The Cowrie is a well-chosen name for this award-winning restaurant. It has an interesting history and like many businesses, it grew like topsy. It opened over 40 years ago as a mixed business. The Central Coast has been a popular getaway place for holidaymakers. Camping was the fashion in the forties and fifties. As take away foods grew in popularity, the Cowrie began serving the humble fish and chips and then graduated into a sit-down seafood restaurant. Today it is one of the best fine dining places in the area.
I arrived mid-morning and was greeted with the mouth-watering smell of the tart bases being prepared by the sweet's chef for the day's desserts. Soft music, crisp white table clothes and sparkling glassware ready for lunch. Today a party of 30 have booked one of the rooms for a birthday celebration. As Sydney becomes faster and more congested, more families are moving to the Central Coast to take advantage of the more leisurely pace of living. Fine dining is what many are used to and demand.
The decor is unassuming and sophisticated as is the service. So to minimise noise, the floor is carpeted. All this is great but one of the outstanding features of The Cowrie is the view from the large picture windows facing Terrigal beach.
Grant Lawrence is my host today. He started working at the restaurant 7 years ago. He loved the place so much, he bought it. Grant started as a chef over 30 years ago in Sydney and worked in many famous restaurants. He has travelled the world and delayed his travels to work in America for a few years. The restaurant has been awarded the Australian Wine List of the Year more than once, which Grant takes great pride in. Wines suggestions, both local and imported, are listed with most dishes, which I found most helpful.
I have visited the restaurant for both lunch and dinner. For lunch, I chose the two course deal and a glass of wine for $49. Always eager to try standard dishes prepared in a new way, I had the roast duck with parsnip, red cabbage and kale. For dessert, I had Baileys Parfait, sorbet, pears and figs.
For dinner [not the same day], I shared the famous seafood platter for two. Both meals left me wanting to return for more in the future.
Special days are catered for at The Cowrie. Grant has prepared a special luncheon to celebrate the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday 6th November. Then there is Christmas, New Year's Eve, my birthday, your birthday and going to the Cowrie for no particular reason at all - just great food.