We've discovered a beautiful little spot just north out of Sydney that is home to a restaurant with a stellar view. This restaurant is perfect for those of you have well behaved offspring who can cope with dining at white table cloth type of places. And for those of you who have little darlings who may be a bit on the unruly or feral side, don't worry you don't have to miss out, as they have a kiosk where you can purchase coffee and snacks and then you can sit outside and soak up the amazing view!
Estuary Restaurant is located right on the Hawkesbury River at Brooklyn. It's on your left hand side just before the village of Brooklyn (take the Kangaroo Point turn off). There is a decent amount of parking and if you have a pram, access is very easy for you. You can choose to purchase a snack from the kiosk and sit outside or for a more formal experience, you can sit inside the lovely restaurant.
We shall start inside the restaurant as our little ferals for once were behaving themselves and we very bravely decided to eat inside for a weekend breakfast. Estuary is only open for breakfast on the weekend, from the family friendly hour of 7.30am. They serve lunch from Wednesday to Sunday and dinner Thursday to Saturday.
All of the tables at Estuary have a lovely view over the water, however if you want a table with the best view (i.e. the one where no other big backed diners will be impairing your view), I suggest you ring ahead and book one. On the morning we dined there were only a couple of other tables occupied and we were very lucky to be shown to the perfect table on the verandah which just happened to have a magic view by our tall bearded waiter (who by the way is the best waiter that we have encountered in a very long time).
Now because it is a white tablecloth restaurant you receive all of those "fine dining" touches - such as a complimentary nibble (otherwise known as an amusee bouche) at the beginning of your meal - in this instance parmesan and poppy seed twists. These were easily devoured by the boys whilst we waited for our drinks - hot chocolates for them and caffeine fixes for us.
The hot chocolates were a tad too hot for little hands, especially as they came in a glass - my fault for not asking them to be served warm (and I thought since we were in a upmarket restaurant it wasn't appropriate to ask for them to be served in take away cups). The coffees were brilliant - Withams beans are used, and they came with a little piece of delicious chocolate fudge. Now because we were dining in a white table cloth restaurant our coffees cost a bit more than usual - $5.00 to be exact! But don't worry the kiosk's coffees aren't that dear.
Everything on the breakfast menu sounded so good at Estuary, but nothing appealed to my little tackers - it was a tad too posh for them. So I asked if they could have a freshly baked muffin from the kiosk and they obliged once the Manager said it was ok. The kitchen whips up a batch of freshly baked muffins each day and on the day we dined they were blueberry. The muffins were very moist and the perfect size to fill little bellies.
From the expensive breakfast menu we sampled the free range poached eggs on avocado & ciabatta, with trussed tomatoes seasoned with zaatar ($19); and the free range eggs with double smoked bacon, trussed tomatoes and house made ciabatta ($16). Both meals were perfectly cooked and delicious. Some other interesting options are the crab omelette with nettle pesto ($26); and the house made French toast with maple syrup & berry compote ($22).
The a la carte menu for lunch and dinner has options for both herbivores and carnivores - seafood does feature of course. And the desserts sound amazing (eg. rosewater pavlova with Persian ferry floss, Turkish delight & strawberry sorbet). They don't have a kids menu but depending on how developed your little one's palates are, there some options that they may be able to share. The fish and chips could be a good option and they also serve up bowls of hand cut chips if all else fails. Once again, the menu is quite expensive - no doubt they are capitalising on their amazing views.
Now its time to chat about the kiosk. Basically it is a hole in the wall of the restaurant where you can purchase coffee, drinks, freshly baked muffins and other little treats as well as a basic breakfast and lunch offering. The kiosk is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 7am in the morning and closes about 3.00pm in the afternoon. So it's an ideal place to stop for a quick caffeine fix when heading north out of Sydney for a weekend away. At breakfast time you can fill your bellies with egg & bacon ciabattas ($9.50), toasted breads ($4.00) as well as the baked goods on display at the kiosk.
At lunch time simple seafood features on the kiosk's menu - expensive fish and chips ($20); freshly shucked oysters ($26/doz); salt & pepper squid ($16); rocket salad ($7.50); and hot chippies ($6.50) - I think a good idea would be to grab a selection and share amongst the whole family. There is a full range of soft drinks, milkshakes, tea and of course their excellent coffee ($3.50) are all available to have with your food.
Once you have your meal you can go and sit at the tables and chairs outside where you can soak in the view, or you can go and sit on the lovely grassy area and have a picnic. There's plenty of space for kids to run and cause chaos with the local bird life, but please be aware, there is a drive away so keep an eye on them at all times. Just to let you know, the toilet facilities are located just around the corner from the kiosk and they contain a baby change table.
So Little Munchers, do you take your kidlets to white table cloth restaurants? Or are you more a kiosk type of family?
1420 Pacific Highway, Brooklyn (Kangaroo Point)
Kiosk open Wed - Sun: 7am - 3pm
Wed: 12pm - 3.30pm
Thu - Fri: 12pm - 10pm
Sat: 7.30am - 10pm
Sun: 7.30am - 4pm