BRUNY ISLAND CRUISES AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Adventure Bay Rd, Adventure Bay, Bruny Island
Open daily, from 9am-5pm, with last orders taken at 3pm
It’s not clear why a trip to Bruny Island so readily works up an appetite. Maybe it’s watching motorists walk past with a pastry and takeaway coffee while waiting in the queue for the ferry. Maybe it’s the feeling of going on a journey as you suck in the fresh sea air during the 20-minute trip across the waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Perhaps it’s the childhood memory of ice creams and sausage rolls from the kiosk at the other side.
Bruny has a growing reputation for fine produce with an impressive number of outlets offering locally grown fine foods and drinks.
One of the newest is an eatery at Adventure Bay opened by Pennicott Wilderness Journeys with the catchy name of Bruny Island Cruises and Seafood Restaurant.
To get there you have to drive past Bruny Island House of Whisky, Get Shucked oyster farm, Bruny Island Cheese Company, Bruny Island Honey, Bruny Island Chocolate Company, Bruny Berry Farm as well as other offerings in Adventure Bay itself.
For our party of four, we couldn’t resist the chance to sample award-winning cheeses at Bruny Island Cheese Company, a pleasant cafe stop which coincided with morning tea time.
The cafe offers cheese platters served with baguettes baked fresh in the on-site pizza oven. The coffee was excellent, platter generous and tasty and the semi-enclosed setting simple but comfortable. The highlight was the bread, a delicious chewy sourdough, warm from the oven. Little wonder the loaves quickly sell out at the company’s Salamanca Market stall each week. We bought some to take home.
Our cafe stop kept our hunger at bay and fuelled our quest for adventure so we turned off the main road to Adventure Bay and headed to the southernmost part of the island, Cape Bruny Lighthouse. It’s one of Bruny’s most spectacular highlights.
It wasn’t until after 2pm we rolled up to the Bruny Island Cruises and Seafood Restaurant, by then hungry for lunch. First impressions didn’t look promising. The large, open dining area was packed and buzzing with excited chatter from several dozen guests. We’d arrived amid a lunch rush of cruise passengers. Waiting staff initially turned us away before spying an empty table near the counter. It was pretty noisy but a window setting became available and it was no trouble for us to move.
The menu is not extensive and there’s nothing too complicated. A From the Garden section offers soup with crusty roll, fresh salad rolls with salmon, ham or vegetarian option, and a tempting roast cauliflower salad with pinkeye potatoes, pickled vegetables, ginger yoghurt and goats cheese.
The seafood option of the menu caught the eye of our party. We ordered a Bruny Island seafood basket to share between two, a fish and chips and a kids’ fish and chips, ordered by an adult with less of an appetite.
We settled in with our drinks and expected a lengthy wait but the service was surprisingly quick. It wasn’t long before our meals arrived. They were generous, hot and fresh.
Rob Pennicott used to be a fisherman and it’s clear he has had a hand in the menu. The fish, blue-eye trevalla, was beautifully cooked, the crumb crunchy and well-seasoned with moist and succulent flesh beneath. The chips were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. With a big chunk of lemon and quality tartare. It was a lip-smackingly delicious meal.
The seafood basket had a generous serve of scallops, prawns and squid as well as two decent fillets of blue-eye. Often the kids’ fish and chips on such menus contain a cheap frozen fillet, but we were impressed to see it too was the trevalla, one fillet with a decent serve of chips.
The prices are in the range $9.50 for soup to $16 for a salad and $17 for most seafood meals to $28 for the seafood basket. The kids meal $10. The service is good and meals served promptly and without fuss.
Dessert options include fresh baked muffins and cookies, cakes and cheese cake or a cone of Valhalla ice cream. They can be ordered at the counter with coffee and brewed tea.