Friday, February 03, 2012

Riverbend Restaurant, Wisemans Ferry

The Boy and I took an extra-long weekend over Australia Day this year and headed up to Wisemans Ferry for some R and R. You won’t be surprised to hear that I’d nabbed a very good Scoopon voucher for two nights at the Australis Retreat, one of a handful of motels in the area.

Wisemans Ferry is an extraordinarily beautiful area located just an hour from our home. The little village sits on the banks of the wide, muddy looking Hawkesbury River and is surrounded by high rocky cliffs. It’s a busy weekend destination for water-skiers, boating enthusiasts and motorcycle riders looking for a winding road to unleash on as well as day-trippers from Sydney looking for a meal at the local pub and a ride across the river on the Ferry.

There are a few eating options at Wiseman’s Ferry – a lovely old sandstone pub, a bowling club with a bistro, a cafe, a little takeaway as well as the restaurant at our motel. But this isn’t just any old motel restaurant – it’s a little gem that sources and cooks beautiful food from locally sourced produce. The menu changes seasonally as the local produce available comes and goes. The food is lovely and the service very friendly.

We start the meal with a small bowl of freshly marinated local grown olives ($9.00) which were lovely - firm and tasty.

For my main I ordered the Wild Mushroom Risotto ($16.00 for an entree size - I needed to save room for dessert). The risotto was cooked with oregano and thyme and then finished with parmesan and truffle oil.  The vegies pictured below are part of The Boys main...the main that I wanted to order! Hurmph.  

The Boy tricked me out of ordering the Chef's Seafood Tasting Plate ($28.50) and ordered it himself...sneaky sneaky Boy.  He made it sound like it would be too teeny for a main. Hmmm. To say I had food envy would be the understatment of the century, but as we're married sharing is mandatory (when it suits me that is).

The platter is mouthwatering to look at - a selection of hot and cold seafood that taste like heaven on earth. Really!  The majority of the seafood is from local waters; oysters from Mooney Mooney, Hawkesbury River squid and local prawns, as well as Tasmanian Atlantic and smoked salmon, Coffin Bay scallops and Sydney caught flathead.  It's worth the drive to Wisemans Ferry just for this - what amazing value for such fresh seafood!

After being forced to share his main The Boy thought he'd get to fly solo by ordering the Individual Pavlova ($11.00) for dessert. Nice try buddy. It was beautiful, and I can tell you that from a first hand taste-test. The Pavlova is topped with fresh berries and Chantilly cream.  Being a sorbet fan I choose the Lemon Sorbet ($11.00) served in brandy snap basket with fresh berries.

After dinner we wandered over to say hello (or goodnight) to Reg and Rita, two lovely cats that we had met earlier in the day. Reg and Rita were dumped at the local shopping centre a while back and promptly produced two litters of kittens.

Karlene from the antique store in the arcade began raising money to have ALL of the cats desexed (which involved trapping a few who were too scared of people to be captured any another way) so no more kittens would be born.  She then found homes for all but five of them (so far).  The store-owners chip in money to keep the remaining cats fed which is noble as many strays are left to fend for themselves. But it also means that Reg and Rita (and the others) depend on the kindness of the store owners for their daily bread. We made a hefty donation to the "Reg and Rita Dinner Fund" in Karlene's store and collected a lot of pats in return.  I would love to have taken our two new kitty friends home but I think they would go bonkers in our little flat.

Reg and Rita have their own Facebook page, check them out here

The handsome Reg and lovely, shy Rita.

The Riverbend Resturant is located at Australis Retreat at Wisemans Ferry, 5564 Old Northern Road Wisemans Ferry. Bookings at the restaurant are essential. Phone them on (02) 4566 4422.

You'll find Reg and Rita chilling out at Wiseman's Ferry Vintage & Collectables in the shopping arcade.


  1. Looks like it was a great weekend all around. Gorgeous location, fresh air, great food and the other half.

  2. I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but your photos are really, really nice in this post! Especially the first two. We need to have that Canon photo lesson STAT!


    1. reg & rita's adoptive mummyFebruary 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Yes I agree wholeheartedly. Lovely Lovely photos. Sharp and clear and good composition. 10/10. Oh yes and an 11/10 for the two cat photos....
      lol :)

  3. If I'm not mistaken The Boy has used that sneaky technique before... I'm a big supporting of sharing. The good news is that my husband lets me decide what to order most of the time.

    1. At no stage did I try to disuade Miss Piggy from ordering the seafood and for the record, I always let her order first so that I don't order the same thing. I was actually leaning toward the Pork but once the seafood option was open I grabbed it.....

    2. Pfft Boy, you're telling porkies!

  4. Oh yes, that seafood dish looks the way to go! Cheeky Boy - that's something I would do ;)

  5. What memories for me. We used to have a boat on the Hawkesbury River that we'd spend the occasional weekend on. (we lived in Wodonga in Vic at the time) I wish I could do it again and I'd see if we could get the boat all the way to this restaurant! Long drive from QLD though. :( Yummy photos.

  6. That is impressive 'motel' food indeed, sounds like a lovely weekend :)

  7. Wow, you guys get around - too bad you got tricked out of having the platter, looks scrumptious! Hope you still had a nice time away.

  8. Looks like a real serene place to have food. You'll have to be careful of your boy's trixy nature the next time around :)

  9. What a great weekend for you and the boy. Sorry but I am ignoring all your food photos for that gorgeous one of the gum flowers at the start.

  10. Lovely place!! i remember our last summer vacation just like this place.And the
    food most are fresh sea foods.Seafoods are perfect for this kind of out door adventure.

