My uncle Paul goes out of his way to look after me. I appreciate everything he does, however his hand made card featuring the following details left me speechless.
You are cordially invited to celebrate your 18th birthday at your reserved
window seat, with 3 guests, at
1pm on Sunday 18th August, 2013
With lots of love,
Paul, Jenny & family xox
When I was a kid, my parents would drive to the Northern Beaches on weekends. We would soak up the sun and eat fish and chips on the beach. There were a number of beaches we would visit but Whale Beach was by far our favourite. So on this particular Sunday mum, dad, my nanna and I revisited this familiar place. We drove up the hill to enjoy a memorable experience at Jonah’s.
Jonah’s consists of an ocean boutique retreat and a restaurant overlooking the million dollar view of Whale beach. It is ideal for tourists and is a perfect spot for a wedding. As I entered the restaurant I knew I was in for a treat!. I loved the décor- wine bottles, pink blossom flowers and a light spacious room overlooking the headland.
Our waiter was very attentive throughout our dining experience . Hors devours were served with fresh baked bread rolls accompanied with olive oil, sea salt and butter. Shot glasses of carrot and onion soup along with appetizers of goat’s cheese laid on pesto and topped with sliced tomato. The soup was thick and creamy with a strong onion flavour however I could not taste the carrot. The pesto was divine, which worked well with the bread and soft cheese.
For entrée mum and I ordered the Hervey Bay Prawn Tortellini served with char grilled corn, confit lime, sweet corn puree and shellfish foam. Each element of the dish looked incredible, especially the foam which I had only seen on Masterchef! Although each ingredient was unique and impressive in its own way I would have to say that I was not a big fan of the overall combination. The corn puree was nice and sweet, however when combined with the foam and crunchy pieces of corn it had quite a strange taste. The tortellini was dyed with squid ink. I could not work out the very strong taste of the foam, which was hinted with shellfish.
Dad enjoyed his half dozen oysters served with lemon and merlot vinegar mignonette. They were very fresh and had come from Merimbula that morning.
Nanna chose the Berkshire Pork, which consisted of braised pork belly, fricassee of foie gras, chanterelle mushroom, trotter, confit chestnut and boudin noir. She thought it was delicious but said the pork was very fatty and the portion was quite small.
For my main course I fancied the Cone Bay Barramundi, which was pan seared with confit pumpkin, walnut caramel, kale, Serrano jamon and garlic espuma. The dish was vibrant in colour, especially the bright orange of the pumpkin, cooked two ways. The pumpkin puree was divine with the fish and the confit pieces gave a clever twist and texture although they lacked flavour. The star of the dish was the crunchy bite size pieces of walnut caramel that I could have eaten all day long! At home I like to make chips out of the skin of the fish by frying it in a pan so I was a bit disappointed when the skin wasn’t crispy. The kale accompanied the dish well and I enjoyed the thin slices of Serrano jamon (dry-cured Spanish ham). To be honest I think the chef was showcasing his flaws in making foam as nearly every dish was immersed in it. I don’t think I really like foam so the garlic espuma, which is type of Spanish froth or foam didn’t win me over.
Mum ordered the Blue Eye Trevalia served with quinoa and pinenut crust, braised gem lettuce, orange and scallop veloute. She said the fish was nice but thought the orange was too sweet when combined with the rest of the dish.
Dad chose the Hiramasa Kingfish, that was pan seared with coconut and coriander puree, bok choy, winter melon, crispy eschallot and sweet chilli. The waiter mentioned that the Kingfish was replaced with Mulloway, which was a lovely alternative. He particularly liked the bok choy but mentioned that the portion size of the fish was far too small for his liking. His dish incorporated round rice balls fried in breadcrumbs and covered with sesame seeds. These were very tasty!
Nanna decided not to order seafood and went with the Milly Hill Lamb, roasted rump with brebis mousse, pistachio tuille, winter baby vegetables and a spiced lamb jus. The lamb was beautifully cooked and she thought it was a divine main meal. The cucumber wrapped around pieces of carrot looked cute!
To accompany each of our mains we ordered a side of mixed asian greens with macadamia nuts and sesame and oyster dressing. They were crisp and delicious. We all liked the topping of the crunchy nuts.
As we watched the surfers waiting patiently for a wave, we were greeted with a plate of petit fois- chocolate cake, mascarpone cream and topped with small pieces of chocolate. These sugar morsels were delectable.
Looking around the restaurant mum and I spotted soufflés cooked in little copper saucepans. We both thought it was time to try one for the first time so we ordered their chocolate and praline soufflé with coffee ice cream and Baileys crème Anglaise. I found the soufflé not quite cooked all the way through. A few more minutes in the oven would have given it a better texture. I particularly liked the nutty flavour and crunch of the praline mixed throughout the soufflé with the subtle hint of chocolate. I loved the flavour of the ice cream however it overpowered the soufflé.
Dad went with the Poached Granny Smith apple with pain d’epices, apple sorbet and a ginger and cinnamon Anglaise. His dessert looked amazing and in particular the toffee apple leaf. He said everything was delicious except the apple was undercooked. He also ordered a side of whipped cream to accompany his dessert.
Nanna chose the milk chocolate ganache with lemongrass curd, passion fruit sorbet and chocolate sable. The chocolate pieces sticking out like shark fins gave an artistic style to the dish. I stole a bit of the ganache and went mmm! I would have to agree with the waiter- a very rich and ideal dessert for a chocoholic! Nanna enjoyed the refreshing curd and sorbet which helped cut through the richness of the chocolate. I wish I chose this dessert!
I was over the moon when our waiter surprised me with a plate that wished me happy birthday and was decorated. It was a perfect touch! The caramel macaroon was delightful. I liked the yummy and moist mandolin but the sugary pear jelly was the clear winner.
We ordered some tea and coffee to complete our lovely afternoon. Dad ordered some English breakfast tea while I had a cleansing green tea. Nanna enjoyed her usual cappuccino, which was creamy and hot. The flower design sprinkled with chocolate powder looked stunning.
We headed outside to enjoy the sunshine and spectacular view. A big thanks to my uncle Paul who truly made my 18th birthday one to remember!