I just don't understand why there are so few restaurants located on the Georges River. It is a mystery that I've yet to solve. The Georges might not have a reputation of being the most beautiful river in Australia, but gee, there are some rather attractive stretches. So I was happy finding Aquarius Seafood at Georges Hall a few years ago. I've dined there a few times over the years but this occasion was to celebrative an important birthday. Mine. I had dreams of an indulgent meal and so we set off with some friends and family to plunder the seas.
The nautically themed Aquarius is nicely located overlooking the river on Rabaul Road. It is situated at the end of a long stretch of bicycle track and casuarina lined river along Henry Lawson Drive.
At lunchtime on this hot March Sunday, most of its tables are occupied and its cool interiors are a pleasant escape from the muggy conditions. I find it a little on the noisy side with all the chatter and the unnecessary background music that is not so background.
Scanning the menu and observing some other diners, our table confers and agrees to share the Aquarius' signature Seafood Banquet ($155.00) amongst three of us. We are assured that we won't run out of food!
When this tower of hot and cold seafood plates arrives, photos are taken to commemorate the occasion. It's an impressive sight. We've chosen the Garfish Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($35.00) to accompany the meal (good choice) and we commence to empty our tower of its sumptuous seafood delights.
The whole lobster with mornay sauce goes first. No one wants to miss out on their share just in case one of us succumbs to unconscious greed. The four large grilled prawns and the grilled Balmain bug are impressive creatures as are the pieces of blue crab. The cold fresh oysters, prawns, scallops balance out the scrumptious salt and pepper calamari and grilled octopus. The seafood is accompanied by a generous serving of chips, green salad and finally some dipping sauces and wedges of lemon.
Plenty of room for a dessert, as always. A crunchy Brandy Snap Basket filled with fresh strawberries and passionfruit coulis and vanilla bean ice cream is the popular choice. The $12.00 Trifle (chocolate sponge cake with strawberries, raspberry sauce and chocolate custard) is no match for the work of art that is the Brandy Snap.
I watch the passing river traffic while sipping on a macchiato. Jet ski riders zip by at a frightening speed of knots along with boats of various sizes and speeds. Yes, sure it's not the Danube, but for an Australian River, I'll take the Georges any day.