Berowra Waters Inn: Life at the River Restaurant

Looking for a unique dining experience? Discover more about the iconic Sydney restaurant from Head Chef Brian Geraghty. 

Berowra Waters Inn is a fine dining destination set in stunning native bushland on the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney. Its remote location perched on the river's edge means it can only be accessed by a short trip on a private boat, ferry or seaplane.  

Under the guidance of Head chef and owner Brian Geraghty, the menu is degustation only (4 or 7 courses) so guests can graze their way through a selection of delicious dishes as they gaze out at the changing river scenery. 

Built in 1926, the Berowra Waters Inn was redesigned by renowned Australian architect Glenn Murcutt in the 1970s. While the cost and location mean it's limited to special occasions, it is heralded by those who are lucky enough to visit to be a truly unique and exceptional foodie experience. And worth every cent. 

Here with chat with Irish-born Geraghty about life at the historic river restaurant: 

1. What inspired you to become a chef?
The creative side of cooking, also my brother in law who gave me my first job in the industry as kitchen hand at Riverside Brooklyn not far from where I am now.

2. What are your earliest memories about cooking growing up?
That my mother was not the best cook, yet for anything family related (Christmas/Birthdays) her whole attitude to food changed and she turned it on. She also had an annual ritual, Christmas pudding cooked on boxing day for the next year!

3. What’s the most enjoyable thing about your life at Berowra Waters Inn?
The stunning location, being out of the city gives me and most people a feeling of "getting away from it all” and of course the joy we see when people leave after having experienced a memorable and delicious dining experience  .

4. What’s your most memorable experience to date?
Forgetting to order gas for the first service, there is no gas line in Berowra…  so we had to jump in the dingy and pay $180 for a quick local refill.

5. What’s a challenge at Berowra Waters Inn?
The never ending attacks from wild life on the rubbish bins. I used to think fluffy Australian wildlife were cute but not any more.

6. Who are your biggest influences/role models?
Shane Osborn, at  pied a terre in London, I worked with him for many years which has defined the way I cook now, Also, Brett Graham at The Ledbury,  a fellow central coast chef who moved to London and got himself two Michelin stars!

7. What are some of your picks of Australian top produce.
Tasmanian ox short rib, the best cut of beef in my opinion . W.A truffles and Tasmanian ocean trout, such a quality product and so sustainable.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Where else but here.

9. What’s your favourite meal to prepare for family and friends?
A simple fresh pasta dish.

10. Have you had any disasters in the kitchen?
Too many to recall, I once covered myself head to toe in duck fat in the cool room of Quay, and almost paralyzed Peter Gilmore in the mess of it!

11. If I wasn’t a chef I would be?
A builder, for the creative aspect.

12. What is your signature dish at Berowra Waters Inn? 
Confit of ocean trout, eucalyptus smoked milk, ginger dashi consommé, wild rice.

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