Sardinian Beach View – Pilu at Freshwater Review
Restaurant: Pilu at Freshwater – Sydney
Location: Moore Rd, Freshwater, NSW
Chef: Giovanni Pilu
Hats: 2 Hats
Mookie has a special restaurant that is reserved for the special treatment of good friends and crew alike. It resides in a converted boarding house looking over the epitomy of a northern beach in Sydney and continues to attract locals for its fabulous lunches with a classic coastal view. Naturally on being asked where might be the best place north of the bridge to have a surprise birthday dinner Pilu sprang to mind. We arrive at the appointed time to greet good friends of the Foodie Mookie crew in a Sardinian feast and testament to that king of italian wines – Barolo. Not that Pilu’s wine list is in any way restricted – it has been recognised repeatedly as one of the finest wine lists in Australia.
Born in Sardinia and then having migrated to Australia, Giovanni Pilu cut his teeth on the Sydney dining scene with Cala Luna before progressing to Pilu at Freshwater in 2004 and most recently his only-for-Sunday-lunch restaurant at Akuna Bay in 2015. Giovanni evangelises the ingredient and dishes of his birth place Sardinia.
The Melanda Park free range roast suckling pig is always great as would be expected of a signature dish. Pookie is focused on the wine, as always, and has selected 2 Barolo’s – Paulo Scavino ‘Canubi’ 2010 and Gaja ‘Sperss’ 1990. It is the 2 pasta dishes that most win Mookie’s admiration. Pecorino consommé, hand rolled fregola with zucchini and flower offering a lovely light and salty pasta which counters very well with the heavy fruitness of the Scavino. Malloreddus, baby goat ragu, Saba and Pecorino makes for a umami rich, almost decadent, flavour. Mookie loves the little bulls (the pasta) which is a craft speciality of Sardinia. The Gaja stands well against the pork and lamb belly but also surprisingly counters the heavy salty truffle flavour of the truffled percorino.
Sometimes, even at the best of restaurants, an experience is heightened to the point of being forever in ones memory. The surf side setting, familiar service, wines and the fantastic company made our most recent evening at Pilu has cemented it as being one of the Foodie Mookie crew’s familiar yet favourite establishments for that very special occasion. We hope that you, the reader, will venture to Freshwater some time soon to share in the grand old tradition Pilu has become. Tip – plan a lunch or early dinner if your truly want to enjoy the views.