7,000 years is a long time for a location to be used as an eating spot, particularly as that spot now plays host one of Sydney’s finest restaurants.
Aboriginal midden (eating) remains were uncovered during Cellar renovations of Berowra Waters Inn by Tony Bilson in 1976 and carbon dating found them to be 7,000 years old. It’s not much of a stretch to say that the area could feasibly claim to be the oldest continuously used dining room in the world.
While it’s only 50 minutes by car (and a short hop on the private ferry) from central Sydney or 15 minutes by seaplane from Rose Bay, the location still feels like a throwback to an earlier time in Sydney’s history, even if the menu is anything but.
The private ferry to Berowra Waters Inn
We arrived on a sparkling autumn afternoon and climbed aboard the ferry for the short hop to the restaurant. The sun glistened off the floor to ceiling cantilevered windows as we neared the restaurant and finally pulled into the wharf. On colder days, a log fire crackles to life and brings further warmth to the dining room of this bright, airy architectural gem.
The present custodian of Berowra Waters Inn is chef and operator Brian Geraghty who has an impressive roster of kitchens on his resume, from two-Michelin Star restaurant Pied a Terre in London and three-hatters Quay and Bilson’s in Sydney.
Now he’s put his own stamp on the storied restaurant and the 7 course journey we were taken on nailed the holy trinity of flavour, texture and presentation.
After a stunning trio of amuse bouche, we began with delicately spiced prawns and cauliflower puree topped with a translucent disc of curry gelee. This paired beautifully with the delicate minerality and explosive fruit of Domaine des Aubuisuers Vouvray.
Karid Prawns, Cauliflower Puree, Prawn & Curry Gelee
A confit of ocean trout with smoked milk, dashi and wild rice preceded on of my favourite dishes, a vegetable garden atop a pumpkin puree with the aniseedy tang of licorice crumbs adding a sharp counterpoint to the dish.
Confit of Ocean Trout, Smoked Milk, Dash & Wild Rice
Vegetable Garden, Pumpkin & Licorice
I loved the cheeky play in the next dish between the rabbit and its food. Cabbage and and a cavelo nero compote added an earthy element of the dish while mustard cut through the richness of the rabbit.
Rabbit, Cavelo Nero Compote & Mustard
A perfect portion of wagyu tri tip with tarragon braised leek and pickled shallots was matched with a big, juicy, aromatic Ross Hill Pinnacle Series Cabernet Franc from Orange.
Wagyu Tri-Tip of Beef, Tarragon Braised Leek, Pickled Shallots
The dessert course began with a ‘how the hell did they do that’ delicate wafer tube filled with a blue cheese cream accompanied with a red onion sorbet and ended with a play on chocolate, hazelnut and beetroot.
Blue Cheese & Red Onion Sorbet
Chocolate, Hazelnut & Beetroot
Special mention must be made of the excellent wine list and the impeccable service which was delivered with the same finesse and flair as the meal. the menu might have changed somewhat over the last 7,000 years but its location at the pinnacle of Sydney destination dining surely hasn’t.
Jeremy Bowell dined as a guest of Berowra Waters Inn
Berowra Waters Inn
Via East and West Public Wharves, Berowra Waters, NSW
02 9456 1027