Food + drink (restaurant reviews) · Sydney · Sydney · Travel

Sampling ‘Modern Australian’ Cuisine @ Berowra Waters’ Inn

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!

At the parking lot at the wharf at Berowra, with celebratory flowers!
At the parking lot at the wharf at Berowra, with bright flowers!

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.

The views from the wharf
The views from the wharf
Inside the boat on the way to the restaurant
Inside the boat on the way to the restaurant
Peaceful views from the boat
Peaceful views from the boat
The restaurant!
The restaurant!

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.

Degustation menu
Berowra Waters’ Inn serves up dishes from this degustation menu (no a la a

First up, the amuse-bouche.

Amuse-bouche
Amuse-bouche, a set of two dishes
Summer cocktail
Summer cocktail
IMG_0435_Fotor
The smooth, sorbet-shaped butter. Cute!

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.

Scallop
Scallop, parsley root, chorizo
Cheers to Summer! Tucking in to the first course with splendid views of Berowra Waters
Cheers to Summer! Tucking in to the first course with splendid views of Berowra Waters

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.

Trout, dashi
Trout, dashi, lemon

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?

Pork belly
Pork belly, coconut, apple

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.

I don't have a good photo of this dish, so here I am in front of the beef, tarragon, onion dish
I don’t have a good photo of this dish, so here I am in front of the beef, onion, tarragon, course.

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.

Beetroot, goats cheese cannoli
Beetroot, goats cheese 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!

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