We were gifted a Red Balloon voucher so what else to use it on but a 5 course lunch at Pilu at Freshwater. This day was a memorable one more or less because we woke up at 3:30am to chase the sunrise!! Matt is loving sunrise photography and we decided to take a morning drive towards Vaucluse and capture sunrise from the lookout nearby Diamond Bay Road. We enjoyed breakfast at Bondi before the last minute decision to drive all the way to Palm Beach.
Admittedly, by the time we arrived at Freshwater for our reservation at 1:30pm, we were extremely tired and by this point losing our minds (giggling and trying to stay awake). You can probably insert the *head banging on table* GIF here. But geez... we felt like we had jet lag!
It was such a surreal moment which will never be forgotten!
We decided to upgrade our Red Balloon voucher from a 5 course meal to a 7 course meal for only $20. The first course was the smoked mullet and celeriac 'panada', horseradish, apple, cucumber and dill. The smoked flavour from the mullet was strong but complimented well with the horseradish. Overall there was some very bold flavours which neither of us received well. Even though it was small, it was a bit moreish for us.
The pecorino consomme had a slight subtle salty flavour but you can smell the amazing cheese! Each bite was as good as the last and while some could consider it quite salty, we loved every bite! The texture from the hand rolled fregola was quite interesting (bouncy in texture, tasted like a cross between qinoa and barley). We didn't expect much from this dish when it arrived but damn was it nice. It would have to be our highlight dish, simple and elegant!
The wait between courses were quite lengthy at this point. We felt almost like we were eating the dishes too quick and they weren't prepared for foodies like us who like to devour our food. It did however give us the opportunity to soak in the view of Freshwater. It was a lovely sunny afternoon so perfect for a long lunch. When the sardinian ravioli arrived at the table, it looked too pretty to eat!
... but we ate it anyway. The filing was a mixture of baccala and potato while it was served with confit tomatoes and basil.
The grilled barramundi next arrived at our table, served with sea herbs, baby turnips and resting in a bed of ham consomme. The flesh of the barramundi was delicious and perfectly cooked with that flaky and soft texture. The skin was crispy but had room to improve (I seriously love fish with crispy skin). The sea herbs was a new experience for us, it was slightly crunchy which reminded us of snow peas! This was a great dish to add a little substance to the meal.
We have been recommended to taste the oven roasted suckling pig and it was the only reason why we had decided to upgrade to the 7 course meal. It was hard to decline Pilu's signature dish! The pig was cooked extremely well, the pork was so tender that it would fall off your fork as you tried to pick it up. We were provided a knife to use but didn't need it. Perhaps it might have been required for the super crispy skin which quite literally snapped like a rice crisp! Accompanied with a side of a pickled condiment, this dish was satisfying to say the least!
Sadly we had to wait quite a long time between our main and dessert. While the drinks had lifted our spirits (and also woken us up a little bit), the food had started to put us into a food coma. We were in much need for something sweet to pick us up again so we kept ourselves entertained by laughing at each other. Finally we saw this dessert which was so bright and colourful. The lemon pannacotta with carrot sorbet, carrot slice and a form of sponge cake was a palette cleanser. Very subtle flavours but honestly, it was very gimmicky for us.
Finalising the end of a Sardinian feast was a pastry filled with ricotta and sultanas and served with local honey. It was an EXTREMELY sweet ending to an enjoyable meal and let's be honest it was well needed at this point. The warm and inviting flavours ended the experience on a lighter note and made us feel very welcomed and at the same time sad to leave!