Bathing in brilliant flavours



With European holidays but a distant memory for most right now, it’s a delight to step into the markedly Mediterranean-inspired Bather’s Pavilion on this relaxed, warm Saturday.

Taking in the spectrum of blues on stark white, light-coloured wood fixtures and geometric-patterned designs, I welcome the feeling of being transported back – overlooking the Aegean with a crisp glass of white in hand.

Entering the bistro space, it strikes me that despite Sydney’s recent wave of the pandemic, and the restaurant evidently adhering to strict capacity restrictions, there is still a cheerful buzz in the air. 

This is a true testament to relatively new chef-on-the-block Perry Hill, who since joining the institution in 2020 has been focused on elevating the bistro to be a stand-alone lunch and dinner venue. 

He’s done so by crafting a menu focused on Southern European flavours, with market fresh seafood at the heart of many of the dishes.

Nestling into our quaint table overlooking Balmoral’s iconic boardwalk, we begin by ordering the fried zucchini flowers and the roast beetroot salad.

I will admit, fried zucchini flowers are a favourite of mine. And with the crisp fried exterior giving way to the delicate flavour of the flower and the rich, creaminess of the ricotta, this is particularly good example of the popular appetiser.

Meanwhile, the beetroot salad, with fig and tart goat’s cheese perfectly balances earthy, bitter, and sweet flavours in a light and fresh starting dish.

For the main, I opt for the special John Dory fillet while my dining companion chooses the orecchiette pasta.

The mild flavour of the John Dory is elevated by a sweet, earthy corn puree and a moreish black garlic, while my companion praises the light, freshness of the pasta, featuring heirloom tomato, basil, ricotta, and olives.

Despite being incredibly full, we are utterly charmed when our incredibly attentive waiter comes by with two glasses of Veuve Clicquot and the dessert menu.

And so, we cap our incredible visit with a shared lemon square, with lemon myrtle cream, mango salsa and pumpkinseed crumble.

The tart flavours are the perfect palate cleanser to end our dining experience, highlighting perfectly why Bather’s remains one of the premier North Shore venues.

Stephanie Aikins, Editor-in-Chief, North Shore Living Magazine

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