If you haven’t realised, a lot of restaurants in Australia offer a ‘Modern Australian’ menu. I’ve often wondered – what is modern Australian?
I kept this question at the forefront of my mind when I visited Berowra Waters’ Inn and sampled the Summer degustation menu for dinner.
First up, guests must park at one of two wharves at Berowra (the only way to the restaurant is by crossing the river). There’s so many trees…everywhere!
The 5 minute boat ride was peaceful…but I was extremely displeased by the charge of $1 for the boat ride each way!!! A hatted restaurant that only serves 1 fixed price menu…and instead of incorporating the cost into the degustation menu, the bill comes with an extra line item showing a $1 boat ride each way! Leaves a rather cheap impression on diners.
Okay, rant over. Time to explore what ‘modern Australian’ means. Turns out, it’s all the influences that Australia has had from the different cultures that live in Australia. Predominantly English / European, with a more modern interpretation.
First up, the amuse-bouche.
First course, the scallop dish. The menu was abstract in that it listed the main ingredients only, so each course was a surprise, and there were so many elements to each dish. It really made me taste and think about the ingredients I was tasting.
Next course, an incredibly fresh, supple piece of trout with dashi broth and lemon. I particularly liked the fresh, high quality ingredients served up in all the dishes.
The pork belly dish incorporated Asian-European flavours. The pork belly was cooked just as Asian pork belly is cooked, but the flavours were light, tangy, dare I say, modern Australian?
Next up, the beef, onion, and tarragon. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take a good photo of this dish before I gobbled it up. So, here I am with the dish in front of me.
Dessert was beetroot jus with a cannoli filled with goats cheese. I don’t eat goats cheese and I had informed the staff of this at the start of the meal. I was served a goats cheese cannoli. To the restaurants’ credit, as soon as I spoke up, the waiter took the dish away straight away and apologised with no questions asked. Sadly, the replacement dessert was an empty cannoli.
Final thoughts – I’m glad I tried this dining experience accessible only across a river, liked the fresh flavours of modern Australia, but the replacement dessert was a bit of a let down. Oh, and don’t get me started about the $1 boat ride!