It’s almost impossible to believe that serene Akuna Bay is just one hour north of Sydney’s CBD. Its Aboriginal name, “flowing water”, couldn’t be a more fitting description for this tiny, verdant inlet dotted with boats and yachts on the Hawkesbury River in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Shed is right there on the water. It’s an eatery, bar and general store at the D'Albora Marina. There’s dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, otherwise it serves all-day breakfast and lunch, and a long list of cocktails and wines. Grab one of the tables under the blue umbrellas (next to the oversized chess board) and order a jug of vodka with fresh watermelon juice and lime (it’s $42, or $11 a glass).
“For Sunday lunch the suckling pig is spit-roasted; it’s moist, crispy and fatty,” says Julien Pouteau, the general manager of food and beverage. “There’s also an antipasti board by the metre or half metre.”
The smaller size is impressive enough; it comes with arancini, cured meats, olives and fried calamari.
It makes sense seafood features on the Shed menu – the outdoor tables and chairs are right on the water’s edge. The fisherman’s basket is generous and involves chilli and garlic prawns, salt and pepper calamari, golden beer-battered barramundi, and stacks of chips. Those prawns are also split and grilled and served with pasta, mussels, pipis and a bisque.
For a group there are chickens cooked on the rotisserie and served as a half or full bird, and then delivered to the table with shoestring fries and a cos, pickled grape, celery and green olive salad.