Time to step out? Head to the Boathouse

June 29th, 2020Time to step out? Head to the Boathouse

AS KYLE keeps telling me, it's better to be a coalminer than a canary, so we have limited our dining experiences.

AS KYLE keeps telling me, it’s better to be a coalminer than a canary, so we have limited our dining experiences, when we want something more upmarket than spag bol, to pretty much takeaway or delivery.

But sometimes, you want to have a glimpse of the old days. Our first restaurant foray was actually a couple of weeks back at Mt Martha at the originally named Martha’s Table at Martha’s Cove.

It was interesting but not really enjoyable. The food was good but it’s hard to relax with Kyle reeling back in horror every time the wait staff arrived with cutlery, salt and pepper, the drinks, the water, to top up the drinks and then there was the food. That’s a lot of reeling. The service was fine, as I said they can’t really throw things at you from five paces, but as first-timers, we were both kind of happy when it was time to pay the bill.

Anyway, we decided to head local for our second outing and chose The Boathouse Restaurant – which was perfect. Like all good dining establishments, owners Claire and Susanne take social distancing restrictions seriously and have ensured every one feels welcome – and safe.

We were seated at the big wooden table in the front foyer which we enjoy because you get to watch people coming and going, and the odd requests from people not even dining in. Like the bloke who came in and asked if the restaurant would mind providing plastic cutlery so his family could enjoy their birthday cake, in the park. Or the other one who wanted to borrow some tongs for the barbeque. Probably just lucky there are public toilets outside. Bizarre.

But back to our dining.

With the current situation, the girls are recommending bookings and also for people to order at least one main. Which is more than fair. When you can only seat 20 people, you really don’t want to have four of them sharing an entree.

We shared two entrees, the ocean trout ($22) and the onion bhaji ($18), and then moved onto mains, mussels ($29) for me and seafood linguine ($33) for Kyle.

The trout is a fabulous dish. House-cured with horseradish cream, watercress and a beautiful apple salad propped on top. It looks like a lot of fish, and it is, but it is so moreish the plate is gone before you realise.

The onion bhaji are delicious. Indian spiced fritters served with a cooling raita dip. Again, it’s a big serve – you are never going to leave hungry – but once you get started you don’t stop.

Mussels are my “go-to” and while you can make them at home, you can’t do it as well as The Boathouse. They are steamed and served in an aromatic sauce of tomato, chilli, garlic and coriander – with three huge pieces of crusty bread dripping with butter. OMG. Either soak up the sauce with the bread or use your spoon and just drink it up.

(Be prepared and take a few tissues. That chilli will get your nose dripping – just be discreet. Wiping your nose is not the done thing anymore. Like coughing. My brother told me that blokes used to cough to cover a fart, now they have to fart to cover a cough. Who knew!)

Kyle’s “go-to” is the seafood linguine. He has tried a number of times to recreate it over the past few months but now he realises his is a pale imitation. It’s a wonderful dish filled to overflowing with big prawns, plump mussels and fish with a garlic, lemon, fresh tomato and white wine sauce. Such a good meal.

We didn’t have room for dessert but my favourite is the saffron panna cotta with a mango puree and toasted coconut ($14). Next time.

Oh, drinks. There are plenty on offer with a really good wine list and most by the glass. But maybe splurge out on a bottle. I had the 2017 Xanadu Chardonnay from Margaret River which is $10 for a glass or just $46 for the bottle. Kyle, ever the driver, opted for ginger beer.

The Boathouse Restaurant is a wonderful choice for lunch or dinner and we found ourselves feeling actually refreshed with a bit of a reprieve from a busy life and stressful times. The service is immaculate, the staff friendly and the food is wonderful – then there are those views of lovely Lake Daylesford.

Words: Donna Kelly | Images: Kyle Barnes

More Articles

Back to top