Monday, April 6, 2015
Restaurant Review: The River Moruya
The NSW South Coast is known for its gorgeous beaches and stunning bush land, however it is also home to a great foodie scene. There are farmers markets and gourmet food producers along with a host of fantastic restaurants.
The River is located in Moruya. As the name implies, the smallish restaurant looks out over the Moruya River which gives it a gorgeous view for lunches or to watch the sun set. They offer relaxed fine dining with some great lunch specials if you are there during the week. But the real treat is the first Friday of each month when they hold their local produce dinner. This 4 course set menu is built around the local produce and offers the very best of the very freshest at any point in time.
As luck would have it, the first Friday in April was Good Friday, so we got to enjoy a delicious seafood themed dinner.
The meal kicked off with a celeriac and saffron veloute with a crispy oyster. The veloute was really delicious, light and frothy but full flavoured. We had a few non-oyster lovers at the table but with its batter it became more a textural sensation of crisp against creamy with only a hint of oyster flavour.
The second course was our pick of the night. Cured tuna with pickled carrots, beetroot puree and smoked Blue Eye beignets. The tuna was absolutely melt in the mouth delicious and contrasted fantastically with the acidic picked carrots and beetroot puree. The blue eye beignets added a slightly more fishy note again which just added a perfectly complimentary layer to the dish.
Main was pan fried Blue Eye with garlic mashed potatoes, burre cafe de paris and a champagne veloute. I'm super glad we ordered a side of fries, not because we needed them but because they tasted amazing dipped in the sauce. The cod itself was perfectly cooked, the mash delectable and the whole dish super rich and creamy. In fact it was ever so slightly too rich and creamy as it defeated the ladies at the table, none of us quite managed to finish although that may be because we had dessert in mind.
Dessert was a vanilla cream, pear sorbet, salted caramel, brioche crumbs and fresh pear. The salted caramel let this dish down. It appeared like a sauce but had set into an extremely chewy toffee that was both difficult to spoon up and eat. It was also over salted, although that may just have been from how long it was in your mouth as you chewed and chewed it. But the sorbet was fresh and refreshing, the pear and brioche added great texture and the vanilla cream silky and indulgent so we mostly just left the caramel and enjoyed the rest.
As some of you know, S does not eat seafood. The River coped beautifully substituting the oyster in the first dish with crumbed deep fried goats cheese, the second dish based around a stuffed zucchini flower and he had some truly delicious lamb for his main. I had a mouthful and truthfully despite how much I loved the fish, I had a bit of food envy.
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending a visit to The River. Try it for a lazy lunch or a delicious dinner and I'm sure you will not be disappointed.
16b Church Street