When you hear the words ‘Berowra Waters Inn’, you immediately conjure up images of luxurious surrounds, the outback (well maybe not – but it is rather far!) and exquisite fine dining. So suffice it to say, that we were absolutely over the moon when we had the opportunity to dine in this fine establishment. Awarded one chef hat in 2017, Berowra Waters Inn is a dining experience like no other.
Berowra Waters Inn is only accessible by water. Your reservation is inclusive of this quick ferry ride across the water which adds to the holistic experience. This really is that special occasion type of place. It’s unique and it’s special. If you’re looking to book, set aside a good half day or more for this fantastic experience!
The ferry trip is quite quick, and you’re literally whisked across the water in minutes. The restaurant comes into view as you take in the surrounding area. Absolutely beautiful bushland that is peaceful and tranquil. That is, until a seaplane comes around the bend (noisy!!). But hey, if we could afford the $500+/- cost for a seaplane, we’d be doing it too!!
As you come up to the restaurant, you can see the floor to ceiling windows that take up the entire length of the restaurant. Established in 1926, it’s a beautiful structure surrounded by sandstone cliffs.
The restaurant is very graceful. Sophisticated, elegant. I could go on but you get the idea. You also get a general vibe for the type of experience you’re about to have by the look and feel of the restaurant, as well as the presence of the wait staff who are extremely professional and attentive, without being overbearing. Perfect.
We started our lunch with a couple of cocktails. We left it up to the very knowledgeable bar staff to come up with some delicious concoctions. Lychees and gin (left) and a negroni (right). Both delicious but my drink (gin!) was especially delicious!
Our first amuse bouche was rice cracker and oyster mayonnaise. Very crisp and texturally just right. The oyster flavours come through very strongly – you certainly can’t miss it! A very delicious and apt introduction into what is a very seafood oriented menu.
Our second amuse bouche was pumpkin and ginger mousse. Oh the texture. Simply amazing. Soft, light, velvety. This dish was all about the texture for me. Though the flavours were quite outstanding as well.
Ask any foodie and they’ll tell you that the bread and butter served in restaurants is absolutely critical. And I mean really critical. If the bread and butter is wrong, then it’s downhill from there. Here, it was ridiculously good. Fantastic sourdough, but that butter! That amazing salted treacle butter! The perfect harmony between sweet and savoury. Bread and butter? Tick!
If you can afford the extra expense, I highly recommend the wine pairing. When I dine at every day restaurants, I usually go down the glass or bottle route. However, there’s something about wine pairings when you’re dining at the top end of the spectrum. The knowledge and skill behind matching a dish with the absolute perfect glass of wine cannot be overlooked. As a wine lover, I enjoyed every glass here. Of special note was the 2015 Caves d’Esclans “Whispering Angel” Rose (Provence, France) and the 2013 Bogle Vineyards Zinfandel (Sacramento, California). Hats off to the sommelier. Absolutely brilliant!
First course was Trout tartare (Tasmanian, wrapped in dashi gel), smoked milk, dashi, lemon foam, puffed wild rice, trout skin and garlic. This was paired with a 2013 Bogle Vineyards Zinfandel (Sacramento, California). What a superb dish. Intense smokiness, fresh and some strong dashi flavours.
Next was the Queensland spanner crab bavarois, tomato consume, herb salad. Paired with a 2013 Dr Burklin Wolf Riesling (Pfalz, Germany). Fresh, light and creamy. A very generous portion of crab and very delicious.
We then had the scallops (Hokkaido, Japan), smoked eel puree, pea veloute, lemon thyme gel. Paired with a 2013 Ngerina Chardonnay (Adelaide Hills, SA). Scallops that are cooked to perfection and exceedingly tender. Subtle in flavour, they take on the strong smokiness of the eel puree.
The last savoury course was the lamb (fillet, Cootamundra NSW), red pepper, aubergine puree, balsamic gel. This was paired with a beautiful 2013 Bogle Vineyard Zinfandel (Sacramento, California). Beautiful plating, vibrant colours, and familiar delicious flavours.
Lamb – always a crowd pleaser and cooked beautifully, this was the favourite savoury course.
The pre-dessert was coconut and cucumber. Cold, refreshing and delicious! And it completely cleansed the palate – mission accomplished!
The first dessert was an absolutely stunning creation of raspberry mousse, strawberries, raspberry gel, tarragon sherbet, and tarragon ice cream. This was paired with a 2015 Alasia Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy). Not only was it visually beautiful but there were some amazing flavours and textures. The berry flavours were delicious and the tarragon added an unusual and somewhat unfamiliar element that worked really well. And the wine was an absolutely outstanding match with the dessert, possibly the best pairing of the day.
The second dessert was chocolate ice cream, matcha crumb, lavender yoghurt foam. This was paired with a 2012 Fusta Nova Moscatel (Valencia, Spain). The chocolate ice cream was delicious – a familiar and comfortable flavour. The matcha crumb is rather mild, so it adds great texture to the dish as opposed to actual flavour, but the lavender yoghurt foam did provide that extra flavour dimension, as well as texture too.
Our petit fours were actually petit sixes – but hey I’m ok with that! Cute little bite sized morsels of deliciousness. A financier, creme brulee, and jelly. Delicious and the perfect end to what was a spectacular meal.
Our petit fours served with Vittoria coffee. No doubt required to wake you up from your food coma and to support you on your long drive back home.
It was a first time visit to Berowra Waters Inn, but we came with extremely high expectations. Head chef Brian Geraghty has a lot of very fine establishments under his belt, so we were expecting some pretty magical dishes. We left extremely happy with the entire experience. The food was second to none, the wine was absolute brilliance, and the service was exemplary. And with very patchy reception (that’s right, little to no internet!) you’re almost forced to focus on the entire dining experience without the distractions of the real world. Berowra Waters Inn is without doubt, the type of experience you want to share with someone very special. The next time you have that big occasion to celebrate, Berowra Waters Inn would be our pick.
Berowra Waters Inn
Berowra Waters, NSW 2082
Contributed by Susan, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys