Written by Lizzie Macauley
It’s not often you’re invited along to a restaurant to take it for a spin. Joy and I were privileged enough to have exactly that happen to us this week, over at Harbourview Dining. Sitting within Hervey Bay Boat Club’s main building, Harbourview offers an unexpected dining experience in all the best ways.
From the moment I walked in, it was clear the restaurant was living up to its name – the calm vista of boats of all shapes and sizes moored in Urangan’s marina was almost hypnotic, and a great opportunity to vanish into my own thoughts while we waited for the gourmet meals to arrive. All around me is the hum of diners happily talking away, enjoying their moment of down time in what I’m sure has been a busy festive period so far.
There were young families, large groups, couples, all enjoying the surprising selection of a la carte options. In a lesser venue, a menu as detailed and varied as Harbourview’s would be something to be suspicious of, but knowing how big their kitchen is, and how skilled the chefs and staff within it, I was confident we were in for a treat.
Something that struck me was how incredibly friendly and accommodating the staff were. They all seem to enjoy their work, and go out of their way to make you feel welcomed and at ease. I’m reliably informed that many of these happy faces have been at the Boat Club for several years (or even more) and that’s clear from the way they confidently circulate around the busy restaurant.
What’s abundantly clear, in every aspect of our visit, is just how important the customer experience is. In the year where safety became everything, the slick check-in procedure is the easiest I’ve experienced since we needed to check in for any other reason than to brag to our friends on social media. Tables were well spaced throughout the restaurant and featured fabulous little signs to indicate when each had been sanitised and was ready for use. I felt safe, valued and validated.
Our food arrived quickly (especially considering Friday lunch times are such a busy time!) and had us salivating. Fresh, natural oysters, Puttanesca pizza and Tasmanian lamb rump landed on the table – just a small sample of the range of meals available. The food was fresh, colourful and well presented. Each meal was flavourful, textural and of such a high standard we couldn’t help but share a tiny smirk at how fortunate we’d been to share this experience.
I’m genuinely looking forward to my next visit to Harbourview restaurant – I have my eye on a few tasty morsels I’m yet to try off the menu. The only thing missing was my lovely family, who would have been as impressed as I was by the whole experience. The good news? There’s always next time…
With thanks to Harbourview Restaurant and The Boat Club teams for welcoming us and sharing their signature dishes. If you’re part of a group of 6 or more, call (07) 4128 9643 to book. (Walk-ins also welcome, of course)