Eating out on a car trip often feels like a lucky dip. You always hope you’ll win, but you often get one of the parcels that isn’t so exciting. If you haven’t done your research before you start driving you’re left making choices when you’re hungry. This can leave you hungrily eating a very ordinary fried rice, or standing in a fatty smelling chicken shop waiting for soft hot chips. I wish I could avoid these situations and, much to my relief, on a recent trip to the South coast I succeeded. First we made a sensible decision to eat early – before we got so hungry we’d settle for anything. We picked a town to stop at and cruised the main, reading menus. The main street of Kiama was clearly a good choice since it features not one, but two ice creameries.
Being coastal, Kiama also has its fair share of fish and chip shops. We chose Saltwater because if had cafe options, like burgers and an all day breakfast, as well as fish and chips. I think the relaxed, trendy atmosphere played a role in our choice too. The front counter was dedicated to coffee and juice, with a small selection of cakes. I was pleased to see they included a gluten free flourless orange cake. We made our orders at the back counter for three variations on fish and chips, and an all day breakfast. Then we sat down at a brightly painted table. It was covered in flowers and stripes. There were notice boards on the walls featuring local fundraising events as well as pieces of local art. I rather liked a set of three canvases featuring colourful pelicans flying across the wall.
Strangely all three of us having fish ordered flathead. The barramundi, dory, and another fish (whose name I can’t recall), didn’t get tasted. Between us we sampled the flathead grilled, tempura battered and beer battered. I’ve pictured the tempura flathead. Oddly the thing that drew comment between the tempura eater and the beer batter eater was their chips rather than their fish. One had ended up with all the big chips and the other all the small crunchy ones. Luckily a swap meant that each person got their favourite.
I haven’t got a photograph of the all day breakfast. The orange juice deserves a mention because it was freshly squeezed. Other than that the breakfaster wished she’d asked for hard yolks in her fried eggs – not a choice I would make. The breakfast was served with regular white bread which I thought was a little disappointing. Saltwater gets a big tick for the real orange juice, but real bread would be an improvement.
I had my fish grilled and ordered a salad as well as chips for an extra two dollars (all the meals were around the ten to fifteen dollar mark). I was happy with the quality of the chips and pleased that you could salt them yourself. The fish was good with lemon and I was glad I had the salad for balance.
Stomachs filled we continued our trip to Jervis bay. It’s a beautiful location with amazing white sand. I love the wildlife too. We saw lots of birds on our verandah and a possum at night. If you’re lucky you can spot dolphins from the beach or hire a kayak to paddle with them. A weekend by the sea was very relaxing, and I think fish and chips was an appropriate way to start the trip. Saltwater did a good job of them.
Ratings (out of 5 snorts)