I’ve already raved about my stay at Halcyon House at Cabriata Beach for a cheeky pre baby getaway but Halcyon House’s restaurant, Paper Daisy deserves its own review. Under the guidance of chef Ben Devlin (ex Noma), the food here is just as unique and memorable as the beautifully decked out dining area at Halcyon House.
The blue and white tones of the dining room with its wicker chairs has a Hamptons beach feel to it and doors opening out onto the pool area make the most of any balmy weather. But an open kitchen at the rear of the restaurant packed with a brigade of chefs shows the food is no afterthought at Halcyon House.
At dinner time there is no a la carte option, your choice is limited to a menu of three or four courses. We opted for three courses and found that was more than enough food with servings on the generous side (although none of the “freebie” courses which you often get with a set menu).
Given you can hear the waves crashing on the beach as you eat it’s only fitting that Devlin showcases lots of seafood on the menu and his time at Noma is reflected in the use of native and foraged ingredients. Coal roasted fish offered a simple but smoky start to the meal with a hint of acidity from the finger lime dressing while pippies and semolina pasta gave a lighter twist to a seafood marinara.
Coal roasted young lamb was pink and tender and was served with some lightly sauteed brussel sprouts and pungent black garlic.
The highlight of the meal was the fish grilled in paperbark. You unwrap it at the table like a present to uncover the delicate, smoky seafood tucked up with onion, seaweed and foraged beach plants. The fish was so tender and melt in the mouth and it reminded me of Attica’s paperbark King George Whiting.
The sweet end of the meal also delivered with a stonefruit tart using pastry with just the right amount of crumble and featured perfect summer fruits. I loved the clean, fresh flavours of Paper Daisy and the spectacular setting. It’s a great special occasion restaurant and made even better if you can book a room and so just roll upstairs after your dinner.
Details: Halcyon House, 21 Cypress Cres, Cabarita Beach, NSW (Ph 02 6676 1444)
Damage: Budget breaking. Three courses are $85 or four courses for $100.