Situated right alongside beautiful Balmoral beach is The Bathers' Pavilion - a restaurant where owner and chef Serge Dansereau offers fresh Australian produce with a French twist and a stunning backdrop to match. There is also a cafe on the side which offers a more casual dining setting.
The most interesting dish of the whole menu was the entree that followed. Guests are presented with a soup platter that had a strange combination of a ball of avocado, tomato seeds and some crab meat. The waiter would then pour cold almond milk into the dish. To our surprise the combination of these flavours was extremely well matched, despite the initial appearance of the "cold soup" dish.
Queensland spanner crab with smoked almond milk, avocado, tomato hearts and chervil
Then the next two mains became strong competitors for best dish out of the whole degustation. The duck was nicely paired with a lightly salty eel cream balanced out by the baby turnips. It's competitor would be the lamb dish that was a combination of perfect texture and an optimum dose of garlic, topped off with fresh crunchy greens.
Duck magret with baby turnips and almond cranberries, dandelion leaf, smoked eel cream
Diners who aren't fans of strong cheeses may not particularly like the next "dessert" dish. Cheese connoisseurs would be aware that Delice de Bourgogne is a French cow's milk cheese with a pungent aroma. Tasting it for the very first time I would describe it as very salty with the edginess of blue cheese. The honey jelly on the side was meant to balance out the rich twang from the cheese, but also tasted great just on it's own.
Delice de Bourgogne with honey jelly, hazelnuts, parsnip and rosemary
To end we have a dessert that is sure to win the hearts of conventional diners who enjoy the combination of fruity flavours with rich chocolate. Plated artistically, this was a delicious finish to a degustation with a few surprises along the way! This dish also had the surprising inclusion of a roasted pepper sauce which is subtle but an interesting mix to the other options to pair with the chocolate.
Chocolate croquant with raspberry and roast pepper sorbet, orange and passionfruit curd
All in all a lovely fine dining experience with a great view and fresh sea breeze. Perfect for a lazy weekend and when you feel up to trying something fresh and different! Visit the beach before or after!