Delightfully positioned literally over river on Marine Drive, Tea Gardens Boatshed Restaurant has a strong new chef and a sassy feel to its light interior and central bar (with barrista pumping almost all day,7 days a week) before one even sets foot on almost-toes-in-water verandahs on two sides. You can find a table to look west up the river, or across to its northern shore.
It's a happy place.. you know that level of chat you wait for when you are giving a party at home? A pleasant humm? Owners Clarrie and Lynn Davidson have achieved that pleasing note from breakfast, brunch, lunch through to dinner. It reminds me of sitting in similarly delightful spots at Noosa Heads and Watego Beach. So Australian, so charming. Cuisine so, so unexpected in such a small village as Tea Gardens.
The Berliner and I rocked into town recently and ate there all weekend. Lunch first.. succulent salt and pepper squid, as good if not better than any I have ever tasted. Himself had the tempura prawns.. I tried those too and am unable to tell you which was the most enjoyable. So fresh and light,
We returned at twilight for a special, leisurely degustation dinner on the western verandah. The night breeze just perfect. It was a wonderful mix of enthusiastic locals and odd bods visiting like us. Whilst all dishes were well executed and delicious, my favourite was the dessert. Owner Clarrie Davidson had matched the wines brilliantly and has a surprisingly excellent list.
The place was full to the gunnels. Happy, happy diners.
There was some discussion whether we'd manage breakfast (late) the following day - thank goodness we did. The ambience different again, the place humming again, and breakfasts just bloody brilliant. Had me looking for a holiday cottage for Easter I had such a good time. Yep, Clarrie's Tea Garden Boatshed Restaurant ( which is open literally all day for snacks, coffee too) is Centreville Central Coast for me. And you can come by boat as mariners in the know do! It will be Clarrie tying the ropes for you, with that big happy grin of his. I want to know who his sea food supplier is, so fresh! I'll go back and twist his arm over a bucket of prawns.
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