ECHO ON THE MARINA is a stunning, hidden venue on Middle Harbour, attached to the Roseville Chase Marina. It is set in what feels more like National Park and if you haven’t been told about it you would never know it existed. I have visited the venue twice now. My first visit was a disaster, a cacophony of everything that could go wrong. We learned there was some major issues with the chef and staffing and the venue had recently opened with new owners who were trying to get their footing. I agreed to re-visit three months later and base my review on that. I have combined the food of both visits and can report a VAST improvement.
ECHO ON THE MARINA VENUE:
The menu is set to the side of the Roseville Chase Marina and is on a wharf. It is covered and sealed pending the weather. The outlook is sublime and the walk down isn’t something you would expect. It involves quite a few stairs and walking past some squillion dollar homes. The parking is on-street, mostly up the top, and while there were quite a few cars on each visit I managed spots both times. You can visit for coffee and cake in the sun on the Marina wharf and/or breakfast and lunch in the restaurant section. Both visits we have gone for lunch.
The staffing on the first visit was appalling, but on the second visit it was up to scratch. They had what I would imagine was a son, or relative, serving us for a while. He was so young and so professional – reminded me of some of my first event waiting jobs.
The view from the tables is just sublime – I would even love to sit here and eat when it rains. Looking over boats on the water is calming and just marvellous. The patronage was mixed. All North Shore types but families, couples, old and new and one table there was a large group of ladies celebrating what I imagine was a birthday.
Echo on the Marina serves breakfast and lunch, they are fully licensed and BYO is not permitted. They do larger group bookings from weddings to corporate. The breakfast and the dessert menu look good but sadly we did not eat either and their wine list is decent. Now to what we ate…
For our first visit entree we ate coconut panko prawns. They were sadly spongey, and served closer to cold than warm. They were, however, accompanied by an avocado salsa which was the highlight of the dish – very well seasoned. This dish is no longer on the menu.
On our second visit it was the antipasto platter. The meats and olives were delicious. The tomatoes and capsicum were tasty but the grissini was an odd choice. It had to be eaten dry – it would have been preferable to have something to dip them in to or serve the platter with a flat bread so you can add some meat and salad food to it. I wrapped meat around the grissini. And that zucchini was nice but my god they were HUGE slices.
I will point out that all the bad dishes were from our first visit. And for the mains I will start with the worst. The smoked duck. It is still on the menu but I can report I have heard good things about it now. While it looks good the duck was so overcooked in sections it needed a chainsaw but other pieces were almost raw, I actually pushed it aside. On a positive note I loved the mash, beans and citrus honey sauce.
The King Prawn Linguine I only had a mouthfull of. My guest, Nat aka Get Fat with Nat describes the dish. “The main I ordered, was the ‘fresh peppered spaghettini’ with truffled mushroom, seasonal veg and a light pesto sauce. That wasn’t quite what I received… What I did receive was a heavy, tomato-based sauce (which I wouldn’t normally mind, had I specifically ordered it), without even a hint of truffle, which was the real let down as I was cravingggg it more than ever that day.”
Our mains on the second visit were more like it, dishes I would eat again. First was Nat’s Gnocchi – Fresh Gnocchi (Potato, Polenta and Ricotta) with wild mushrooms in a truffle paste sauce served with parmesan cheese. I scored a mouthful and I would definitely eat this dish again – love a good gnocchi and this was good. At $30- though it’s a little exxy. We did have a nice shiraz while eating our mains which also added to the flavours.
My favourite dish from Echo on the Marina is hands down the Grain-fed Scotch Fillet. No word of a lie – top 10 steaks in Sydney for me. It was divine! It should also be noted I rarely ever will order a steak. Served with whole baby beetroot, broccolini, wild mushrooms and Diane sauce. Drooling for this – would return to eat this dish also.
It is really hard to return to a venue where you have had a poor experience. The experience leaves a foul taste in your mind and you will always visit the second time with that first visit at the front of your mind. I am incredibly happy we did return to Echo on the Marina. Seeing vast improvements and eating a dish I would put in a Top 10 category is something that makes me very happy indeed.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 2/3 food, 1/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
Echo on the Marina Deets:
PH: (02) 99417 4422
15 Normac Street, Roseville Chase NSW 2069
HOURS: Wed – Sun breakfast from 8am, lunch from 12 – 230pm
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.