Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sydney, Australia: A taste of Watsons Bay

One of our favorite things to do each of the six days we stayed at Sydney’s Circular Quay was to hop one of those fantastic ferries headquartered there and head out to explore other small hamlets that dotted the coastline.
 
DSCF0678
Sydney, Australia's Circular Quay

Watsons Bay, a suburb of Sydney, just 11 miles away, was our Sunday lunch destination because a few months ago we’d read a murder mystery novel, The Bat, by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo. One of its scenes was set in Doyles, a restaurant operated since 1885 on Watsons Bay beach. It sounded worth a visit if we had the opportunity during our stay.

[Travel Tip: We have visited some interesting places in our travels and many of them we’ve learned about by reading novels set in those destinations. We follow up with a bit of research before the trip and then figure out how to include them in the itinerary. We don’t rely solely on travel guides.]

DSCF1751

Our decision to go there, however, on that Sunday was rather spur of the moment. After arriving at the restaurant, we realized that we were lucky to get in to this in this beachfront, family-owned and operated (for five generations) eatery even though it has expansive indoor and outdoor seating areas.  

DSCF1758
Doyles was one happening spot on Sunday

It seemed most of the passengers on the ferry were headed to the same place that we were – Doyles is ‘the place’ to go on a Sunday, not just for tourists like ourselves but for Sydney-ites as well. Those in the know were able to go straight to the ‘with reservations’ line whle we joined a short line of others in the ‘without’ line.

We each ordered a bowl of their seafood chowder and we knew we were in for a treat when the waiter came and set up the tools for each of us to use when consuming it. “We put seafood in our chowder. You will need to eat it,” he explained.

DSCF1753

Soon after, he brought the bottled water we’d ordered as well as a finger bowl with lemon-scented water in which to rinse our fingers as we ate our chowder and another large bowl for the emptied shells. These were bowls – not dainty dishes.

DSCF1754

The bowl of chowder at $18.50AUD,(then about the same in US$$) was not inexpensive, although it was one of the least expensive items on the menu. But, was indeed full of seafood including mussels, lobster, scallops, shrimp and crab.

DSCF1755

The small loaf of sour dough bread (pictured below) that came as a side, and cost an additional $7.50AUD.

DSCF1756

It was a delicious and filling lunch in a beautiful setting ( from some areas of the restaurant you could see the Sydney skyline off in the distance – tables in those areas had been reserved, by the way).

So we agreed that while paying $44.50 was more than we would normally pay for an alcohol-free lunch, it had been worth it.  You can image our surprise when the bill arrived at the table and we found that an additional $5 per person had been added as the ‘adult weekend surcharge’ bringing our bill to $54.50. 

Hmmm. . .that ‘ding’ left just a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Have you ever paid a restaurant 'weekend surcharge?

If You Go:

Ferries regularly depart Sydney’s Circular Quay for Watsons Bay. It is also accessible by water taxi or bus.

Map picture
Doyles Restaurant is located at:
11 Marine Parade, Watsons Bay, Sydney
phone: (02) 9337 2007 Web: http://www.doyles.com.au  
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, closed Christmas Day.

The restaurant’s website offers a link to Alice Doyles’ recipes; recipes like:

 Do Drop in Salmon Spread
Fry sliced onions gently in a little butter until soft, mix in sugar.
Drain salmon, reserving liquid in case needed. Mash salmon, add onions and all other ingredients together. Make the spread very moist -if it seems too dry, add some of the juice from the salmon.
Serve with potato crisps or savoury biscuits. Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 large brown onions, fine sliced
  • butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large can red salmon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch basil
  • few drops Tabasco
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
 
We’ll be adding this post to the Foodie Tuesday linkup over at Inside Journeys, so head that direction then and be sure to come back here for Travel Tip Tuesday when we have more money saving updates for you!.








6 comments:

  1. Weekend surcharge - never heard of it. But, the food did look and sound yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was yummy and most filling and yes, we'd likely go back but maybe we'd try a weekday. . .maybe they give discounts on those days. . .lol!

      Delete
  2. Hi Jackie, it's always interesting to visit places that you learned from a book. Except for that weekend surcharge damper, Watson seemed like worth a visit. The seafood chowder looks scrumptious. Have not see a chowder with that much seafood. Those tools looked like you were in for a seafood battle!
    Back to the weekend surcharge, I don't remember having that extra charge when we were in Sydney. It made me curious and I looked it up. One article I found said that weekend surcharge is illegal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A most interesting discovery you made there! We ate twice at other places on the weekend and didn't have that charge. . .so I suspect its fame and popularity allows the charge to happen. I hadn't thought of looking it up, thanks for doing that!

      Delete
  3. That's some bowl of chowder. Looks absolutely yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmm, never heard of a weekend surcharge. Interesting. Wonder if it's because they've been around for so long.
    Love the implements, er flatware. They look pretty sturdy, too bad you couldn't have taken them with you - for the weekend surcharge.

    Thanks for linking up this week, Jackie, and for pointing out the issue with the link.

    ReplyDelete

Glad you stopped by today and took the time to leave a note. Hope we'll hear from you often!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...