By Raul Dias | Opening Doorz Editorial | June 24, 2023
It was beginning to feel a bit James Bond-esque as my group of five friends and I arrived at the Rose Bay Seaplane Base in Sydney. All togged up in our Sunday best for perhaps the fanciest meal of our trip to the Australian state of New South Wales. In Sydney to enjoy the annual Vivid Sydney light and sound festival, we decided to flirt with luxury and get ourselves booked into a five-course degustation lunch at Cottage Point Inn. As it is located just an hour’s drive north of Sydney, we were in no mood for a car ride. And so, we picked the most interesting way to get there. Via seaplane!
Yes, the aforementioned Rose Bay Seaplane Base is where we caught our tiny, rainbow stripe-painted seaplane for a quick 20-minute ride to Cottage Point Inn, one of Greater Sydney’s most stunning lunch spots. Chartered by Sydney Seaplanes, the flight afforded us the ultimate indulgence—sightseeing Sydney’s famous Harbour, Eastern Beaches, Northern Beaches, and the beautiful Hawkesbury River from our classic Beaver aircraft!
Dining With a Difference
Nestled alongside the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Greater Sydney’s Hawkesbury region, this stunning restaurant feels worlds away from human life. Here, one can either choose to enjoy one’s meal on the deck while the water laps gently by, or opt for a seat in the sensitively-restored heritage dining room. We chose the former. And with our outdoor seating right on the water’s edge, we could see myriad birds frolicking just metres from our table.
Renowned for its relaxed, friendly atmosphere and innovative Modern Australian menu, Cottage Point Inn put on a spectacular show for us that pleasant Southern Hemisphere winter afternoon in early June. We started with a refreshingly tart rhubarb G&T that hit the spot and was the perfect accompaniment to our first course of Shark Bay (Western Australia) blue swimmer crab. The sweetness of the crab meat went perfectly with the creaminess of the sweetcorn puree. While the salty hit of the shaved bottarga (compressed, dried fish roe) was the perfect foil to the sweet notes.
Ignoring my aversion to the modern fine dining staple of the ‘savoury foam’, I tucked into the delicacy of the Atlantic Scallop. Served atop its shell along with said cauliflower foam and two typically, indigenous Australian ingredients of macadamia nut and fragrant lemon myrtle leaf. Sheer poetry on a scallop shell, this!
The Main Show
For my first main course of Aquna Murray cod, I chased the fish dish with a generous pour of King Valley prosecco. I was overjoyed to see one of my favourite vegetables, i.e. Jerusalem artichoke making its presence felt in a caramelised, pureed form and plated with the crisp-skinned Murray cod. The parsnip crisp and nasturtium oil added a nice crunch and herbaceous hit, respectively.
Ever the pork-obsessed Goan, I tucked into the Bangalow sweet pork belly with manic gusto. Served with heirloom carrots, young Brussel sprouts, and an orange reduction sauce to cut through all that fatty goodness.
Just like all good things, our meal at Cottage Point Inn drew to a close with the delicious and delicate kiwi and raspberry cheesecake served alongside a few globules of refreshing finger lime and sprigs of another indigenous Aussie herb, river mint.
And speaking of river, or lake in this case, our seaplane had taxied back just in time to pick us up as we finished our last sips of coffee (hot chocolate, for me!) Soon we were off. Airborne once again as we skimmed our way atop the fragrant eucalyptus trees towards Sydney city, leaving behind the beautiful Cottage Point Inn in all its quaint glory. But taking with us lighter wallets and foodie memories to last a lifetime!
Must-Try Dishes: Bangalow Sweet Pork Belly and the Kiwi and Strawberry Cheesecake.
Must-Try Drinks: Rhubarb G&T and a glass of the creamy Bonnaire Tradition Brut sparkling wine.
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Address: Cottage Point Inn, 2 Anderson Pl, Cottage Point NSW 2084, Australia T: +61 2 9456 101
(Raul Dias is a Food and Travel writer. He has over 18 years of media experience and has visited 64 countries. Raul writes for a number of Indian and International publications).
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