The Sailor's Club has been on my MUST-VISIT list since its opening, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I heard at work that this year, our Christmas Lunch was to be held here. I believe I was one of the first to reach my arms up and give the jump of approval. On the morning of, it was slightly raining and I was so upset because let's face it, lunch at Rose Bay when the weather is bad is well...a waste. The weather Gods must've heard my desperate plea because as we made our way to the restaurant, the gloomy clouds disappeared and suddenly it was all blue skies and sunshine again! :)
Just look at this place! Upon entry, I was already impressed. The restaurant space itself was smaller than expected but the interiors were simply amazing. Modern and sharp with a touch of coziness. Glass windows surrounded the place to showcase the beautiful blue waters of Rose Bay whilst the bold pops of canary yellow added brightness and vibrancy to the ambience. The blues and yellows proved to be a gorgeous contrast in colour hues.
Both my colleague and I agreed that this was the ideal place for a "semi-formal lunch date" - provided the weather is on your side that is.
Seriously, how could anyone be in a bad mood when you have a view like this? Even me, the eternal pessimist couldn't help but feel all bubbly and cheery as I sat down.
The atmosphere and vibe here is very relaxed, making it the perfect place for end of year celebrations!
What's interesting to note is that at The Sailors Club, for group dining, you can either opt for 2 courses or 3 courses. We went with the former choice and everyone on the table debated over the ideal combination - was it entree with dessert, main with dessert or...2 desserts? Choice is all yours!
To kickstart the festivities, Sparkling Water was distributed around the table in these gorgeous Antipodes Glass Bottles whilst some bubbly (Pinot Grigio to be exact) also made its presence known, to everyone's delight I believe. The wine was refreshingly crisp and delicious. It was also the first time I drank wine in a glass cup as opposed to a wine glass.
The Pan Roasted Hapuka, Celeriac Puree, Zucchini Flower, Pistachio and Burnt Butter was my main choice for the day. The fish itself was cooked beautifully - the outer edges formed a nice crisp whilst the innards were tender and delicate. The zucchini flower base tasted very similar to mash whilst the burnt butter added creaminess to the taste palette.
However I did realise after taking my first bite that there was quite a hint of celery in the flavours - which wasn't too bad considering I still finished the whole dish. It was quite subtle but nonetheless for a celery hater like me, I probably should've noted that before ordering.
My lovely colleague ordered the Pan Roasted Chicken Breast, Confit of Leek, Grapes, Tarragon Jus - I didn't get to try it but she did seem to thoroughly enjoy her dish! Come to think of it maybe ordering chicken was a wise idea as it would've been more substantial than the fish.
You know I'm not a lamb lover but my other lovely colleague allowed me to take a snap of her Oven Roasted Lamb Rump, Spring Vegetables, Rosemary Jus - which looked quite good also!
Some lovely sides of Roasted Chat Potatoes ($10), Baby Roma Tomatoes in Balsamic ($10) and Leaf Salad ($8) circulated the table as nice additions to our mains.
Dessert time...honestly I just want to say that as soon as I took my first bite, I regretted not ordering both my courses as desserts. The Summer Crumble, Compressed Rhubarb, Aerated Custard, Strawberry Cream Cheese Ice Cream was one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted in my life. Big claim I know but worthy of it completely.
Texture wise, this was a party in the mouth! From the crumbly bits of the cheese cake to the sweet bits of strawberry cream cheese ice cream that melted instantenously, this dessert was not overly sweet but just enough to leave you craving for more. Definitely a must-order for the girls. So pretty and delicious!
My lovely colleague (the one who ordered the chicken and also who sat next to me) was very sympathatic of my indecision prior to the meal - I couldn't decide which dessert to order! Typical dilemma of mine. So she suggested we order two different things each and try both. Seriously clever girl.
Her order of The Sailor's Club Tiramisu did not pale in comparison to my crumble at all. In fact it was very debatable amongst the table that day as to which dessert was more superior. Let's just say this tiramisu changed my life completely. The deconstructed tiramisu came in smokes (made from liquid nitrogen presumably) and caused a wave of ooohs and ahhs amongst the crowd. Again the textural combinations at play in this dessert was incredible. Be it the brownie-like fudge pieces mixed with the crunchy crumble and cream or the random pops of coffee-scented hints, this plate of goodness was heavenly divine.
Overall the consensus amongst almost everyone that day was - we should have all ordered 2 courses of desserts! Whilst the mains were lovely, the hero of the show was definitely the sweet courses. They were probably 2 of the best desserts I've ever had - definitely hitting the top 5 list of the year.
Apart from the delicious food we were lucky enough to try out, it was genuinely a beautiful day for a great end of year celebration with the team. We all got to catch up and chat whilst relaxing amongst the stunning views of Rose Bay. What more could you ask for?
Apart from the dining space, there's also a lounge-like area near the bar. Seriously whoever did the decor here - 10 thumbs up! The place looks fantastic.
I highly recommend trying out The Sailors Club and it's definitely a lunch place hot spot. It can get a little noisy but as I mentioned before, it's almost impossible to be in a bad mood here. Unless it's raining...:P Will definitely schedule a revisit sometime in the summer break.
For those of you who are interested to know, The Sailor's Club was in fact inspired by the luxurious waterside lifestyle that was famously photographed by Slim Aarons, coupled by the colourful frivolity of 1960's Palm Springs. The result? A fresh and innovative dining experience. Couldn't agree more!
The Sailor's Club
594 New South Head Road
Rose Bay Sydney NSW 2029
02 9327 6561