What's January without a road trip or a drive out to a national park for a scenic long lunch? The Shed At Akuna Bay is a brand new eatery attached to the D'Albora marinas. Diners can sit by the boats and order a cocktails with an enormous antipasti platter, fisherman's basket, porchetta with mash or roast chicken with trimmings.
The drive to Akuna Bay was easy-around 50 minutes from our place. Because Akuna Bay is part of the national parks you pay a $12 entry fee which gets you entry and parking and drive down the curvy roads, the views catching our eyes on the left. The Shed is the new eatery and it is open for breakfast and lunch 6 days as well as dinner on Saturday nights.
Jellyfish bob and pulse under the water, the boats sit on the calm waters and the cool sea breeze fans us as take a seat at an outside table by the musician singing and playing his guitar.
It's the last day of holidays for both of us and to celebrate a well rested holiday we order cocktails and food. We toast to Mr NQN fulfilling his aim of reading several books while I fulfilled my aim of eating lots of things (my raison d'être) and sort of relaxing.
You order at the counter and take a wooden numbered pelican to your table. There is also a casual kiosk area and play area for those that want something more casual. Service is very friendly and accommodating.
The drinks are well priced and the Aperol spritz is pretty damn fabulous with just the right a balance of ingredients. The other drink we order is the The Sun and Sand cocktail which is pretty and very drinkable with vodka, blackberry, caramel, passionfruit and pineapple.
The antipasti board comes in two sizes: 50cms and 100cms. And I guess maths was never my strongpoint because I am rather stunned when the 50cm board comes out. "Are you sure this is the 50cm board?" I ask my eyes widening at the size and selection. On the meat board are sliced prosciutto de San Daniele, borgo mortadella, hot sopressa and coppa with crunchy breadsticks. Then another board features spinach and ricotta arancini, calamari fritti, warm garlic olives, grilled bread, grilled eggplant, grilled yellow capsicum with herbs and olive oil as well as two dips: a hummus and a fabulously spicy muhammara. There's no way that we can finish it and I wish we had brought some friends along with us to share this with. My favourites are the muhamarra, arancini, calamari fritti, grilled vegetables and meats but really it's such a delicious and generously portioned selection that you could conceivably just feast on this if there were two of you.
The main event and the signature dish we are told is the hormone free, pasture raised chicken. We order the half chicken serve that comes with a herby stuffing, rosemary roasted potatoes, preserved lemon, caper sauce and a rocket and parmesan salad. The chicken has a very crispy skin and succulent meat underneath the skin and goes well with the buttery caper sauce with a hint of tarragon in it.
The rotisserie baked pork belly roll or porchetta comes out on a cast iron skillet, a fat round of soft meat with an edge of wonderfully crunchy crackling. There is also gravy, mustard and Paris mashed potato. It's rich and indulgent but that's what you want when you order porchetta.
We had to try a couple of desserts because we had decided that because we'd be back home so late this afternoon that this lunch would also be dinner. The classic tiramisu comes out as an individual serve in a bowl. It's soft, rich and creamy with plenty of layers of mascarpone, biscuits, coffee and chocolate.
We also order the Ciambella or Italian style donuts. These are freshly fried and puffy and come five to a serve. They're served with a burnt caramel sauce injected into them and they're piping hot and satisfying. And before I know it Mr NQN has polished off four of these!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you tend to go on little road trips during January? Did you do anything exciting over your Christmas vacation? Did you read a good books or watch anything interesting?
This meal was independently paid for.
And Dear Readers, yesterday I asked you a question about two truths and one lie about me and I promised to tell you which one of the three statements was a lie so here goes:
i) I thought the "Flying fruit fly circus" involved actual fruit flies. TRUTH. Yep I really thought that fruit flies were involved in the circus! I made up all sorts of scenarios with microscopes being projected up into a big top tent. And I only found out last year that they were kids!
ii) I have seen a dead body in real life. LIE. Call me a murderino but I have such a morbid fascination with this whole topic.
iii) My number one fear is being alone. TRUTH. I just love being around people a lot!
Shed At Akuna Bay
Summer trading hours
Monday to Thursday: 8am till 3pm
Friday to Saturday 8am – 8pm
Sunday 8am – 5pm Live Music from 12pm