Waterfront Dining by Boat #1
What could be more special than arriving at your favourite waterfront restaurant by boat – your own cruiser, yacht or privately chartered vessel?
The dining scene on the Central Coast is going from strength to strength and the region is particularly blessed with restaurants that boast beautiful water views and cuisine to suit all tastes. And don’t forget that Palm Beach and all that Pittwater offers are only a short boat trip across Broken Bay – set off in your own boat, take the ferry or talk to our good friends at Zephyr Charters for a customised group cruise, restaurant transfers and lots more (call 0450 96 5656, see zephyrcharters.com.au).
It’s not just the views we love – here are three of the best fabulous eateries where you can sail right up to the deck.
PEATS BITE, HAWKESBURY RIVER
Peats Bite has been welcoming guests to its gorgeous Hawkesbury Riverfront restaurant since the early 1980s and is one of a veryfew dining venues in NSW that is exclusively accessible by water. Founders Tammy Miljoen and her late husband Rod established Peats Bite in the aptly named Sunny Corner, and it is now owned by Tammy’s daughter Tanya Miljoen and Geoff Milner.
This once ‘well-kept secret’ is renowned for its long, leisurely lunches and selection of boutique Australian wines and more-ish cocktails that are served up in a relaxed, friendly indoor/outdoor setting. It is very much designed with groups in mind – you’re more than likely to end up mixing and mingling with fellow diners or even taking a dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day.
Peats Bite is also a popular wedding venue – a full wedding package can be organised and six waterfront bungalows are available for overnight and longer stays.
The restaurant offers set, fixed-price menus featuring seasonal local produce and is open from Thursday to Sunday, for lunch only.
WOY WOY FISHERMEN’S WHARF
This family-run restaurant, seafood market and takeaway fish-and-chip outlet is a local institution with a far-reaching reputation. Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf has been operating for nearly 50 years, starting off as a fishmonger, then over the decades adding takeaway fish and chips and a simple seasonal restaurant to its core seafood business.
In 2017 the old wharf restaurant was rebuilt and today it is a stylish but informal venue that’s open seven days a week for lunch. It doesn’t pretend to be a fine-dining restaurant but its reputation for top-quality, locally caught seafood is second to none.
The restaurant menu features all types of seafood, from Sydney rock and Pacific oysters to prawns, crab, lobster and a terrific selection of fish-of-the-day dishes, as well as generously sized hot or cold platters for two. There’s a comprehensive and well-priced wine list that includes boutique beers and ciders.
Fish and chips are cooked to order from the blackboard menu, or you can choose whatever fish you fancy from the market. Classic!
COTTAGE POINT INN, COTTAGE POINT
Cottage Point Inn began its life as a boathouse, general store and post office for local residents of Cowan Creek in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Over the years it has transformed from a casual bistro into a respected fine dining restaurant – it received a coveted Hat in the 2020 Good Food Guide. Owners Shane and Ally Olesen took over in 2016 and today it is open seven days a week for lunch and three nights a week for dinner, offering an à la carte menu and seven-course degustation menu.
Chef Kevin Solomon has an illustrious CV, having worked for many prestigious restaurants in London and Sydney, including Tetsuya’s, Est. Restaurant and Guillaume at Bennelong in the Sydney Opera House. Head sommelier Jim Sanders oversees an extensive wine list.
Diners often take the seaplane from Rose Bay, but Ally says, “We have guests arriving on their own boats, on chartered vessels and even on jet-skis and stand-up paddleboards.” It’s that kind of place – haute cuisine served up in idyllic, laid-back waterfront surroundings.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, two apartments are available for overnight guests; both are for adults only and there’s no internet access – bliss!