Unable to find a mutually suitable weekend for a proper weekend away for 13 adults, we decided on organising a day trip instead, something we could knock over and enjoy from 10am to 6pm before the sun goes down, and with this parameter we began our search.
Having been to Berowra Waters once before, we already knew that Berowra had much to offer and was a nice contrast to Sydney considering it’s only a 60 minute drive out of the CBD. So with the drawcard of a seafood buffet as the centrepiece of our day out, it was easy to obtain group consensus from all.
Being a well-travelled bunch of guys/gals who have eaten widely (not to mention Asian as well…..) this seafood buffet had to be of pretty high standard and ‘value for money’ proposition to satisfy all of us, and the overall response was 2 thumbs up!
From the get go the experience was great, the friendly service staff laid out the rules for us, being that this is a buffet, serve yourself from the food laid out in the service stations, eat as much as you want, go back as often as you like and each time when you come back your plates from your last round would be cleared up for you. Finger baths and shell bowls are at the centre of your tables, and anything that you didn’t want to eat can be placed in those bowls for collection. And drinks can be found at the bar for an additional charge. From a ground rule point of view, that was a most friendly and reasonable set of rules! And this was the general vibe throughout the restaurant, the place was friendly and relaxed.
So each of us, armed with our own little battle plan in how to approach buffets, set out to forage for food.
For me, my approach was to group my plates/visits to the buffet stations into logical food pairings, so my palate/stomach didn’t have to go on a wild rollercoaster with my whims. So:
Plate 1- fresh seafood. Sydney rock oysters (really fresh and perfect with a squeeze of lemon); fresh muscles with sweet chilly and passion fruit sauce (perfect flavours, very moreish); salt water boiled prawns (very fresh again, but a tad on the saltier side); and Blue spanner crab (I usually don’t eat crab due to the effort involved with cracking the shell, but this was definitely worth it, the flesh was so sweet and fresh!).
Plate 2- Other cold seafood and salads. Sliced smoke salmon (generous thick slices); seafood salad (this had an interesting flavour to it, perhaps curry powder was added to the dressing ?); Caesar salad (the Caesar dressing may have been added a bit too thickly); Greek salad (super fresh and the feta was the star); walnut and green apple salad (love fruit in salad!); and baby beetroot and leafy green salad (this was my favourite of the day, the baby beets had been preserved in something sweet, which reminded me of an Asian pickled/preserved plum, it was very moreish!)
Plate 3. Hot seafoods/fried foods. Oysters Kilpatrick (love the little pieces of bacon); deep fried soft shell crab (this was a little soggy); calamari rings (a stand-out – the calamari was so soft, you could almost say it melted in the mouth); fried fish ( yeah this was good, something more substantial); hot potato chips (these were really good, thick sliced potato wedges); and fried chicken wing (this was a little weird, a deep fried chicken wing that was served cold. I hate wasting food, but I have to admit I had a few bites and I left this in the discard bowl).
Plate 4. Non-seafood hot meals. Baked zucchini and mushrooms (this was really good, I could have had more of this); BBQ pork (this was similar to a Chinese BBQ pork, but it was served cold. I could give this a miss next time); meat balls in a white cream sauce (this was okay, I just remembered it being nice and temperature hot); and vegetarian lasagne (this was really good, would’ve loved more but I was getting really full at this point).
Plate 5. Dessert. I’m trying to give up processed sugars so I passed on the conventional desserts, but I did go back for more of the beetroot salad (it was sweet enough to be a dessert!), and I had fresh fruit, i.e. slices of watermelon, oranges and diced strawberries, pineapple and rockmelon.
But for those who did eat the proper dessert, there was a pav, lemon meringue pie, sticky date pudding, apple strudel, vanilla pannacotta, and creme caramel. From all accounts the desserts really hit the spot, apart from the crème caramel which tasted like watery custard and burnt sauce. There was a wide selection of tea and coffees (even a taro latte). The $65pp did not include beverages, but we were happy to pay the extra $3.50 for hot beverages to round out a perfect meal.
Items which I didn’t try were cold cut meats, a few more salads, and dining bread rolls. But there was so many options, all of the fresh ingredients were super fresh and I think locally sourced, so I’d say something matching everyone’s taste and preference.
And the great thing was that the venue was more than happy to allow people to stay, I’m sure until the end of lunch service. So if you were purely in the region just for eating, I’m sure you could allow your stomach to rest, and then go back for plates 6, and 7, and 8 etc etc ,while shooting the breeze with your dining group.
But to round out our day trip, we rented a 6 person motor boat for an hour and putted around the Hawkesbury at a jogging pace. Haaha. It was an idyllic day, we felt like we were on holidays, although we were only minutes away from Sydney.
So great food, a perfect location and great company made this day out 5/5. And Waterview Restaurant, you also deserve a 5 star rating from us, it wasn’t perfect but it was 95% of the way there. Not to mention real cotton napkins (that’s 5/5 on my napkin test as well!)
So if your family is due for a family trip, but cost or time permitting, you’re unable to get away for a couple of days or couple of weeks, a day trip to the Berowra Waters region might be the thing, if you look at it as being a Spring/Autumn getaway in replacement of the yearly family trip – $65pp, a quarter tank of petrol, and $120 boat hire seems pretty reasonable actually. I’m now considering to bring my sis and her family and my folks here for our yearly pre-Christmas family lunch. I think that is a pretty solid reflection of how good the Waterview Restaurant was?
Waterview Seafood Restaurant- Saturday 10 November (5 stars).
PH: (02) 9456 2633
199 Bay Road, Berowra Waters, NSW
Wed-Fri 12noon – 3.30pm
Sat-Sun 12noon – 4pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm