. oh wow im dying to eat here, such beautiful presentations and nice to hear the staff took your lateness in stride!

  6. im hoping to get here sometime this yr its been on my to eat list for ages now! everything looks fantastic mmm

  7. I've heard so much and read so much about this place, but have never even got close to going. Maybe one day as the food looks excellent, and the scenery too.


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