Sailboats are gently rocking in the water to the sound of lapping waves. There are breathtaking waterviews too.
Like a typical Sydney day, the water is simmering under a glorious winter sun. And for good measure, pelicans are basking, oblivious to our watchful eyes as we tuck into lunch.
The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay in Sydney’s inner west suburb of Glebe is in an idyllic setting that is hard to beat. Literally up the road from the Sydney Fish Market, it boasts panoramic harbour views that has made dining in this city a truly world-class experience.
The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay
I am with Monk on his milestone birthday today and he has chosen a table that overlooks emerald and turquoise waters of Blackwattle Bay and the ANZAC bridge in the horizon.
The decor is sleek with modern lines and for a Friday afternoon, the dining room is surprisingly quiet past the 1 o’clock lunch hour.
This is the beautiful thing about Sydney’s temperate climate.
A table for two at one corner of this restaurant has uninterrupted views of the bay and yet, it is not occupied. It could be a little too warm despite a Sydney winter day.
Monk and I are happy to sit at a table which gives us a beautiful view of pelicans basking on the warm wooden deck.
Sourdough is first to arrive with a hearty chunk of butter. There is nothing quite like slathering wholesome butter on such fresh and fluffy bread.
Monk chooses a bottle of white for our impending seafood lunch.
A 2012 Geelong Chardonnay by Farr has toasty oak and butterscotch aromas on the nose.
A creamy mouth feel with a clean and lingering finish makes this an elegant chardy though I wonder if a 100% mark up on its RRP of $69.90 is good value at a restaurant.
Fresh rock oysters from New South Wales South Coast
There are fourteen different types of rock and Pacific oysters originating from the mid North Coast and South Coast of New South Wales, Duck Bay in the North West Coast of Tasmania and Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
We order a dozen of Merimbula Lake & Moonlight Kisses rock oysters from the South Coast.
Less creamy than the Pacifics, these oysters are as fresh as they can ever come. Minerally with intense flavours, they become even more tantalizing with a squeeze of lemon juice and light vinaigrette.
As I slurp up each slippery oyster, I remind myself how wonderfully precious that Sydney could be blessed with so much oyster variety from farms along the New South Wales coastline.
We are in the midst of winter but sitting in Boathouse’s dining room and gazing out into the blue waters feel like a warm summer day.
We are happy to admire the warm and sunny table for two at the corner which remains empty.
Roast Cone Bay barramundi
Cone Bay is on Turtle Island in the Buccaneer Archipelago 160 km off the coast of north Western Australia. It is the only saltwater barramundi farm in Australia that produces spectacular ocean grown barramundi.
This fish won a medal in the 2012 ABC Delicious Magazine’s Produce Awards which recognize Australia’s top fresh food producers.
The skin on a roast Cone Bay barramundi fillet is so crispy, it answers with a “cok cok” sound upon a couple of taps with my fork.
Judging by its deep golden brown, this fillet spent some cooking time skin side down on a griddle before being tucked into a hot oven.
Sitting on roast Dutch carrots, a bed of creamy carrot puree and hazelnuts, I was happy to devour this barra on its own.
But Monk and I had no issues slathering the fish with the sweet puree and nuts for extra flavour and crunch.
Snapper pie with smoked tomato and mashed potato
The Boathouse’s signature dish arrives and requires no introduction. It is served at the table.
As a food lover, I am proud of this restaurant’s insignia because along with many iconic dishes from so many great Sydney restaurants, it has made this beautiful city what it is today – a world class food haven prized for its freshest and highest quality seafood.
Earthy truffle aromas wafting from a snapper pie with smoked tomato and mashed potato become a head-turner the moment crisp pastry is carved open by the waiter at our table.
The last time I had this famous fish pie was probably about ten years ago.
It was a time when I did not know food blogging existed, yet the delightful obsession that it is for me now. Those were carefree days when good food need not be photographed before being enthusiastically devoured. And how I long for those days again!
The dark brown crust on this snapper pie is crisp and light. While the layers of fluffy pastry beneath promise more buttery goodness, it is also a heartwarming shelter for creamy chunks of snapper fillets wafting truffle aromas at my face.
A skinless half of smoked tomato offers subtle acidity while a big dollop of creamy mashed potato is redolent of milk and rich butter.
The Monk drizzles some creamy fish sauce with its sweetish tinge onto my plate.
And right here, at this very instance, is one of Sydney’s iconic dining moments that every food lover should experience ~ a luscious snapper pie paired with a classic Australian chardonnay with panoramic views of Sydney harbour as backdrop.
Happy birthday and thanks for a beautiful lunch Monky!
It’s an honour to share your milestone birthday over good food, wine and great company.
The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay
123 Ferry road, Glebe
New South Wales
Tel: +61 2 9518 9011
Opening hours: Lunch Tuesday to Sunday 12pm to 2.30pm Dinner Tuesday to Sunday 6.30pm to 10pm. Closed on Mondays.
Note: These opening hours change according to season. For more information, please call or visit The Boathouse website above.