Greetings from the treehouse.
As I explained in the last episode, some very generous friends gave Strop and I gift vouchers for local eateries when we moved to the south coast. The last of these was for Saltwater Café, a little stand alone fish and chip joint perched above the waters of the boat harbour in the middle of Bermagui.
We had already sampled their wares a couple of times, mostly sitting at the tables in the nearby park, watching the boats and other harbour goings on, and fighting off the gulls. The setting is fantastic, and the fish and chips are a match.
For this special voucher-powered visit, we decided to try the dining-in experience instead. We went for lunch and found a table out on the balcony, so we would still be in the fresh air. The café part of Saltwater doesn’t seem to get the same lunchtime queuing action as the takeaway window. There were only two other couples there the day we went.
We decided to maximise the value of our voucher by trying to sample as wide a variety of offerings as possible. So we ordered the Seafood Platter, however as Strop is a stickler for healthy eating, lifestyles, we opted for grilled instead of battered. This last-minute lurch away from my usual cholesterol-charged dining tendencies put us in line for an unexpected treat. When our enormous platter arrived, its foundation layer was made up of enormous yellowfin tuna steaks. I imagine that this is subject to seasonal variation, but we were very impressed. While Saltwater Café is primarily a takeaway operation, it obviously makes great use of the local catch, and they decided that a grilled platter should make use of the best grilling fish they had. It was very terrific, but a little more generous than even we could cope with.
On top of the tuna there were plenty of other treats. The oysters came in two styles – natural and with grilled cheese. Now, the whole grilled oyster thing can be controversial, and I admit it seems a bit weird to me, but then others argue that eating oysters any way is weird. In any case, I for one am happy to eat them any way someone is willing to prepare them. The prawns came two ways too: grilled and cold. There were also grilled scallops and a pile of calamari. Plus chips and salad for the vegetarians.
It was a feast, but we had left some room for an after-lunch gelato, and walked away with a takeaway box jammed with leftover tuna, and a surprising amount of dignity.
The aptly named Gelato Clinic is in the new boat harbour complex, within an easy cast of Saltwater Café. We have always been impressed by the unusual and delicious flavours this joint produces. My favourite so far is coffee and cardamon.
So now all our vouchers have been redeemed, and I am very happy to report that there is no danger of us starving down here, so far from the bright lights of King Street.