By Greedy Financier
Anzac Day was a beautiful sunny albeit cold day. It was also a public holiday. And what better way to start such a day than by brunching at Balmoral Beach? It seemed everyone else had the same idea as well – all the beach side cafés were swarming with people. We decided to join the queue at The Bathers’ Pavilion Café, and were told it would be about a 40 minute wait. At least we had a pretty view to look at – Balmoral Beach really is stunning.
The Bathers’ Pavilion Café is situated inside the historic bathers’ pavilion building on Balmoral Beach. The café sits on one side of the building, while the one hatted Bathers’ Pavilion restaurant sits on the other. Unlike the café, the restaurant was almost empty.
The Bathers’ Pavilion Building
Finally, our name was called and we were shown to our table. We were starving by that stage, and wasted no time in ordering our meal. We started off with a small entrée of oysters.
Coffin Bay Basket Grown Oysters with Apple Balsamic Vinegar and Shallots
The oysters were topped with apple balsamic vinegar and shallots. The tanginess of the dressing was offset by the sweetness of the chunks of apple, and I thought it went well with the oysters. I didn’t quite understand the inclusion of the side of bread though, and furthermore, the bread itself was dry and tasteless.
Duck Confit with Red Wine Risotto, Roasted Baby Carrots and Sage
I ordered a main of duck confit with red wine risotto. The duck was cooked well, and was very moist; however it was a tad salty. The red wine imparted a lovely sweet flavour to the risotto, and it complemented the duck beautifully. However, I thought there was too much risotto for the amount of duck (or not enough duck for the amount of risotto!), and I soon found the flavour of the risotto overpowering without the duck.
Jewfish Ballotine with Roast Tomato, Chick Peas, Octopus and Vongole
The bf ordered jewfish, and while I did not taste his dish, he also commented that the fish was salty.
Ricotta Cheesecake, Mixed Berry Compote, Vanilla Cream
As per usual, I had to finish off with dessert. When I saw Bathers’ dessert menu, I couldn’t decide what to order – all their desserts sounded so scrumptious. We settled on sharing a ricotta cheesecake, but now I wish I had ordered something else. After eating Pasticceria Papa’s ricotta cheesecake, Bathers’ cheesecake just could not match up. The cheesecake, while nice, was just ordinary – there was nothing special about it, and it certainly didn’t deserve the hefty price tag attached to it.
View of Balmoral Beach from inside the Café
Overall, I was disappointed with The Bathers’ Pavilion Café – it had lengthy wait times, subpar food and was overpriced. It seems it’s a café where you pay for the view instead of the food.
The Bathers’ Pavilion Café
(No Reservations Taken for the Café)
Breakfast: Monday to Sunday 7.00am – 12.00pm
Lunch/Dinner: Monday to Sunday 12.00pm – Late
Afternoon Tea: Monday to Friday 3.00pm – 5.00pm
Ph: +61 2 9969 5050
4 The Esplanade