It might feel like a world away, but this lovely waterside cafe is right on our doorstep. Have you discovered it yet?
If you’re looking for something special on the local cafe-and-dining scene, Echo on the Marina at Roseville Chase is literally a breath of fresh air. A short drive from the Roseville Bridge, there is plenty of parking on Normac Street. As you make your way down the stairs the amazing view opens up before you. Boats bob on the blue water, yachts sit majestic on their moorings, and kayakers and small dinghies make their way slowly across the bay. There, nestled at the base of the hillside, where the water meets the beautiful Australian bush, sits a 120+ seater restaurant. As you take in the serenity, Echo on the Marina certainly lives up to its name, but it’s only the sound of birdcall you’ll hear echoing across the Point.
Owner Greg Gerstl has had the popular restaurant and cafe for a year and a half. “The incredible surroundings drew me in,” he says. “It’s a wonderful place to work and it is a pleasure to be surrounded by and nestled in nature – it’s an extremely relaxed and tranquil environment. Who wouldn’t love to get into work and see that view!”
The cafe does feel like a real discovery – it’s beautiful, from the marina’s cottage and the seating area to the scenery. The left-side seating is perfect for families or couples who’ll appreciate the picturesque little bay and spotting the ducks gliding past. However sitting anywhere lends itself to an outstanding waterside breakfast, or the perfect spot to open a bottle of wine over lunch (the restaurant is fully licensed).
Photo courtesy of Hero Shot Photography (http://heroshotphotography.com/)
A lot of thought has been put into ensuring the food is on par with the setting. The breakfast menu has been honed over time to impress the boaties who know a thing or two about how to brunch. As a result you’ll find something for all tastes and generous serves. There’s the ‘Echo Massive Breakfast’ for example, the ‘Vegetarian Extravaganza’, and the ‘Herbivore’ (“your choice of toast stacked with avocado, wild mushrooms, spinach and caramelised onions.”). Not surprisingly, it’s the Eggs Benedict that is the firm favourite says Greg. “We do free range poached eggs served with your choice of smoked salmon, prosciutto or spinach, accompanied with our house-made hollandaise sauce on sourdough.” There’s also a kids’ menu that covers all the brekkie food groups – bacon, eggs, fruit, toast and waffles.
Lunch is a real affair here, so make sure you bring an appetite. Menu items include: Baby BBQ Ribs, Roasted Orange Marinated Spatchcock, and several seafood dishes. Greg recommends the Seafood Squid Ink Pasta, which comes with crab, scallops, mussels, squid and fish, with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs. Sweet-tooths will be impressed with the dessert menu: it features classics such as Sticky Date Pudding and a flourless hot chocolate soufflé, or there’s the Persian Orange and Almond Cake or Apple Frangipane Flan for those feeling adventurous.
Photos left and right courtesy of Hero Shot Photography (http://heroshotphotography.com/)
Once you’ve discovered Echo on the Marina be prepared to revisit again and again. At his regular table right at the water’s edge you might see George, a true local, who’s been coming here since 1974. “Of course all of this wasn’t here then,” he says gesturing around the beautiful cafe. “Back then all of this was under water during high tide, and I’d always have to climb a rickety ladder from the water to reach the land. And there wasn’t any food to buy. In fact it was my sister who first started selling some light takeaway items.”
You can still drop-in for something light – and it’s lovely to see even the simple menu items are a little bit special. The coffee comes with a bite-sized treat, and the banana bread is served with sliced strawberries and an espresso cream.
If you feel like stretching your legs after the meal, you can head up through the bush tracks of Echo Point meeting adventurers and local dog walkers along the way. You’ll also spy some beautiful picnic spots, all with million dollar views. At the end of the path is a great surprise for families – a pirate ship playground in which to while away another half hour. Don’t miss the billboard at the end of the path, with its black-and-white photos depicting local families clearly enjoying the exact same secret spot over 100 years ago.
Echo on the Marina is located at 15 Normac St, Roseville Chase. Opening hours: Wed – Sun. Breakfast from 8am, Lunch from 12pm. It is fully licensed (no BYO), and available to hire for events (parties, weddings, corporate lunches, etc). Bookings for breakfast and lunch are highly recommended. An inclinator is available for anyone who cannot walk down stairs, please call ahead on (02) 9417 4422.
Willoughby Living Offer: 25% off for Breakfast Wed – Fri (excluding any public holiday). You must book in advance and mention Willoughby Living when making the booking to receive offer.