Some recent reviews and awards

Godd Food Guide 2019.jpg


“It’s still one of the most Perfect View restaurants in the city - the beautifully reworked boathouse looks straight over the bay, where rowers glide by at sunset and and fishing boats at the nearby market have settled in for the night”… Read full review in the Good Food Guide 2020 - October 2019

Delicious Magazine: NSW’ 100 Most Delicious Restaurants 

There’s been a bounty of seafood restaurants lately landing on deck, but The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay has been setting the seafood standard for decades. Chef Colin Barker places the emphasis on seasonal, under-utilised catches of the day, letting them shine on the plate. The Boathouse also boasts the largest oyster menu in the country.

“Once you’ve enjoyed a few briny joys, scoop trout roe onto potato blini and top it with crème fraiche, then slap a bib on for wok-tossed salt-and-pepper mud crab. Tarragon and cider butter let roasted Clarence River king prawns show their sweeter side, and braised fennel and a deep, alluring bouillabaisse sauce backs up pan-fried Mooloolaba moonfish.

“With a relaxed dining room and a win list the doesn’t break the bank, The Boathouse is still one of the best.” Sunday Telegraph November 2018



“…The Seafood here is a geography lesson in the country’s most pristine estuaries, inlets and bays, with lesser-seen, more sustainably caught species getting top billing. Shucked-to-order rock oysters are served simply with a classic mignonette. Coffs Harbour red mullet is fork-flaky, while the Swansea bonito makes for a fine sashimi brightened with ponzu, pickled young ginger and shiso. Smart, professional waitstaff dart between tables, offering encouragement on another bottle of Sancerre or the chocolate custard-filled cannoli with poached cherries. A real-deal dining institution.” Read full review in the Good Food Guide 2019 - October 2018


This week in Glebe: "Romantic spots by the water tend to come with a steep price tag. At Boathouse, however, you can treat your favourite person to a glass of champagne, truffle fish pie, and order off the oyster menu and still get change from $100 a head. A good secret gem for the next special occasion meal". August 2018


Broadsheet Sydney: Best restaurants in glebe

Fresh fish, shucked oysters and a panoramic view. "A legendary seafood-centric menu delivered via a slick, unobtrusive service team in a practically faultless dining room is what makes The Boathouse an enduring gem on Sydney’s turbulent restaurant scene."  Read more: Broadsheet - February 2018 sydney's top 5 seafood restaurants

According to Roberta Muir, author and Manager of the Sydney Seafood School, there are five Sydney restaurants you must try to enjoy some of Australia's finest seafood, innovatively prepared without compromising its pure, fresh flavour. "Sitting quietly above the Sydney Rowers Club for over 20 years, The Boathouse offers fabulous views of Anzac Bridge and Blackwattle Bay, a comprehensive oyster menu, that legendary snapper pie, friendly professional service and great wines by the glass - what's not to love!"  Read more:


Concrete Playground:  Seafood fine-dining with sweeping harbour views

"An iconic Sydney dinner contains three key elements: seafood, the ocean and a sweet view. The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay has been delivering this trifecta to the public for the past twenty years. It's Glebe's answer to fresh fish and vistas overlooking the harbour. Although the menu changes, staples like the snapper pie are forever. Shuck an oyster or eight, nosh on some panfried Wallis Lake flathead and wash it all down with one of the 184 wines on offer. The restaurant is ten minutes from the CBD, or you can arrive by water taxi for an especially luxe experience." Read more: Concrete Playground - January 2018


AFR Life & Leisure: The 10 best seafood dishes in Australia

Photography by Edwina Pickles at The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

Photography by Edwina Pickles at The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

According to fish expert John Susman: "Chef Colin Barker has spent over a decade chasing down the best oyster farmers in Australia and every day presents eight to 10 of the finest, from Moreton Bay to Albany and everywhere in between. Perfectly curated, perfectly handled, beautifully presented – the oyster platter here is one of the best in the world."  Read more: AFR - January 2018



"Perched on the water at Blackwattle Bay, The Boathouse has a dedicated oyster menu, featuring delights from the mid-north, south and east coast of Australia. They’re freshly-shucked to order in the open kitchen, and served with a mignonette and dark rye bread to really allow the oysters flavours and textures to come through. You will want to start your meal with a half-dozen or so." -  November 2017


