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Leaves and Fishes

Looking out over the holding dam.

We’ve been to this restaurant a few times now and have enjoyed the experience every time. The restaurant can be found at the end of a reasonably long driveway sat next to one of their large holding dams.

As it turns out, these holding dams are not just for show. In addition to providing a nice backdrop for the main dining room which incidentally sits on stilts over the water, they are also used to breed and grow some of the fish that can be found on the menu. In fact, this is actually one of the reasons we keep going back. Our young daughter loves to stand by the railing and watch the fish as they appear out of the murky water, saunter by and then disappear again.

The dining room itself is beautifully presented with lovely big tables and comfortable chairs. The section that sits out over the water is really a sort of deck with removable walls rather than being a solid building. This gives you an outside feel even though there is a sturdy roof overhead. Fortunately there are also quite a few radiant heaters hung from the roof too so they can keep the walls open even on quite cold days.

The Dining Room
Fish in the dam

The service

I’d have to rate the service provided at Leaves and Fishes as well above average. On walking in this last visit I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical at first as the waitress that said hello and showed us to our table had lots of studs in her face which was a bit off putting. Personally I don’t think it’s really necessary in a food service environment but hey, she turned out to be really attentive, polite and friendly.

The Food

To start: Pork Belly, Papaya, Chilli and Lime. To follow: ‘Real’ Fish and Chips, Sea Salt and Sweet Malt Vinegar. What can I say, the presentation was spot on. The dishes looked fairly spectacular and when they arrived we couldn’t wait to dig in.

Starting with the Pork Belly, the flavours were well balanced and very pleasant. The dish had just enough chilli so as to give it a little bite without blowing your head off and overpowering everything else. Overall, a very nice dish with just one small compliant, it was a little lacking in texture. There was no crunch. That really was the only thing that wasn’t perfect though so I was far from dissatisfied.

Pork Belly
Fish and Chips

When eating fish and chips I generally look for three things. First, the fish has to be cooked correctly; it mustn’t be over or under cooked. Second, Crunch. The batter and the chips have to have a good crunch to them and third, Seasoning, the seasoning must be just right. Having too much or too little salt will result in either a really bland or just plain inedible meal.

Fortunately, the main course passed on all three fronts. The fish was cooked perfectly, there was just the right crunch in both the batter and chips and the seasoning was finely balanced. In fact, when in a restaurant there is actually a fourth measure too, presentation. However, even adding this into the mix, the dish still excelled.

All in all, I really enjoyed the meal and we all left feeling well and truly satisfied. The location, food and atmosphere all seemed to come together in order to assure that we will be back at some point in the future.

Leaves and Fishes

Leaves and Fishes

Address: 737 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale NSW Australia 2320
Phone: 02 4930 7400

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