HarbourFront Level One Wollongong Harbour NSW

Tortellini of Ricotta and mushroom filling half hidden under a heap of peas, mushrooms and a fruity, semi soft Taleggio cream sauce.

Several people living outside Wollongong have asked me why I wish to reside there  - added with some of their perceptions and sincere curiosity.  I say, come down to look around, when you can, and not just pass it on the way to that camping or those relatives a few hours further down the South Coast of this rather large state of New South Wales.

In the greater Sydney region, getting to a restaurant like Level One can be already a logistical exercise in perhaps riding on a  ferry (like to Manly), finding a place to park the vehicle  (like in Bondi) and then driving for at least half an hour home after dinner.   In Wollongong, I have world class views of the ocean, the Escarpment and of a quiet marina, having access to fresh seafood and then coming home in under ten minutes.
The Illawarra is neither far from nor near to Sydney proper, buffeted against the excesses of the Big Smoke by the Royal National Park ( Australia's first) and it is where big city people can come for a weekend getaway.

I was most recently at Level One twice in one particular week, once for dinner and then followed by lunch.  On both occasions I was impressed by the attentive service, the way we were greeted and the care with which the staff ensured we enjoyed our experience.  The culinary standard is consistent at high and delightful levels - this time around I was fascinated by how the Sashimi was served.  There are reasonable meal packages of two or three courses, even in the evenings.

My dining companions and I did not feel rushed.   There was a variety in the menu, not confined to just the harvest of the sea.   You can have your beef Brisket, pulled pork, lamb meatballs or Chicken breast.   The offerings have imagination, taste and use of clever ingredients.  Rose fairy flavoured floss lift up your Vanilla Creme Brulee; Dutch carrots, potato mash, peas and matching sauces complement in flavour of that of the main item you desire on your plate.

An alternative way of presenting the Tuna and Kingfish Sashimi.

I have to remind myself that Level One is not just a seafood restaurant, it strongly emphasises its capability for parties, getting people together and has a good drinks menu as well.     The bar is wide enough, the barmen are engaging and there is sufficient space for different groups to huddle away.  Vehicle parking space is reasonable just outside the restaurant, though often I did find spaces filled up but it is just a quick nip otherwise to drive nearer the Lighthouse to park your vehicle.

You can go for relaxing walks at the nearby Belmore Basin, which now has two obvious bright orange reflector boards to alert incoming boats about the proximity of the Basin.  On another occasion, we had the fortune to watch a small and intimate wedding party take their vows at the Basin and then proceed to a meal at the Harbourfront.  Instead of crowds of ferry passengers or backpackers, we saw families and youngsters soak in a lifestyle that is no longer so common on the shores of Sydney, now replaced by gamblers, tourists, students and the nouveau rich  (rich in material things, but not in the real things that matter, perhaps).

If you can, soak in the ambiance of an evening at Level One.  There is an upstairs related  dining area  which offers different pricing.  I suggest begin at Level One and then make a table booking upstairs on another  bigger occasion.  Level One is a tad more informal and you can still have a good culinary experience.

If you feel Italian one day, there is a Salumi platter, with Quattro Stelle, San Daniele Prosciutto and Truffle Pecorino and Parmesan cheese bites.   If you feel more Japanese on another day, take your pick from Yellowfin Tuna, Haramisa Kingfish or salmon.   Braised octopus, Kilpatrick oysters and pan seared Atlantic ocean scallops are what caught my eye from the Ala Carte menu.

Belly pork with carrots, bacon, potatoes and gravy  - Yummy yum!

Harbour Front Level One is located at street level at 2 Endeavour Drive  in the same building that overlooks the marina at Wollongong Harbour, NSW.   It is fully licensed.
Opening hours are for lunch every day and from Wednesdays to Sundays for dinner.
Contact + 61 2 4227 2999

My impressions of Harbour Front Level One in Wollongong NSW:
Ambiance: 3.5 out of 5

Customer Engagement:  4 out of 5
Culinary Delight: 4 out of 5
X Factor:  3 out of 5
Overall:   14.5 /4 out of 5

Recommended Menu Choices:
Tortellini with fillings of both Ricotta and mushrooms, heaped under peas, mushrooms, a Taleggio crream sauce.
Smoked salmon Bruschetta.
Pan seared Atlantic Scallops with a cauliflower puree, Chorizo sausage cuts, Asparagus and pea Salsa.
Zucchini flowers filled with a roasted Capsicum and Ricotta filling and graced by sweet and sour peppers.
Peanut Butter Parfait, graced by a chocolate cookie, a spiced Rum and Chocolate Ganache and a Peanut Brittle.
Sticky Date Pudding, accompanied by a Vanilla Bean Gelato and hot Butterscotch sauce.

Harbourfront Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato