It’s a mere five-minute drudge up the hill from Clovelly beach or if you prefer, it’s a four-minute stroll down the hill to Clovelly beach.
Whichever way you choose, The Clovelly Hotel at the eastern end of Clovelly road is just a beer away from the beach. A recent refurbishment to its outdoor beer garden with district water views provides another incentive to knock back a cold one.
With a kind invitation from Sweaty Betty PR, Mysaucepan and I are here to check out Executive Chef Grant Croft’s new menu that is geared up for the coming summer.
The Clovelly Hotel, Clovelly
It’s just past noon and the bar area is surprisingly quiet for a sunny Saturday afternoon.
The copper pink on a 2014 Tar & Roses Pinot Gris is almost like a rosé. Aromas are fruity with pear and lychee notes. Medium-bodied and crisp on the palate, it has a clean and dry finish.
I am glad to have discovered this beautiful drop because it’s going to feature a lot more this coming summer.
Being so close to the beach, I was pining for some fresh oysters but there wasn’t any on the menu.
And it’s been such a long time, it feels as though I have not had oysters Rockefeller since the era of John D. Rockefeller (1839 – 1937).
The richest American at the time by virtue of his monopoly oil business, this dish was named after Rockefeller for the rich and intense butter sauce that is often made with fresh parsley and spinach though recipes are so varied.
I find the herb a little overcooked where green has lost vibrancy.
Breadcrumbs topped rather than mixed into the butter sauce would have given bits of golden brown crispiness over these oysters.
Sticky pork belly
Decadent chunks of pork belly are sticky with a burnt orange and chilli glaze redolent of star anise, cinnamon and marmalade.
The pork belly is beautifully crisp while tender and moist inside. The sauce is very thick, sticky and a little too sweet for my liking.
Fish of the day ~ Crumbed flounder
Crumbed flounder is topped with two quenelles of tomato fondue and baby capers.
The fish is crisp though a little salty and the tangy tomato fondue was not necessary at all. Instead, I would have preferred a creamy mayo or aioli dip. Kipfler potatoes that come with this dish was missing in action.
Grain-fed 400gm rib eye
There is a choice of five steaks and seven accompanying sauces on the menu. Each steak has a choice of two items from mash, salad, chips, cabbage slaw or steamed vegetables.
My grain-fed 400gm rib eye, from Gympie in South East Queensland, is huddled together with chips and a salad.
The chips are wonderfully crisp with a creamy centre while the salad looks Greek-inspired minus the Spanish onions and olives.
Confit mushroom is rich with clotted cream, confit garlic, shaved parmesan and whole button mushrooms. It’s as good a dipping sauce for my chips as it is a gravy for the steak though I would have preferred it served from a gravy jar.
Smoky charred aromas are beautiful and a good sprinkle of black pepper complement beefy flavours though this steak is just a tad over for medium rare. Still, it’s a beautiful piece of meat on a sunny day.
And being just a beer away, it’s time for me to work off this lunch and get cooked on Clovelly beach.
So what would it be dear readers, would you prefer to walk up the hill to work up an appetite or walk down the hill to work off that pork (not pot) belly?
ChopinandMysaucepan dined courtesy of Sweaty Betty PR and The Clovelly Hotel. Prices are included for readers’ information. All views and opinions are an honest and objective account of our dining experience on the day.