We start with an entrée-sized ‘Deli plate of house made duck pâté, chicken pistachio terrine, vegetables and prosciutto’ to share. Tart caperberries and gherkins, sundried tomato segments, roasted beetroot wedges and sprigs of watercress are strewn around the cold meat elements of the plate as well as a roasted whole tomato. We are most impressed by the collection of crostini, grissini, toasted flatbread and lavosh presented alongside – the serve is so ample that we have pieces left over long after the contents of the deli plate have been consumed.
We appear to have gone a little overboard and have decided on two mains between us. The ‘Crispy whole fish with ginger, pea sprout salad and seared greens’ is a snapper in this case and rather sizeable. The fish has been dusted in a light coating of flour and chilli powder prior to being deep-fried. The salad and greens provide needed crunch and work well with the tangy, tart (tamarind?) sauce.
The ‘Malay barbecued chicken with corn fritters, pickled red cabbage and lime’ was ordered without knowing what Malay barbecued chicken was admittedly. We are presented with a tender half of a chicken, which has been flattened slightly, sitting atop three corn fritters and the lot dressed with a balanced sauce tasting of sweet chilli, saltiness, spiciness and a subtle nuttiness.
The menu is mixed in a very mod-Oz way, packing in lots of flavour influences. The tranquil, lazy atmosphere setting reminds me of sitting on a friend’s back porch and whiling away the time chatting about nothing in particular. Leaves & Fishes also has four boutique cabins around the back overlooking the lake as an accommodation option as well.
737 Lovedale Rd (between Majors Lane & Wilderness Rd), Lovedale NSW
Tel: (02) 4930 7400
Opening Hours: Mon & Tues CLOSED
Wed & Thurs lunch only
Fri & Sat lunch & dinner
Sun lunch only