After closing for six months for a refurb in 2018, heritage-listed Barrenjoey House triumphantly 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 the same year, and is the group’s first restaurant offering.

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 didn’t stray far from the nautical theme of The Boathouse family’s other venues – most especially the Boathouse Hotel Patonga, the Central Coast pub.

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.

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Updated: December 11th, 2020

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