I like the northern beaches because this area is beautiful and unpretentious. If you know the right places to be, it is a great hideaway from Sydney where you get the same beach and sulf culture without the traffic and congestion of inner city living.
We are in the area on a weekend and after a swim in Dee Why beach, we decide to venture further north to see if we could discover something new. By accident, we stumble upon Starfish, a restaurant located directly opposite Avalon beach on the west side of Barrenjoey road.
It is Saturday night and as the crowd jostles in, we quickly discover this place is popular with locals clutching wine carry bags and greetings on a first name basis with the waiters. Our waiter is friendly to introduce the menu consisting about half a dozen entrees and mains with a few specials regurgitated like he’s done it a few hundred times.
With an infamous weakness for anything that is remotely connected with scallops, Mysaucepan orders an entree of seared scallops with caramelised pork belly and green apple slaw. Matchstick granny smith and coriander with a tangy balsamic reduction are tucked between three perfectly seared scallops sitting on pieces of succulent pork belly. The tangy crunch of the apple complemented the sweet scallops while the pork belly was soft and yielding to the knife. There is a wide grin on Mysaucepan‘s face with each mouthful.
The second entree of grilled salt and pepper Balmain bugs is perfectly cooked. A squeeze of lemon juice onto the sweet flesh and a light chilli dipping sauce sparks a multitude of flavours on my palate. These two entrees are good enough contenders for best entrees of any neighbourhood restaurant.
Our friendly waiter informs us the twice-cooked duck with caramelised figs is a main which regular customers have requested to remain on the menu. And we soon discover why it is so. Four very generous pieces of duck gently steamed then deep-fried until crispy golden brown are drizzled with a sweet and tangy fig reduction sauce. Bold hints of cinnamon and star anise rounded off the beautiful flavours of this main.
I order a wagyu rump with peppercorn sauce and kipfler potatoes. This dish arrives in medium rare slices piled over a bed of French beans, kipfler potatoes and topped with a crown of watercress. I usually never order rump steaks at restaurants but I would gladly order the wagyu rump at Starfish again. Although lean, the meat is tender, perfectly cooked to my request and the rich aromatic peppercorn sauce makes all the difference.
The dessert of warm-centred chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream tops off a dinner which ticks all the boxes of savoury and sweet delights.
Before our dinner at Starfish, we took a leisurely stroll along Avalon Parade leading up the hill to Surfside Avenue. Although it was overcast, the views towards the north over Avalon beach was nevertheless spectacular.
This elevated position overlooks beautiful Avalon beach below and towards the heads in the north.
Like most beaches in Sydney, the rock pool at Avalon beach is a beautiful spot for a swim whilst enjoying breath-taking views of the surf and beyond ~ a great way to work up an appetite for a Starfish dinner just across the road.
Avalon, New South Wales 2107
(02) 9918 2077