After closing for six months for a refurb, heritage-listed Barrenjoey House has reopened. The 100-year-old guesthouse and restaurant in Palm Beach in Sydney’s northern beaches was bought by The Boathouse Group (The Boathouse Palm Beach, The Boathouse Hotel Patonga) in June this year, and will be the group’s first restaurant offering.
“Barrenjoey House is a historic Sydney restaurant,” The Boathouse Group’s managing director Andrew Goldsmith said in a statement. “We feel very fortunate to be the new custodians and hope we can do justice to this very special location. Our team are excited to work on a different food concept to our cafes, as well as a different service style.”
The menu offers the sort of fare you’d expect from a seaside diner – that is, a whole lot of seafood – but with a more sophisticated bent than your local fish’n’chip shop. In the bar, that’s oysters with fennel and apple; fried calamari; and kingfish ceviche with fennel, cucumber and jalapeno. On the main menu there are a few pastas, several fish options and all kinds of meat – chicken, lamb, beef and duck – simply done.
The flatbread list (yes, there’s a whole list devoted to it) sounds good enough to continue our love affair with flatbread, recently stoked by the version at Bondi’s Totti’s. There are the classics such as tomato, mozzarella and basil, but then there’s the broccoli with mustard and chilli, the lobster with béchamel, and the cured ham with fig and mozzarella.
The restaurant’s makeover doesn’t stray far from the nautical theme of The Boathouse family’s other venues – most especially the recently opened Boathouse Hotel Patonga, the Central Coast pub that also shut for a mini makeover.
There’s lots of white-painted wood, wicker furniture and exposed timber, with splashes of colour thanks to some pretty cool lampshades and throw cushions. It’s a lighter, brighter and fresher take on the casual chic Barrenjoey House has been doing for the past 100-odd years.