SITCHU: Sydney's Best pie shops

"Perched on the water at Blackwattle Bay, The Boathouse has sparkling views to go with Sydney’s most legendary snapper pie. Fluffy yet filling, it’s stuffed with snapper, smoked tomatoes and mash, and the fancy setting adds to the experience. The restaurant is right by The Fish Markets, so it’s a sin to leave without ordering up a side of freshly shucked oysters." Read the full article at - August 2017


Broadsheet: best special occasion restaurants in sydney

"With floor-to-ceiling windows aplenty, view’s the word. Perched on Blackwattle Bay, diners are offered panoramic views across the Anzac Bridge and the Sydney Fish Market from within a simple and perfectly understated room. Then there’s the fact that the restaurant is an oyster fiend’s best friend, offering over a dozen different varieties."  Read full article at - August 2017


STARLOZ (Health & Lifestyle Blog)

Photography by StarLoz at The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

Photography by StarLoz at The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

"Each course I was given was so incredibly delicious - I felt incredibly lucky to have received these wonderfully colourful dishes with such interesting textures and mouth-watering flavours. This meal was a taste sensation and I couldn’t have been happier!!"  Read the full blog with beautiful images at 


Travel + Leisure (US): The world's top oyster bars

"In Sydney I went three times to the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, an oyster’s throw from the Sydney Fish Markets—partly because its Sydney Rocks are sensational, but also because it was the only place I could find that shucks them in-house." Read full article at - July 2017


The Urban List: Sydney's Best Waterfront Restaurants

"This little beauty is tucked away in Glebe and promises to put on a spectacular show when you’re on the hunt for an OMFG-worthy waterfront restaurant in Sydney. Obviously, they’re famous for the snapper pie but don’t skimp on a rock lobster or mud crab (we recommend pre-ordering just in case). Oh, and make sure to get a decent selection of oysters; ask your friendly waiter what’s good and then get four of each. The menu changes depending on what’s fresh and available, but if you can get your mitts on the Moonlight Kisses, hold them close and never let go. Ever." - June 2017

THE URBAN LIST: Get Shucked | The Best Places To Eat Oysters In Sydney

“Here are the best places to eat oysters in Sydney.... Everyone who’s ever oystered is banging on about the meaty molluscs at the Boathouse, and for a good reason too. There are also numerous oyster platters to choose from and yep, you should get them all.” - January 2017


Our ‘Hat’ is well and truly intact in this bible of Sydney restaurants. "Oh, the joy of being handed a daily-changing list of up to a dozen different varieties of oysters (and why, pray tell, is such a thing so rare?)... The rest of Colin Barker's menu is equally ever-changing, from translucent fingers of alfonsino ceviche dotted with smoked  buffalo milk, to a fleshy, crisp-skinned fillet of bass groper robustly paired with cabbage, ham hock and lentils...Desserts are also seasonally adjusted, so a whippy, oozy deconstructed cheesecake mixing strawberry sorbet and black olive caramel appears when strawberries are at their best. The wine list is appropriately fruit-driven, and the dining pace is leisurely - all the better to enjoy the ever-changing views over Blackwattle Bay to the Anzac Bridge and the city." – October 2016

Sydney Morning Herald: Sydney's top five oyster bars

"The snapper pie gets all the attention at this Glebe stalwart, but it's the oyster service that makes The Boathouse a must for any bivalve fan. Expect 12 varieties available at any time, served with rye bread and butter as God intended." - September 16


THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:  the top 21 sydney dishes to try before you die

"A legend in its own lunchtime, this pie of snapper, truffle oil, tomatoes and flaky butter puff pasty has an international following, having been on the menu at this harbour-front stalwart since its opening in the '90s..." - August 16



"The Boathouse has got it all: impeccable locally sourced fish, shellfish and crustaceans with front-on views of the water and fish markets beyond. Get stuck in to the snapper pie, the wok-fried Townsville mud crab or the blockbuster oyster list (seriously, they've got more than a dozen different types to choose from)… Blue-eye is resplendent on a classical ensemble of lettuce, peas, crab and pancetta, while rhubarb ripple makes a fine ice-cream complement to pistachio cannoli. A landmark to treasure" -  July 16


Sydney Morning Herald: Sydney's best long lunches

"Oh, the joy of being handed a daily-changing list of up to a dozen different varieties of oysters...From intensely sea-sweet Merimbula Lakes Sydney rock oysters to meaty Coffin Bay Pacifics, it's as celebratory as splashing through the waves at Bondi Beach." - July 2016


The Food Book blog: 

