You can take a boy out of the Inner West, but you can’t take the Inner West out of the boy.
I thought I had it all planned. Sunday morning, cloudless skies, a perfect day for a #deckhousebrunch and what better way to get to Deckhouse than by water? I decided to take a ferry from Circular Quay past all those waterfront mansions one can only dream about; past the Bridge, past Balmain & Birchgrove and as I’m checking my tweets I look up to see a ferry wharf ending with “wich.” I jump off and just as I realise I’m at Greenwich, not Woolwich, I run back to the departing ferry about to leap back on when I’m told to back off. I would have made the jump had he let me. I used to always win long-jump as a teenager dammit!
“Next ferry is in an hour” I’m told. I already knew that, so as I watch my ride bob away to Woolwich I look across the 500 metres of harbour and contemplate swimming for a silly second. I call two water taxi companies. Nothing. Then a cab comes to my rescue. Nice one, and I made it a little early with a pretty ride through Hunters Hill, clearly home to a few of Sydney’s stepford wives.
Deckhouse is one of those harbourside places that just make you fall in love with this town all over again. Sparkling water, swaying gum trees and sweeping views over the sprawling city skyline. Our brunch wasn’t your average kind of brunch, it was a Social Media Brunch and when my name was on the invite, I was there.
Deckhouse is the latest addition to the family-run Dedes empire, built on the historic Woolwich Dock on the same site as a former wharfies mess hall where remnants of the previous structure have been incorporated into the modern design of the current building. After a brief chat with managing director Con Dedes I got a sense of his passion with this relatively new set-up at the still-functioning Woolwich dry-dock.
It appears just as much pride comes from head chef Samantha Lockery that previously laboured it out at such places as Wockpool, Bathers Pavilion and Billy Kwong. Her simple and clean approach to food is just what Deckhouse needs and it’s good to know that she’s more interested in trustworthy providores rather than price-competitive ones.
Our first brunch offerings, after a few sloshes on icy Jansz Cuvée, were a to-die-for field mushroom & fetta tart with a very contrasting homemade granola with berry compote, yoghurt and strawberries. The granola was beyond delicious and I could almost feel my body saying thanks for something that it was well-overdue for. I try to balance out my foods but somehow the nutritious and healthy gets the runt end of the stick.
Salads of haloumi, smoked apple & olives – prawn, peach & peri peri as well as soft-shell crab, pickled cucumber & radish march their way onto our private super-heated deck and each one of them is mighty fine. I couldn’t put my finger on it but the favourite teetered between the crab and the prawns.
We’re informed of a certain someone that comes into Deckhouse every now and again bearing family favourites for the team running the show. This person would be YaYa, Cons’ mother, that just couldn’t help herself when she found out a bunch of us were descending onto her sons restaurant. God love her! She put together a few (bloody tasty) traditional Greek treats for all of us to try.
Efxaristo YaYa! I’m inviting myself over to learn a few things!
Not that we needed anymore food, but, boxes of fish & chunky chips came sauntering our way. I reckon most of us shared a box between two and not that Deckhouse wants to be known for fish & chips, it recently made 4th place in a vote for the best in Sydney. Yup, it was pretty good and next time I’ll remember to get off at the correct ferry stop.