The Blank Canvas Restaurant - Batemans Bay, South Coast NSW
|My first encounter with the veg burger at the Blank Canvas - underpinned by Mediterranean headiness, strong flavours and beautiful avocado.|
Along the Murra Murra Mia Walk, beside a calming Clyde River, I find an iconic encapsulation of what it feels to be like in Batemans Bay. It is mid-January and the cares of the world float up and seep away in the quietness of the gentle waters. Then I notice a chalk written board, placed outside a corner restaurant inviting any passers-by to divert and take a rest. Why is it called the Blank Canvas, I wonder. Is this a casual place, or one that offers more than just a holiday version of modern Australian, or one where a guest is accepted with care, whether one is dressed down or up?
The interiors are inviting, with cool wood and shaded tones, especially in the evenings, when candle light suggests a different and even more inviting ambiance. There are Mediterranean influences in the gourmet options and yet at the same time guests can have their burgers and steak too. It is open from 830am, usually from Wednesdays to Sundays in the winter season but have food available till late evenings even on Mondays and Tuesdays in the height of summer. Staff are attentive and engaging - and there is nothing like having a chat with them and noticing a different and more positive atmosphere when compared with some capital city operations. The men behind the kitchen counter are cocooned inside, but the staff on the front line, including Tammie, the female half of the couple owners, talk to you as if they are your friendly neighbours.
|Tuesday evening at a cosy place with an innovative menu and vibrant choices.|
|Twilight on a January visit, just outside the restaurant, looking over the mouth of the Clyde River meeting the open ocean.|
Use with careful thought of ingredients feature in the menu options. Add touches like sweet potato crisps, fresh salads and Bearnise sauce. The selection of seafood reflects the local produce. There is a range of pastas and risotto. You can have a simple preference or try some of the more creative combinations and all are crafted under the direction of Chef Chrischen. Our lunchtime meal was graced by the out going personality of Josh that day. The relative spaciousness of placed tables and an option to wait on a sofa inside added to a bonus.
|Crunchiness and freshness - a lunch idea with bite, flavour and mix.|
Seating is provided outside for guests to watch the world go by, including the pleasure or fishing boats first anchored close to shore in the dawn hours and later chugging back in the sunset. Evening time sees the restaurant transformed with a clever combination of low lighting and a choice of cocktails. The Blank Canvas can also be accessed from the inner Orient Street and has an address at the Annetts Arcade. A hidden delight to me is the Golden Bean Rainforest Alliance blend of Numero Uno coffee that they serve with pride from mornings onwards. If you go for a run or cycle ride along the foreshores of the Clyde River, this is a recommended stop afterwards. The Blank Canvas can stand out against the variety of fast foods and sandwich cafes that dot the town centre hub of Batemans Bay in this respect. The Canvas take more care with their food, customer engagement and seating choices. My own experience there did not encounter delays in having my chosen dishes and orders come to the table. As it is located only with a ground floor, the place is easily accessible.
|My morning cuppa of cappuccino at the Blank Canvas.|
|Sunrise at the pier jutting out river side, captured whilst walking to the Blank Canvas for an early breakky.|
|Efficient and friendly Josh made a suggestion for me to try another cocktail after the Midori.|
|Spring rolls with a twist as to the inside - an illustration of fusion creativity, utilising goat's curd inside and fresh rocket as a backdrop in presentation.|
|Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce and a well done plus juicy grilled tomato.|
Perhaps akin to the scenery outside, the Blank Canvas allows you to paint and compose the kind of experience you want to have at different times of the day or night. A few of us from work had a casual lunch within sight of its peppercorn tree and a kaffir lime bush. Breakfast opens up all the senses as gently as the light shining through over the Bay. Evening time can be elegant, private or group based as you prefer. I find it is also a good place to chat, with an unobtrusive feel and something to consider visiting even if you are residing further up or down the coast, or coming form Canberra. There are few seagulls, if any, on my visit there recently, to disrupt your meal when seated outdoors.