Sunny day? Check! We head to The Box On The Water at Ettalong Beach for a seafood lunch to end all lunches. We breathe in the salty beach air and feast on an enormous seafood platter, paella, oysters and salads!
It was the last day of our holidays. Mr NQN, Teddy and I were headed back to Sydney while Laura was staying on and switching to a hotel to stay with her parents. So it was the perfect occasion to meet for lunch at The Box On The Water.
We make our way to the restaurant with Teddy in tow. The outdoor tables are all dog friendly and there's the added bonus of being even closer to the water. Sheryl and Charlie are already seated with sunscreen, anti bac and facial mist at the ready as the temperature climbs to 37C/98.6F.
We start with celebratory drinks - I have a Strawberry Moscato cocktail which is sweet and tasty. Laura orders a Bloody Mary which needs a bit more seasoning while Mr NQN orders an Aperol Spritz. Sheryl and Charlie have glasses of sparkling wine.
We start with some oysters. While we would normally go for natural, Sheryl loves Kilpatrick oysters and was intrigued by the Spanish version. These Sydney rocks are topped with finely diced chorizo and bacon with Worcestershire. The topping is tasty although my heart always lies with natural oysters.
My favourite dish of the meal is the citrus cured kingfish as the sauce brings so much luscious flavour to the fish. It's slices of kingfish topped with a delectable lime miso. On top are sliced green chillies and salmon roe.
Ahh the seafood platter! It feeds two but as there are five of us we add another person to it which actually wasn't necessary at all as it is enormous and even between five of us it's like scaling Mount Everest and we can't finish it all. There are fresh local prawns, ceviche, salmon rillettes, white anchovies, oysters, mussels, salt pepper squid, popcorn prawns and beer battered fish and chips. My favourites are the fresh prawns, natural oysters and beer battered fish (flathead) and chips. The ceviche is fresh but needs a tad more seasoning add the salmon rillettes is more roulade than rillettes whereas I adore rillettes so I was hoping for that.
We also ordered the paella which was more greed than need. It has plenty of prawns, mussels, chicken and squid cooked with chorizo, tomato, peppers, peas and saffron rice. The prawns are very tender and not overcooked which I sometimes find with paella and I wish we had more stomach room to appreciate it.
The gem lettuce wedge salad is tasty and fresh with an anchovy dressing and plenty of parmesan shavings.
The potato salad is also tasty and is seasoned with a mixture of sour cream and aioli with shallots and mint.
Normally we love dessert but as the mercury climbs even further we make a deal: if there's granita or sorbet on the menu we will order it but otherwise we will give it a miss (alas not). As we get up to leave Charlie quips, "We will get the big platter next time!".
So tell me Dear Reader, how often do you order the seafood platter? Do you prefer sitting in air conditioning or al fresco on a hot day?
This meal was independently paid for.
The Box On The Water
Ettalong Beach Waterfront Reserve, The Esplanade, Ettalong Beach NSW 2257
Monday to Wednesday 12–3pm
Thursday & Friday 12–8:30pm
Phone: (02) 4339 3369