Sydney-sider who loves writing about food, art, events and life in general.
Published February 19th 2018
Rae's on Wategos for seafood with a view
Just a short walk away from stunning Wategos beach in Byron Bay is a seafood restaurant which is almost as beautiful as the beach beside it. Rae's is unique, in that it is a luxurious boutique hotel, restaurant and spa - all in one. Thankfully, you're free to make a booking at the restaurant even if you're not a guest at the hotel - which is good news for everyone.
Don't expect your average seafood restaurant (though you probably weren't) because Rae's is a real fine dining experience. It's the kind of place where you feel as though you might rub shoulders with a celebrity on the way out the door, and it's certainly possible - considering the popularity of Byron Bay among the rich and the famous; That's no reason to visit, though. You might be attracted to Rae's initially because of the beautiful decor, but you'll stay (and come back) because of the wonderful food and service.
Before the meals we ordered arrived, we were treated to some complimentary seafood bites. These were a sort of cracker with some blue caviar and little pieces of seafood and garnish on top. They were wonderful. You might be surprised that something so small can hit hard so hard with flavour, but these little bites did just that.
At Rae's, you might find yourself most impressed with the simplest dishes. One of my favourite parts of the meal was the 'chargrilled ciabatta & cultured butter.' That's right - just bread and butter. You might be amazed by just how much the quality of the ingredients shine through in the simple dishes at Rae's. That's not to say that the larger plates weren't excellent too, but the bread and butter really was too good not to mention.
After the starters, you'll want to try some seafood. The 'Moreton Bay bug raviolo & chargrilled bug' (yes, raviolo means one giant ravioli) was an incredible dish. The seafood was cooked perfectly, and the flavours complemented each other brilliantly. Accompaniments we tried were the shoestring fries and the Caprese salad - both lovely, but the stars of the meal were definitely the bread and the bugs.
It's hard to fault this stunning spot at Wategos, and you need not try. Just visit. From the moment you walk in (and inevitably snap a shot for Instagram) you'll feel like you're in the lap of luxury, and you might not want to leave. When you inevitably do have to pay the bill and leave the restaurant (unless you're staying at the hotel) - Wategos Beach is right nearby, and it's the perfect picturesque place to walk off your meal.