Mum’s birthday is a few days after Christmas and I always look for a nice place to take her for lunch. In the hope of Sydney providing some gorgeous weather, I wanted somewhere overlooking water and although I have my favourites I am always keen to try somewhere new, so this year I chose Sails on Lavender Bay.
After a few days of miserable weather we were pleased to see the sun shining, not a cloud in the sky, possibly one of the best days of summer. I had heard the views from Sails are incredible and I would have to agree. If you can ignore the ferry wharf in the foreground, the restaurant has a stunning view not just overlooking water, but with Luna Park to the left and the Sydney Harbour Bridge presenting a dazzling backdrop; I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Tuna capaccio, olives, capers, micro herbs ($26.00).
The tuna capaccio was a great start. The tuna was cut so masterly thin it simply melted in my mouth. I enjoyed the salty accompaniments of olives, capers and salt cured tuna. The fennel and micro herbs were a perfect addition, extremely fragrant but never overpowering as more mature herbs perhaps would have been. It was a light, refreshing start to the meal.
John Dory fillets, scallops, mushrooms, truffle oil ($28.00).
I chose the special of John Dory fillets but was anxious about the fish and mushroom combination, having been underwhelmed with it at sourcedining and then pleasantly surprised by it at Attica. On this occasion I thought the fish and scallops were both cooked well, but similar to my experience at sourcedining I found the flavours clashing and the truffle oil too powerful.
Cape Grim Rib Eye, miso, wasabi and shisho butter with hand cut fries ($43.00).
A big slab of meat on a stark white plate is usually a beautiful sight to Dylan. Sadly the rib eye he and my brother chose was ordered rare yet served medium at best, it was tough and overcooked while the miso, wasabi and shisho butter did little to alleviate the fact that the meat was overdone. Never ones to complain they persevered, enjoying the golden crunchy potato chips with soft and fluffy centres.
Iced caramel parfait, chocolate and praline crunch, poached pear, poire william jelly ($16.00).
My dessert looked gorgeous and I was hoping for a big grand finale after the disappointing main. The pastry was flakey and buttery, the iced caramel parfait quite rich on its own but the poached pear helped cut through the intensity. I found the base of chocolate and praline crunch so hard when I attempted to cut it I was concerned the rest of the dessert would go flying across the table. The highlight for me was the poached pear and poire william (pear liqueur) jelly.
Coconut macaroon, coconut ice cream, passionfruit jelly, lime, watermelon consommé ($16.00).
We don’t normally blog about our co-diners’ meals, but Mum’s dessert deserves a special mention. It was presented beautifully and tasted just as good. The fruit was gorgeous and summery, the coconut macaroon was nice and light and brought the perfect level of sweetness to the dessert.
There were definitely highs and lows with the food, but I must give credit to the wait staff who were impeccable. When you’re dining in a brilliant restaurant with great service you tend not to notice the waiters, but Dylan and I take peeks at them to see just how they are performing. The most memorable experience was at est. where we were simply mesmerised by the scene unfolding before us with 10 waiters placing food on a large table in synchronisation – it was pure magic. The service at Sails was up there with the best, they were brilliant and seemed to have an eye on every table at all times – without being on top of us or overbearing as some waiters can be.
Dylan had pinched the car to dash back to work (missing out on dessert) but the rest of us had the whole afternoon to while away so we made the most of our location and enjoyed a ferry ride across the harbour to the city. Ahhh Sydney, such a beautiful city, we are so lucky to live here.
Sails on Lavender Bay
2 Henry Lawson Avenue
McMahons Point NSW 2060
(02) 9955 5998
Sails on Lavendar Bay Website