Narooma is on the far south coast of New South Wales, around 350-ish km south of Sydney. Narooma is a tourist town, once a fishing village, and boasts a large ocean fed lake. It is famous in fishing circles for deep sea sports fishing. Narooma is the closest point on the coast to the continental shelf, where all those impressive game fish like marlin and swordfish can be found.
The first thing you notice when you arrive in Narooma from the north (on a sunny day!) is the spectacular azure blue waters of Narooma lake as you cross the bridge into town. Dolphins and seals are often seen around the breakwater heading from the lake out to the ocean.
Seals also hang around the fishing charter boats in the hopes of a hand out. They come right up to shore and look friendly, but they can be quite aggressive. This particular seal is known for being very bad tempered.
The Quarterdeck is a cafe on the Wagonga Inlet (ie on the lake).
Its decor is ‘fishing kitsch’ – it is fun and welcoming,
and it also has a killer views over the lake.
The staff at the Quarterdeck are unfailingly cheerful and attentive. The owner is friendly and he has the biggest collection of Hawaiian shirts I have ever seen (outside of Hawaii perhaps) – and they are fabulous!
These days I often buy a main meal for the sprogs to share, because the quality of what is offered on kids’ menus can be terrible. At the Quarterdeck the kids meals are good – especially the calamari and chips. The calamari is always very fresh, and is perfectly cooked.
Wal and I shared an appetiser of Lemon Pepper Squid. It was absolutely lovely. The pepper was in the right proportion and the lemon gave a nice but subtle tang and it was cooked just right. The best thing, however, was the super-light barely there batter – just enough to hold the flavours together.
For a main I had the Prawn Salad with Aioli. The salad had a good variety of greens and other vegetables, the prawns were fresh, plump and cooked exactly right, and the salad dressing was tasty but not overdone. It had a lovely hint of coconut in the background. Even on a cool and overcast day, the room temperature salad filled with warm prawns was filling and satisfying.
They keep the menu at the Quarterdeck simple, but the specials of the day are where they show their imagination and offer interesting variety. If you find yourself venturing near Narooma,I think this cafe is well worth trying.
The Quarterdeck is open for breakfast and lunch Thursday to Monday from 8.00. and is fully licensed. Riverside Drive, Narooma, 02 44762723.