A Travelzoo voucher took us over the Bridge for a harbourside lunch at Sails on Lavender Bay, a fine dining establishment right on the water by McMahons Point ferry wharf. A mere $85 bought us a lush three course lunch for two. How could you not?
It so happened that this visit fell on the same cyclonic winter day where trees were falling on cars and rooves were being torn off buildings, so to say it was a little breezy down by the harbour was an understatement. Warmly tucked inside the bright and airy restaurant, overlooking the frantically-bobbing boats outside, a bottle of Marlborough savvie eased us into the Saturday afternoon. A bit of warm and crusty sourdough and an amuse of delicious mushroom and smoked mozzarella arancini settled my grumbling gut from making any further "feed-me-now" noises.
The special voucher menu consisted of two starters, two mains and two desserts and to make it fair we tried everything. Easy. A nicely thick carrot and cumin soup squiggled with minted yoghurt and a few micro herbs for him, and a decent chunk of freaking beautiful smoked king salmon for me. The fish just melted on the tongue, almost like a confit, with some nice salty bits of dried black olive, sour cream and more of those micro herbs. I ate around the large crunchy sheet of salmon skin so I could savour its intense smoky flavour at the end. Incredible stuff.
The excellence in the food continued on to the pan-fried mulloway where two pieces sat upon creamed leek, some julienned preserved lemon zest and kipflers. My braised wagyu brisket sat as an 8cm tower of melt-in-the-mouth protein surrounded by beluga lentils, savoy cabbage and horseradish. Wowsers.
At this point the midday vino's and warm inside temperature was getting the best of this pair of old wino's, relaxing us so much it was feeling a little like nanna-nap time. Man, I can't turn into a lightweight now. I'm only halfway through my life!
Desserts perked us up a little thanks to a bit of sugar and some stinky cheese. I went for the duo of (unnamed and I-forgot-to-ask) cheese, served up with toasted bread, grissini, crackers, quince jelly and muscatels. As for the cheeses - one was hard and the other was a good stinky blue. The other dish had a bit of a tasty split personality thanks to the melding of vanilla panna cotta topped with strawberry and kiwifruit and a perfectly-formed meringue turret. I gained the crispy-shelled and gooey-centred meringue and even pushed the boundary and tried it with some of the stinky blue cheese. It actually works.
Now, time to pay up and hit the windy streets.Sails on Lavender Bay2 Henry Lawson AvenueMcMahons Point 206002 9955 5998Lunch: Tues-Fri, Sat 12pm-3pmDinner: Mon-Sat 6pm-latewebsite