The Breakwater: The Quay to Quality
We here at Blue Cow are fortunate to work with some of the finest restaurants, cafes, bars, breweries, vineyards and home kitchens throughout the country. As part of this series, we will be exploring and speaking with some of our favourites, to find out a little more about their history, what sets them apart, and the produce that inspires them.
A short jaunt along the sunbleached wooden boardwalk, at the end of the yacht-lined Sorrento Quay in Hillarys, you’ll find the The Breakwater. The effortlessly cool bar and restaurant has long been a destination for sunset watching and slowing down over a long Sunday lunch. In fact, The Breakwater combines three different public dining experiences (as well as Akoya, their function space) ranging from casual to fine-dining.
Executive Chef Mark Twomey took the helm in 2008, after cheffing across Europe and the UK. Alongside Mark, is fellow world traveller and Head Chef Nathan Agates.
The Lower Deck
Loved by locals, The Lower Deck’s alfresco area juts stern-like into the waves, forward focused like it’s own unique take on traditional bar bites. Presentation is clearly a focus – after all, the food is competing with those million-dollar views – and they deliver outstanding meals in a relaxed atmosphere.
The front-of-house team, under the guidance of Venue Manager Melissa Hendley, are bright and bubbly, due in part to working in the fresh sea air and the chilled lounge music drifting gently through the restaurant.
On the Lower Deck menu, Capel Club Cheddar makes an appearance on both the charcuterie and cheese board; it’s sharp, creamy flavour leading the way in the latter, played perfectly against a selection of pickles, whole sicilian olives and warm ciabatta. It’s a perfect start or end to a meal, or to graze on as you watch surf skis being paddled across the marina.
Reid’s Lounge on the second floor, is well known for its cocktails, accompanied by simple-yet-elegant shareable bites. The name is a nod to the Reid family, who have been operating The Breakwater into now it’s third decade. Their choice of buffalo mozzarella is perfectly at home on their margherita pizza, cooked to piping hot perfection with vine-ripened tomatoes and freshly torn basil leaves.
Upstairs, things get even more upmarket with Ishka. Set within a sparkling glass and steel decor, the team are proud to showcase local produce and some international delicacies, both of which have helped earn it a slew of restaurant awards earned across the years. The interesting name? It was derived from the Irish Gaelic word “Uisce” (Ish-ka), meaning ‘water’, named for the stunning views across the harbour.
Executive Chef Mark Twomey takes these cheese boards to the next level at Ishka; they are upstairs, after all. Here, they deploy the smooth, rounded, creamy and silky Wyke mature cheddar from the UK, as well as the biodynamic French-style brie, Nauge Blanc. Each is served with fresh pear, quince, lavosh, crispbread & walnuts.
If sweet is more in line with how you like to finish a meal, the light and rich tiramisu on the Ishka a la carte menu has become a crowd favourite. The rich and creamy mascarpone dances with the aromatic coffee, a perfect ‘pick me up’ – the Italian translation of the name.
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, this waterside gem is only around 30 minutes from the CBD by car – that’s if you’re not taking the yacht out for a voyage up the windswept coast.