“…We decided to eat early so we can relax with some wine and enjoy the views of the bay whilst it was still light… ‘Wok Fried Rockampton Mud crab, salt and pepper style, snow peas and shallots’ – Even as a write this I can imagine the taste of the crab meat and beautiful sauce from this dish. Super fresh mud crab, lightly battered and with a black bean and pepper sauce. The taste just so divine. We spent a good hour painstakingly extracting every morsel of meat and mopping up the sauce with the left-over bread. Droolworthy indeed.” – February 2016


Noodlies blog: Everything good about Sydney in one place

“…Corrugated iron and wood, native plants (where’s that blackwattle?), stark blue skies and water – you couldn’t get much more Sydney than this (Oi, Oi, Oi!). The stunning water view, framed with large rows of windows all-round, keeps the punters coming back. Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay is a favourite for corporate lunches and evening romantic dinners – it’s a safe bet, how could you go wrong with those views?” 

The Urban List: A Guide to Oysters in SYdney

When people talk about The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, they’re often talking about the Snapper Pie. For good reason, I hasten to add. It’s amazing. But so too are the oysters. The oyster menu features a host of Sydney Rock options from the south and mid north coast as well as a few Pacific treats as well as, the pièce de résistance, the Moonlight Flat Angassi. You can’t go wrong.”

Savour Australia Awards for Excellence 2015

Once again, The Boathouse is the winner of Sydney’s top formal Seafood Restaurant 2015 in the Savour Australia restaurant and catering Awards for Excellence. The Award is given for ‘outstanding commitment to quality and service’.

Time Out: Where to eat crab in Sydney

“This waterfront, seafood establishment in Glebe may be best known for its dedicated oyster menu (currently there are fifteen to choose from) but you can also order up a whole mud crab (approx 950g) wok fried with black beans, ginger and chilli, or a salt and pepper version with snow peas and shallots.” 

The Urban List: 11 Sydney Restaurants to dine with a view

“The chefs at The Boathouse On Blackwattle Bay have been enjoying the views for over 18 years, so it’s about time you do too. It’ll be a feast for your eyes and your stomach as you gaze out on the stunning water views and delve face first into their amazing seafood-loving menu. Tip: start your dining experience with a share plate of Australia’s finest oysters and watch the people on boats pass you by.” 

London Financial Times: Five of the best Oyster dishes…

The FT voted The Boathouse as one of the “best spots in the world” to enjoy oysters. “The Sydney rock oyster is succulently silky, with a salinity that grows stronger in harvests from the northernmost waters of the eastern coast. Two favourites in Sydney are the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, where they are served with an optional champagne-and-shallot mignonette dip, and the no-frills stalls of Sydney Fish Market.” 

TimeOut Magazine: What’s more Sydney than a seafood lunch on Christmas Day?

“For a seriously Sydney Christmas Day leave the cooking to the professionals and book a table for Christmas lunch at the Boathouse where a seafood degustation will keep everyone in high spirits over the holidays. Harbour views? Check. Oysters? Check. Champagne? Check. They are old hands at the Christmas game here so you can just kick back and relax over lunch and leave the cleaning to someone else.”

The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay in Sydney’s inner west suburb of Glebe is in an idyllic setting that is hard to beat. Literally up the road from the Sydney Fish Market, it boasts panoramic harbour views that has made dining in this city a truly world-class experience”. See full text and images at ChopinandMysaucepan blog. 

QANTAS The Australian Way: Catch of the Day

Feature on Seafood restaurants around Australia: “The oysters aren’t mandatory. Many’s the excellent meal that’s been had at this most sublime of inner-western Sydney restaurant locations where proceedings have skipped directly to the seared kingfish with a Latin flourish of red peppers, almonds and chorizo, or even (gasp!) the ham hock croquette with a soft egg, jamón and peas. But that would be foregoing some of the best shellfish in the land, served by past masters of the shucking knife. There might be 10 or more from around the country offered on any given day and, with bread, butter and something cold, minerally or toasty in the glass, the sun or moon sparkling on the water outside, it’s pretty hard to beat.” 

SMH Sydney Magazine, The Age Melbourne Magazine

Acclaimed food critic Terry Durack includes our legendary Snapper Pie in his “10 Sydney Delights” article in SMH Sydney Magazine and The Age Melbourne Magazine. It seems our customers’ love affair with our Snapper Pie shows no signs of waning yet!