  11. I've heard alot of food things about Wisemans Ferry, thats an awesome post Mel, the seafood platter looks devine i don't mind to have some now! BTW your picture and photo skills is getting better and better each day, I espcially love the cat photo at the end very cute!

  12. Re. "so my experiment with eating meat is over unless I buy it from a farmer's market or ethical butcher and know 100% that is free-range."

    Why not slaughter your own animals. That way you can guarantee they have happy lives. Rear them as babies, feed them milk formula, cuddle them, read them bed time stories, give them names, take them with you on holidays, celebrate their birthdays, start a photo album and place their photos in it, knit a cute sweater for them, share special moments with them, write poetry for them, blow kisses towards them as you leave home or when you return, buy little gifts for them and wrap them in gift wrapping paper, pack their lunches with something special like a muesli bar and fruit juice (some times a candy treat).

    Then as the meat section of the freezer starts to get low......

    Prepare a video called "Mr. Cow, This is Your Life.". The video would contain footage of all the fuzzy wuzzy happy events "Mr Cow" had experienced in his life (birthdays, happy holidays, etc). Unexpectedly when "Mr. Cow" is least expecting it you sneak up from behind with your weapon of choice (dbl barrel shotgun, 44 magnum, axe, machete, etc and terminate, extinguish, put to sleep (whatever) "Mr. Cow" so he doesn't feel a thing. We are all guilty of this except we pay someone (the slaughter man) to do our dirty work for us. The act of paying for a frozen chicken is exactly the same as killing the chicken yourself, the only difference is that you are taking out a contract on the chickens life.

    The moral of the story is...

    There is no such thing as humane meat consumption.

    If you care about animals don't eat meat. This also means no leather shoes, leather wallets, leather belts, etc.

    Miss Piggy as a foodie food blogger you are facing one big dilemma, on the other hand you might start a revolution called "The Vegetarian Food Blog".

    Keep up the excellent blog.

  13. If I lived on a farm that's probably what I'd do, but I don't live on a farm. I live in a city where I am able to make choices about not buying factory farmed meat where the animals have most likely lead a miserable life. Often the animals are mistreated and even tortured by the abattoir workers beyond what is necessary to slaughter them.
    If you're doubtful of this perhaps you should watch From Farm to Fridge; or take a stroll through the Animals Australia website. From all of your comments on my blog it sounds like you condone animal cruelty and that to you animals being treated (and mis-treated) as a commodity for your greedy enjoyment is just the way it should be. You’re a bully.

    You may think there is no such thing as humane meat consumption, but there is an industry out there that cares about their animals and they try to give their livestock a good life, where they try to grow healthy produce and maintain some ethics about their business. I support that industry in the hope that they become the more mainstream and not factory farming with the animal is simple a product to be treated like shit on the bottom of somebody’s shoe.

    And as I walk home in my vinyl shoes I hope that perhaps you start to think about what you’re putting into your mouth rather than seeing yourself as a Mr Superior who can treat mis-treat animals all because you want a $10 steak at the pub.
    Over and out.

  14. Re. "From all of your comments on my blog it sounds like you condone animal cruelty and that to you animals being treated (and mis-treated) as a commodity for your greedy enjoyment is just the way it should be. You’re a bully."

    That is a very unfair comment and is very far from the truth. While not a 100% vegetarian I mainly eat vegetables and try and source my protein from legumes such as lentils & beans. My meat portions are always small for that reason. If a referendum was held today "Should we all become vegetarians?" I would vote yes, simply because my feeble effort wouldn't amount to anything, while collectively a lot of good things for animal welfare could be done.

    On the other hand I can be very provocative as I often try and shock people into thinking. Unfortunately you have taken what I have written too seriously.

    On the subject of animals. I often have more respect for animals than humans. Most animals kill or inflict injuries for perfectly reasonable reasons (because they need to eat or they need to defend themselves) and it's simply a matter of survival for them.

    Mankind on the other hand has created great advancement for humanity, but in their personal interests of greed has done some very despicable things such as started wars, holocausts, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, polluted the environment, wiped out entire animal species to say the least.

    While you might not like my style (similar to putting horrific images on cigarette images to stop people smoking...wouldn't mean that I enjoy looking at people suffering from smoking related illnesses...I can understand why someone might be offended to look at those images) communication my intention wasn't to offend you or anyone for that matter, but to get people to think.

    Had you accused me of being an asshole with little emotional intelligence I would agree with you. On the other hand to say that "condone animal cruelty" or that I am "a bully" is far from the truth.

    If you have problems reading between the lines and you need me to state the bleeding obvious then:

    - I have the same concerns about animal welfare that you do.
    - I have an enormous amount of empathy for animals.
    - I consider that animals are equal to humans and that they also have a soul.
    - I consider that animals have a higher capacity(to show love) than humans give them credit for.
    - I believe that animals have the same feelings and emotions as humans.
    - I believe that humans do not understand animals.
    - I have an enormous amount of respect for you and what you are trying achieve.
    - I enjoy reading your blog as I find it intelligent, informative, balanced, interesting, etc.

    Please accept my apologies for behaving like an asshole with apparent low emotional intelligence.

    I reserve my right not to apologize for "condoning animal cruelty" of being "a bully" because it was never my intention.


    1. I would say that, generally, if you agree with a persons point of view you actually agree - not make arguments against them which make you sound like "an asshole with apparent low emotional intelligence".

      These days I think long & hard about what goes into my mouth and the decisions are tough as definitive information is hard to come by. I don't need you to put "horrific images onto cigarettes packs" for me, I have a pretty good idea of what those images are after doing some research myself.

      I'm glad to hear you're not the sort of person who sits at home sticking pins into small kittens just for kicks.


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