Berowra Waters Inn

Sydney / 4 July 2018

Looking for a memorable dining experience? Take a journey to Berowra Waters Inn…it’s magical even the second time round.

It’s been four years since I first dined at Berowra Waters Inn (read about it here). Head Chef Brian Geraghty had already owned the riverside restaurant for two years and i’d heard nothing but wonderful things about this restaurant. This was round two and the same levels of excitement rose inside me as I waited on the private wharf to be collected by boat and escorted to the restaurant. My first visit had been in the warmer months but even in the middle of winter a warmth radiated from “The Inn” as we pulled up to the restaurant. This is no standard dining experience.
Lucky diners have sweeping views through floor to ceiling glass windows of the glistening Hawkesbury River. Watch on as locals cruise by in their small boats and the gumtrees sway in the background. It’s easy to forget you’re only an hour away from the bustle of Sydney’s CBD. Glenn Murcutt, the man responsible the sandstone buildings redesign in the 1970s described it as a “veranda by the water” – a place to sit, dine and watch the world drift by. He wasn’t wrong.
Berowra Waters Inn is just as I remembered it, but some things have changed. The white table cloths are gone, replaced with Scandi-style light wooden tables and blush napkins giving it a minimal but relaxed feel. Food-wise there are less foams but those dollops are still spotted around the dish making each plate resemble a carefully constructed piece of art- almost too pretty to eat.
Berowra Waters Inn are only open three days a week (great gig if you’re a chef looking for work-life balance). There is no a la carte, just a set six course degustation menu that Geraghty changes often depending on produce or his mood. He sure knows how to spoil his guests with little surprise dishes thrown in. Some delightful canapes to begin, the petite fours and tea to finish, a palette cleanser before the two, yes two desserts. And lets not forget the warm, freshly made bread and whipped butter.
Order your wines by the glass or take the guess work out and leave it to the experts. Brian’s partner in both work and life is Head Sommelier Victoria Zwierzynski. She curates a wine list focused mainly on Australian wines along with local beers, vermouth and spirits. On this occasion we found ourselves darting between South Australia and Victoria for our wine pairing. We started with a Riesling from the Strathbogie Ranges in Victoria paired with three delicate pieces of lightly seared scallops, horseradish and crumbs of rye.
Then it was off to the Adelaide Hills for a 2014 Ngeringa Chardonnay that matched perfectly with salmon served on a consume of turnips and mussels. Like all good degustations the trick is to settle in for the long haul and pace yourself. Small portions add up quickly and as we progressed the dishes became heavier with pork and nashi pear served with a 2017 Sigurd “White” Ries from the Barossa Valley.
Medium rare venison was served last for the mains with those signature dollops of cherry reduction and beetroot. A heavier Syrah from Beechworth Victoria held it’s own against the meat.
berowra waters inn sticky date
For dessert a light combination of rhubarb and chamomile refreshed the palette along with a Moscato from McLaren Vale before the final dish of sticky date pudding with coffee and caramel ice cream. This was paired with a Muscat again from Beechworth in Victoria.
I said it four years ago and i’ll say it again, Berowra Waters Inn is one of my favourite dining experience around Sydney. If you’re planning a special occasion this is the place to book, just make sure it’s between Thursday to Sunday or you’ll have to keep turn that boat around.
The Berowra Waters degustation menu is $165pp + $85pp for matching wines.