The New Daily:  Australia’s best seafood restaurants

Known for their seafood and their array of oysters, this historic boathouse on Blackwattle Bay is located in an historic converted boathouse on the Sydney Harbour’s Blackwattle Bay. Killer views of the water ensue. Head chef Colin Baker brings fresh produce to the plate with a focus on lesser-known species of fish. Oysters see Clair De Lune Bouton Rocks, Label Rouge Rocks and Coffin Bay Angasi. Mains include roasted New Zealand Hapuka served with prawn bisque, spelt and leek.”

Time Out Magazine: Sydney’s Top Five Lunch Spots

Once again, Time Out magazine has voted The Boathouse one of Sydney’s top long lunch spots. “Watching your more athletic peers cut swathes through Blackwattle Bay in a variety of seacraft makes kicking back in these elegant surrounds, and sizing up the freshly shucked oysters in front of you, all the sweeter.” 

Urban Chic Guides : Sydney’s top 10 romantic restaurants

“Perched above the Sydney Rowers Club you will find this romantic seafood restaurant.  Making the most of its spectacular waterfront view with wrap around floor to ceiling windows the Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay embodies style and grace.  By day you will enjoy stunning city and Anzac Bridge views and by night the twinkling lights take centre stage. This is without doubt a place for seafood lovers … you’re in for a real treat.” Read full review here

Petit Fours, A Sydney Food Blog

“The menu is almost seafood centric so antiquarians rejoice as all the options look incredibly interesting. The careful sourcing here is where this place stands miles above most others, with each location explicitly stated and with an equally great respect for the ingredients….Perfectly cooked fish, really amazing snapper pie, sharp and friendly service but really it’s the almost unmatched preparation and respect for the oysters that hits it right out of the ball park here. The picturesque backdrop of Anzac bridge doesn’t hurt either. Come for the late afternoon to watch the sun go down behind you whilst feasting away.”

“The Seven Best Pies in Sydney – On the quest for puffy pastry, generous fillings and bottoms that remain miraculously un-soggy. No.5 Snapper Pie. And yes, it’s one of those pies: not only does it meet all the benchmarks of the perfect pie, but also it goes way beyond that. Ceremoniously served up on the plate in front of you by the waiter, the aromas are enough to send you into a gastronomic meltdown…The Boathouse have nailed it: hook, line and sinker.”

"We were so impressed! Staff have the balance of service right. Friendly without being familiar, efficient without being intrusive, sophisticated without being snooty, a pleasure to be around. The view is an interesting one of the working harbour, with glass surrounding the restaurant it feels almost like being in a boat, great lunchtime views….How often do both people at a meal take their first mouthful, look at each other, and say “yum!” What an absolute delight.” 

Belly Rumbles food blog

“The Boathouse is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney for various reasons. The gorgeous location on top of a converted boathouse that juts in to Blackwattle Bay. The fully glassed in space that gives you views, no matter where you look or are seated, Anzac Bridge, Sydney skyline or the Sydney Fish Markets. Then there of course is the pride they take in the produce they source for their patrons.”

When the world stops spinning, food blog

“Ah the Snapper Pie. A pie at such an elegant restaurant?! Is it overrated? Definitely not! I knew I wanted the pie before we even sat down. Everyone talks about the Snapper Pie and surely it couldn’t be THAT good, but it was. Golden flakey puff pastry, light creamy sauce, succulent pieces of snapper, hint of sweetness (not like a dessert though), and a waft of truffle oil. The smoked tomato and buttery smooth mash was outshone by the pie, who knew a pie could be that good! We even asked the waiter to bring us more bread to mop up the sauce.”, food critic

The view of the Sydney skyline and Anzac Bridge across Blackwattle Bay is pure magic by day or night — as is the food. Reflecting its background as a historic boat shed, the name doesn’t truly express the gravitas behind this restaurant. Owner Tony Papas is himself a chef too, having cut his culinary teeth at Sydney’s Bayswater Brasserie, and was mentored by local luminaries before opening this restaurant. With such a waterside ambience it is a foregone conclusion that the menu will feature seafood, and few restaurants do it better. (Colin Barker is the head chef.) The snapper pie is well known, its recipe a closely guarded house secret. The Boathouse is known for its oysters... Seafood may range from pan-fried hiramasa kingfish to roast Cone Bay barramundi. Lamb and fettuccine might be on offer as alternatives. Expect to find some of the best hand-cut chips in town. It’s a hidden gem and locating it the first time may sound tricky, but no one forgets how to return.”