It had been a few years since I'd been down to The Boatshed at Woronora. Even though it was the middle of winter and an Arctic like gale was blowing around Sydney, the sun was shining down in the valley where the Woronora River winds through this part of southern Sydney. There are a dozen other diners who share our group's optimism that this hidden away cafe is the spot to evade the bitterly cold winds and have a pleasant lunch by the river.
What's great about The Boatshed is how isolated you feel despite it being located on the edge of suburbia. The 'bush' of the national park is in sight from the jetty to the west while the Woronora RSL dominates the view to the east. On the opposite bank is large a park with kiddies play equipment and BBQs. Various species of ducks and other feathery types swim on by hoping for an easy meal.
There's been a boatshed here since 1946 and it retains its old world charm decorated with all sorts of maritime memorabilia. The menu is chockablock full of light meal and dessert choices. There are homemade breads, muffins, scones, tarts, bagels, croissants and vol-au-vents. Lunch options include frittatas, burgers, sandwiches and toasted Turkish breads with a range of fillings all for around $13.50, or just a cheese on toast for $4.50.
Diner Kate chooses the $9.00 pumpkin soup with sourdough cheese bread. It's a generous serving. It's thick and creamy and after a taste test, I think it's mixed with a fair portion of carrot. Sharing the eggs Benedict with Ms Pam, I was a tad disappointed with the hollandaise sauce which dominated the meal. My gourmet burger consisted of pork, sage, apple and basil, a cashew and parmesan relish which was all served up with various salad ingredients. It looked fairly plain Jane on the plate but with all those ingredients it was unsurprisingly tasty on the palette.
What I was very relieved about was the quality of the coffee. Absolutely hating paying $4.00 for a weak insipid brew, it didn't disappoint me - strong, hot, frothy satisfying. I was the only person tempted to indulge in a dessert and it was the frangipani tart that intrigued me. Ignorant as I obviously am to the lure of frangipani tarts, there was not a frangipani to be seen. It was all gooey raspberry filling in a crumbly pastry shell.
The service is quietly efficient and all our meals arrive fairly quickly and without much fuss. We linger after the meal and enjoy the sunshine and scenery until the sun disappears. This is our cue to pay and depart to confront the harsh reality of life above the Woronora river valley in wild and woolly Sydney.