Review: Tapas, Mocktails and Dessert Sampler Plate at Blu Water Grill – Hornsby NSW

We have eaten at Blu Water Grill before, but last night we decided to give their tapas a go for something different. One of the reasons we decided to give this a try is because we find that if we eat a main each here, we generally don’t have room for dessert, and today we wanted dessert.

Blu Water Grill is located at Shop B22 Westfield Shoppingtown, Hornsby NSW – the central outdoor restaurant area.

The Tapas

Blu Water Grill Tapas Plate
Blu Water Grill Tapas Plate

So to share, we ordered a regular tapas plate which at the time of writing includes your choice of three tapas for $22.50 along with your choice of pita bread or sour dough.

We chose:

  1. Grilled haloumi with pistachio vinaigrette
  2. Crispy cajun rubbed chicken with jalapeno and tomato aioli
  3. Kumera (sweet potato) chips with spicy cumin yoghurt

We didn’t realise at the time that we could choose between pita bread and sour dough, and the waitress didn’t ask what we would prefer so our order came out with sour dough. Not a big deal, but we actually would have preferred the pita if we were asked.

The grilled haloumi was brilliant, possible the best grilled haloumi that I’ve had anywhere. The vinaigrette went well with the sour dough bread, much the same way you might have olive oil on it.

The chicken and aioli were not as hot as you might expect from the title. In fact the chicken wasn’t really hot at all. The jalapeno and tomato aioli had a little bit of kick to it, but overall it was quite mild. It should be fine for most people who are sensitive to hot food. The chicken was crumbed and had some great cajun flavours in it, but there is a lot to be said for the aioli and how much it adds.

It’s not often that I encounter sweet potato in Australia being called kumera, but they were chunky, with chunky bits of sea salt as seasoning. They were yum, but there is only so much you can do with sweet potato chips, so the real key to this is in the spicy cumin yoghurt which compliments them nicely and adds lots of strong flavour.

The Mocktails

Blu Water Grill Mocktail and Juice
Blu Water Grill Mocktail and Juice

It’s always nice to find a restaurant that offers interesting mocktails. Blu Water Grill is one of the first we’ve been to in Sydney that does.

I got a tropical mocktail which featured a strawberry syrup with mango, pineapple and coconut. It also got a strawberry on top.

Tammy chose not to get a mocktail but rather to get a fresh juice instead. You can choose any combination of juices from those on offer and they will juice it fresh for you. She got watermelon and pineapple juice.

Both of these were very refreshing. Though the strawberry syrup does make the mocktail quite sweet, it isn’t overpowering and is well balanced by the fresh juices.

At the time of writing, mocktails are $9 and fresh juices are $7.50 for a large size (the same size as the mocktails). Again the waitress didn’t actually ask what size juice we would like, instead she just ordered us a large. Not a big deal either as we would have picked the large anyway, but something to note if you would prefer a small one.

The Dessert Sampler Plate

Blu Water Grill Dessert Sampler Plate
Blu Water Grill Dessert Sampler Plate

We wanted to share a dessert, but we couldn’t decide what we both felt like, there were so many good options. We decided to give the dessert sampler plate a go, which in my opinion is a brilliant idea. Yes, it is twice the price of any of the individual desserts, but you get 5 miniatures of the current ‘most popular’ desserts.

The ones we received on our plate were:

  1. Mars Bar crepes
  2. Lemon sorbet with limoncello
  3. Tiramisu
  4. Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake
  5. Coconut and kaffir lime pannacotta

The plate was then decorated with chocolate sauce, blueberries and strawberries.

We had been leaning towards just getting the Mars Bar crepes, but we were glad we didn’t. The lemon sorbet and coconut pannacotta were both very light and refreshing where the mars bar crepes were very sweet and heavy, so they really balanced each other out well.

The tiramisu did not have the strongest coffee flavour, at least not compared to one that I had at Nonna’s on the Gold Coast where I didn’t sleep for two days afterwards. That said, it was well balanced and Tammy actually enjoyed it as well, which is saying something since she doesn’t like the taste of coffee at all.

The chocolate and hazelnut cake was quite nice, but there is nothing particularly special about it.

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