My Mom is in town and it was time to take her out for a ‘ touristy dinner’. You know the one I am talking about…when you put yourself in holiday mode and book the table at a restaurant that you wouldn’t normally go to as a local. Think a little bit fancy, crisp white linen and china, staff dressed in standard black bottoms & white top and food presented with flare and perfection. When you live in a beautiful part of the world, there are certainly businesses that focus on capturing the tourist dollar. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s great for the local economy but it generally means these establishments are more expensive than the average punter is going to spend on a weekly dinner out. For a local, these might be ‘special occasion’ venues and there are certainly several restaurants that would easily fit this mould in Manly. So when it came down to deciding which venue we would wine & dine my Mom at, I remembered Whitewater was on First Table‘s roster. Whitewater has the beach front location, crisp but classic interior & a modern Australian menu, it was the perfect combination for our ‘touristy dinner’ with our international visitor. Plus, not only would we get 50% off our meal but we would be ticking another eatery off our list and one that we might not have made it to in awhile as just the two of us with baby in tow.
Whitewater calls itself ‘Manly’s fresh dining experience‘ and is located along Manly’s beach front. The white interiors reflect the ‘fresh’ vibe and the tiered seating layout capitalise on the ocean view beautifully. The menu offers thirteen ‘starters’, seven dishes ‘from the sea’, seven dishes ‘from the grill’, five dishes from ‘pasta & risotto’ and five ‘sides’ to choose from.
We decided on two side dishes of:
Duck Spring Rolls
White snow peas and bean sprouts served with plum hoi-sin sauce and garnish salad
Oriental Style Sashimi Salmon Salad
Shio-Koji oriental dressing, flying fish roe, wasabi avocado, bean sprouts, mint, coriander,green chilli and fried dumpling skins
We encouraged Mom to go for the Barra…a delicious Australian fish that would be new for her and perfect for an international visitor.
Pan roasted and sake steamed fillet with a beetroot and parmesan risotto served with tofu wasabi dip and balsamic glaze.
The Hubby couldn’t say no to yet another male classic dish, the surf & turf.
The Surf & Turf
250g chargrilled and served with two king prawns, grilled asparagus and our famous sauce served with baby grilled onions and a choice of fried taro potatoes, chips or a fresh garden salad
And I was smitten by the Tuna main:
Grilled marinated tuna steak in a wasabi, yuzu and soy oil served with toasted noodles, chopped edamame soybean hummus, fried quinoa and chopped shibaszuke
The meals were beautifully and professionally presented on crisp white plates as we anticipated. The salad garnish that came with the duck spring rolls was a bit over the top and the Hubby was confused why it was there…I think he is still confused. Ha! After the spring rolls were dished out, the plate looked like we hadn’t touched it. However, Mom seemed to eat all the salad garnish to our amusement. Goes to show that different things suit different people but ultimately I was glad the food didn’t go to waste. I wasn’t loving the duck spring rolls though, the texture didn’t work for me. Whereas the Salmon Salad was the starter I kept angling for but would have liked more salmon to go with the large dumpling skins that were so moreish.
My Tuna main was very palatable and everything on my plate worked really well together. Mom loved her Barra main and had paired it with a crisp glass of white wine too, the perfect combo. It was the first time she had tasted Barramundi, and she said it was fresh, flavourful and cooked to perfection and certainly did not disappoint. Although, I quote, if she had to find fault, ‘the potato puffs did not keep pace with the dish and were a bit bland and uninteresting.” Ha! I think Mom likes to do reviews, te he he. However, looking at the menu description of her meal…potatoes were not even listed? Hmmmm?? The Hubby was envious of both our meals and gave us the top honours of the night in selecting the better dishes. His surf & turf left a little bit to be desired, it did not have the flavour to inspire him and the prawns didn’t pop.
Overall, the meal was a semi-success and I did feel like I was away on holidays with my Mom and little family. Interestingly to note, that even though we were a First Table booking, we were not the first table there. The restaurant buzz continued to increase with more diners being seated throughout our meal which only enhanced the lovely vibe that was already present when we arrived. Whitewater is your typical ‘fancy dinner out’ that you can find at any destination or vacation locations around the world, if you know what I mean. I did enjoy my experience at Whitewater, the atmosphere was relaxing but classy and sophisticated too and Mom and I had a chance to sit back, chat and admire the beach scene as dusk set in and smile at the antics of the Hubby & bubba while they chased seagulls on the beach front path between courses. Our service was a bit impersonal but the host did come over in the end to check that we had enjoyed our meal, which was a nice touch for my Mom especially. Whitewater doesn’t have that charm that would make us come back for every special occasion meal or every International guest visits. But for this occasion, everything that Whitewater has going for it lined up and it was the perfect setting and menu to take my Mom out for our fancy dinner…or should I say, she took us out and treated…Thanks Mom!