Sunday, June 28, 2009
Another rainy winter's day..what to do? Go to lunch of course! As it was a week day, local was better. My son and I like the natural beauty of our surrounds, and enjoy often the Kuringai Chase National Park (Turramurra or Mt Colah entrances). There are many activities within the National Park, but more recently there has been another attraction, the GALLEY FOODS cafe overlooking the beautiful river at Bobbin Head's award winning Empire Marina. This space has been given a new lease on life with the new owners revamping the space about 6 months ago. The Marina has been slowly revamped over the last couple of years and this eatery has certainly added another element by providing an open, casual atmosphere with interesting menus based on local seafood making it attractive to all ages. On a sunny day, this is a glorious location. On a rainy day, it is equally attractive. The open eatery provides a temporary haven for maverick ducks wandering past, the staff are welcoming and if it is a little brisk, you are welcome to fling one of the warm "throws" over your shoulders provided by the restaurant. The seating allows for inside and covered outdoor seating. If outdoors, you are directly above the water, and nestled amonst the million dollar boats, moored at the marina. Fish swim around the waters edge, and the ducks also entertain with their antics. That atmosphere is peaceful, surrounded by calm, glassy water, high rocky outcrops covered in native bushland. It is a beautiful atmosphere and certainly conducive to good digestion! Now, the menu....to perfectly compliment the surrounds, there is the usual staples of burgers and fish and chips, with coffees from Toby's Estate. Sounds like good "basics" but believe me, even the basics have a little twist, there is nothing ordinary about the food choices. If you would like something a little more differnt try the scallop cerviche with salsa. A beaufifully prepared dish of fresh ingredients, and tangy flavours. The perfect "in between" meal. Not too small to be unsatisfying, and not to heavy for a lunch. It was a delight. My son had the usual bacon role which was served in the hugest damper role I had seen for a long time. It almost matched the size of his head! Not too big to tackle though. With lashings of bbq sauce, it was demolished quicker than you could say "Bobbin Head". Desserts were another delight. Bread and Butter puddings, creme brulee just to name a few regulars. A milk shake and latte later, and we were on our way to pick up the firstborn from school. However, we have solid plans to return to try the seafood linguini, the Mahi Mahi, and other delights on the menu. Apart from the food and the atmosphere, it really needs to be mentioned that the SERVICE has always been easygoing, helpful and genuinely nice. On many occasions we have pulled up on the scooters, kids in tow, for ice creams, and coffees, only to be met with smiles, nice chat, and welcoming attitudes. Equally, for lunch, my 4 year old was given as much attention and time as I was when choosing his bacon roll. None of the "nice" is put on, it is genuine and welcome. Sometimes kids can be a little rattling (and unwelcome) in restaurants, not here. Thus, we will visit many times over the summer and beyond. While the adults sit gazing at the view, the kids can walk around spotting ducks from the marina. One mention should be made, that as it is located in the national park, there is an entry fee of $11 per car to visit. However, yearly passes to all national parks can be purchased for $65 (great for the return visits!). Also, I believe at the moment they don't have a liquor licence, but BYO is allowed, and hopefully they can provide the service in the future. On googling the Galley, it seems the owners have had many a successful venture in the past. Morgan Forbes and Luci Bell. Keep it on your radar and keep it local!