Bathers Pavilion, Balmoral
My friend had news. She was so excited she couldn’t wait for our planned lunch and told me over lunch at a food court a couple of days prior. A baby is coming!! Yippee! So a couple of days later she picked me up and we started on our adventure over the Bridge to one of Sydney’s most iconic restaurants, Bathers Pavilion.
We both had been wanting to go to this esteemed institution for a while. For her, to revisit her old stomping ground after a recent move, and for me , as usual, for the food.
We ran late and I called to let them know. When we finally arrived after not being able to make right turns anywhere, we found a mostly empty restaurant. However, the cafe next door was absolutely packed to the rafters. The impact of the Global Financial Crisis is obviously starting to bite.
We were seated right by the picture window looking straight out onto Balmoral Beach:
We decide on two courses rather than three, and quickly there is beautiful bread, reminding me in shape of star anise, and salted and unsalted butter in front of us.
To celebrate this wondrous occasion I lash out on a glass of Louis Roederer champagne while the pregnant lady watches and pines for a taste of alcohol!
Suddenly there is a pretty little amuse bouche in front of us:
A small and delicate roll of smoked salmon with cream cheese, with a grilled cherry tomato on a little crisp. A tasty start to our meal.
After deliberating over the menu for quite some time, we both settled on fish. The Pregnant Lady chooses the Barramundi served with scallop and pesto tortellini, warm white bean and vongole salad:
In the description they forget to mention foam, a craze sweeping the Sydney dining scene at the moment. The Pregnant Lady picks at her meal gently and slowly, slightly off her food in her delicate condition. However, she enjoys it and mostly finishes it off.
I go for the salmon, and am surprised by the generous serving. The salmon is wrapped in nori and resting on a bed of pasta , and served with a bok choy, green papya and chilli salad atop of which rests two of the most enormous prawns I’ve ever seen!
My salmon is so rich and served medium rare, the salad, a solid counterpoint offering a chilli hit to the rich butteriness of the salmon.
After resting our weary bellies we start contemplating dessert. I’m torn over the poached pear with salted caramel chantilly, hazelnut crunch and honeycomb but of course settle for the menage a trois of chocolate:
The chocolate ganache tart doesn’t impress, but the icecream and brownie do! However, I am struck with dessert envy when The Pregnant Lady’s dessert plate arrives!
The description of this dessert, does not do it justice: Apple brulée, cinnamon crumble parfait and apple schnapps gâteaux…just beautiful…The apple brulee is encased in the thin, shaped slivers of apple, and the crispy toffee is wedged between gorgeous rich custard, and then more! A light gateaux! with sorbet! A delight. Pure and simple.
Coffee! We need coffee! It arrives, as do our petit fours…more sugar!
The lemon tart is tart and satisfying, while the strawberry macaron are disappointing, but I’m taken with the rhubarb jelly and the burnt honey chocolates. A luscious way to round off a celebratory lunch and to prepare for our beach walk…
4 The Esplanade
02 9969 5050