A beautiful summer Saturday saw a group of us get the ferry over to manly and then on to freshwater. We arrived at a quaint little cottage on the hill overlooking the beach at the restaurant Pilu.
Here we divulged in a 7 course degustation* for a friend’s birthday and so this review begins…
The food and wine of the day was inspired from a place called Sardinia. Sardinia I hear you say where is this? Sardinia is off the coast of Italy and it is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The first course was grilled scampi with sea urchin butter. I thought this was nice but small and a lot of hassle in getting the scampi out of the shell.
For the second course we had fregola with tomato and seafood ragu. Fregola is a type of pasta from Sardinia and it is similar to cous cous. This was very flavorsome.
Next followed my favorite the saffron malloreddus with coronga new season lamb and fresh pea ragu. This indeed was very fresh. Malloreddus is traditional Sardinian pasta with saffron in the dough. The flavors were perfect and it was simply delicious!
We then had a much needed break in the courses with a palette cleanser of fennel sorbet. It had a strong aniseed flavor which was great if you like licorice like me and was perfect on such a hot day.
Now it was time for some seafood and meat dishes starting with Kingfish fillet with vernaccia (Tuscany olives) and green olives. I thought the kingfish was average and if cooked in a different way could have been a lot nicer.
The last course of the day before desert was the oven roasted suckling pig served on the bone with condiments. The suckling pig considering the time spent in the oven was way too dry and this was my least favorite course of the day.
To finish we had a Sardinian fried pastry filled with ricotta and served with bitter corbezzolo (an organic strawberry like honey that is very hard to find). I thought this desert was simple yet so beautiful. The ricotta mixed with the bitter honey was a perfect infusion of flavors and it definitely left me wanting more.
Overall this was an amazing experience and the matching wines from the region that accompanied the dishes were very well matched. The staff were not only friendly but very passionate about the food and wines they were serving. We had a private room and it is perfect for a small celebration.
*Degustation menu $165 with matching wines.
Address: ‘On the Beach’,
Moore Road, Freshwater NSW 2096
Telephone: (02) 9938 3331
Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday and lunch Tuesday to Sunday
Follow Giovanni Pilu, Head Chef on Twitter: @gpilu
Category: Everything else