It’s not every day that you will experience a restaurant at a tranquil location of Sydney’s Harbour National Park. But seriously, it’s a beautiful place to dine.
It turns out, the Boilerhouse Harbourside Restaurant is part of the Q Station, one of Australia’s most unique heritage retreats. You can read through my review, Q Station Retreat, for details on the hotel.
Getting to the restaurant is a little different to other places. You can arrive by ferry, directly from Circular Quay, or if you are driving, you will need to park your car at reception and a courtesy Q Station shuttle bus will escort you down.
The evening started where Mary Boyagi, a famous food blogger friend and I are met by John Spiers (Food & Beverage Manager), and Kun Rahadian (Director of Sales & Marketing) at the Engine Room Bar.
During the day, it is a relaxed venue to have lunch or a pre-drink before dining at the Boilerhouse. Not sure how to describe it, but it is exactly what it was, the Engine Room, a small bar that’s packed with cocktails and a terrace overlooking Quarantine Beach.
After a quick catch-up over a Hendricks G&T, we walked round to the restaurant to meet with Sous Chef Matt Smith. Chef had a few things on offer that night and was excited to showcase their winter menu.
“Our produce is fresh and so is the way we approach in our dishes were going to eat tonight” comments Kun.
Matt had a passion for cooking at an early age, a discovery of ingredients within the household. His experience took him to Osaka, Japan before returning to Australia. You will notice there will be one dish that will have a subtle Japanese influence in the menu. The Hiramasa kingfish with miso, that’s cured with light citrus with dried bonito flakes into the salt is one of them.
What a feast it was, we were spoilt for choice and I truly believe we ate one meat from all the categories and then some.
Pork neck, pear, hazelnuts, bitter greens
Beef short rib, sauce soubise, onions, leek
Lamb loin, belly, potato, peas, shallot, pan juices
Duck breast, leg beignet, artichoke, vanilla, orange
“Duck is definitely the one meat I love to cook with, it is so versatile and is rich in flavour. It is often reserved for special occasions and cooked in difference styles from confit, ragout to pan-seared.” Matt explains.
All the dishes on the menu were sensational and the wines matched perfectly. The favourite, and hold your breath – it was the Lamb loin. I don’t particularly enjoy lamb, as I have been left disappointed and left with chewy meat. This was something else. Called it what you will, rustic cooking to a perfect pink and the pan juice left lingering in my palate.
For those that still had room for dessert, we sampled the Boilerhouse rocky road and Maple cheesecake with baby pears, lavender and lemon.
John clearly states that Australian Food and Wine remains one of our best-kept secrets, and I certainly agree. The range and quality of produce available are second to none. It is exciting times and feel that we need to do more, not just to our overseas visitors, but to our neighbouring states.
A voracious appetite to expand our food and wine personalities.
It was a great evening being with friends enjoying the delicious meals, the Boilerhouse Harbourside Restaurant is all things gourmet. It doesn’t matter what occasion you dine here, just make sure you do.
Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park – Manly
North Head Scenic Drive, Manly NSW 2095
T: +61 (02) 9466 1500 | E: H8773@accor.com
Q Station Manly @boilerhouseatq @QSBoilerhouse