64 The Mainbrace, Yamba NSW
The location is, most often than not, a very important factor in determining the success of a restaurant and Yamba Shores Tavern, in NSW, is in prime position. Being one of the very few true waterfront restaurants in Yamba, the breathtaking views are really something special. Diners actually have the option of arriving by car, boat or the Tavern also offers a complimentary courtesy bus. My party chose to go by bus.
On arrival, the Tavern was abuzz with both diners and waitstaff alike. The Shores Tavern gave an illusion that we were eating indoors, although looking up I discovered that we were merely under shade cloth. Dining outdoors made for a better waterfront dining experience. As we moved towards our table, I noticed a waitress carrying a plate of oysters out of the kitchen. I knew instantly that I had to sample that dish.
When we were ordering, the waitress informed a few people in our party that what they intended on having were not available, which was an inconvenience. I started with six Oysters Kilpatrick for entree, which is oysters cooked in a barbecue/tomato sauce with bacon, and our group ordered some cheesy garlic bread to share. The garlic bread came out fairly quickly and tasted fresh and was full of flavour. The cheese was melted perfectly and was nice and stretchy.
After another twenty or so minutes, the entrees arrived. I received twelve oysters instead of the six that I ordered, and looking at my receipt, they charged me for the extra six. The presentation was excellent, all twelve oysters were on a bed of rock salt with a wedge of lemon in the centre. The bacon was beautifully crispy and the sauce was thick. The oysters were obviously fresh and they were delicious. The sauce was rich and milky and they were cooked to perfection. They were so good I’m almost glad I got the extra six oysters.
For the main course, I decided to go with the prawn linguine – as Yamba is famous for its prawns – and a bowl of chips. The pasta had a spicy kick to it and it was tasty, the prawns were good, but overall, it was nothing special. The chips were bland and needed salt; they tasted like they had been made an hour before and were reheated. The Tavern didn’t offer dessert.
At around half past eight, the waitstaff started turning lights off and packing up whilst we were still there. We took that as a sign that we were not welcome any longer and decided to leave.
I have mixed emotions about the Yamba Shores Tavern. The oysters were so flavoursome and the views and scenery were delightful, yet everything else just didn’t hit the mark. That being said, the Oysters Kilpatrick is sensational and the unique waterfront dining experience is worth a try.
Three and a Half Stars