The most decadent experience I’ve ever had in Sydney was taking a sea plane from Rose Bay over Manly, past the northern beaches to an iconic restaurant on the edge of the Hawkesbury River.
Berowra Waters Inn is accessible only by sea plane or boat and I quickly forgave the PR guy for asking my weight when I found out why he needed it. I was one of 9 (the solo table) who boarded the tiny aircraft on skis and zoomed off from the Sydney harbour – with a little buzz over the Harbour Bridge.
Make sure you come hungry because you’ll need an appetite and about 3 hours of chit chat up your sleeve.
Flying over Manly. Don’t worry about the dangly strap, that’s to secure the propeller with a rope when we land.
30 minutes later and we come scooting around the Hawkesbury River with Sydney Sea Planes
When we pulled up at Berowra Waters Inn the maitre’ d came out in the boat to fetch us
River views from wherever you sit
And we’re off! My 9-course degustation is about to begin.
Seafood mousse with roe at the bottom that was so light it simply disappeared in my mouth. Those are 2 cheeky fried oysters on the side. My tip for chefs is not too much fried food when you have 9 courses to serve…
Sashimi salmon with a teeny poached quail egg and an edible flower. Delicious and perfectly balanced.
I didn’t catch the type of fish this was, but I did appreciate that powdered brown butter scattered around the plate! Love the crispy skin.
Next we were served razor clam and mud crabs wrapped in spaghetti and served in a razor clam shell. This was my favourite on taste and texture but the spag was unnecessary and filled me up too much.
Seared scallops with a tiny piece of pork belly. A spiced tomato sauce was poured over the greens at my table
Then the 3rd seaplane pulled in since I’ve been sitting here bringing couples and groups for this extravagant lunch
I’m fit to pop when these roast quail legs with roasted garlic, pureed black garlic, toasted nuts and celeriac puree comes out
Wagyu sirloin with oxtail fried in little wraps. It’s served with Jerusalem artichoke 3 ways: fondant, pureed and as chips. The deep fried oxtail on course 7 was too much, she says “having” to eat it all!
Fortunately there’s always a little bit of room left in the pudding stomach for cherries, berries, candied meringue with a boozy sorbet. Oh yes.
Like a child of the Depression era scolded for not finishing my lunch, I’m determined not to be beaten… FINALLY it’s poached white peach, blood peach and peach mousse with sorbet and crushed chocky biscuit.
And we’re done!
Berowra Waters Inn was closed for a time last year and has reopened with a new head chef and new menu, but the same fly-in or boat-in lunch or dinner concept. It’s a popular place for marriage proposals, outside on the balcony or right there at the table. Awww.
Tip: potential fiance’s this is the spot for your proposal!
Cost: $175 or $250 including wine matching
Including a flight from Sydney’s Rose Bay $585, and add $75 for the wine.
Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!