Eats N Beats on the Water – No Better Place to Spend an Evening
BY JASON BATES
Port Stephens has always been a great tourist spot and a beautiful place to visit, with its beaches, sand dunes, coastal walks, national parks, pristine waters, carefree laid-back lifestyle, and a great range of accommodation.
And the central tourist hub of Port Stephens has to be the gorgeous town of Nelson Bay, Located only 115kms from Singleton, the town of Nelson Bay is located on the bay of the same name and has a population of only about 6000 residents.
One of the many activities available to tourist and locals alike, are the cruises, dolphin cruises, whale watching cruises, sightseeing cruises and even dinner cruises. The former of course, is what brings us here.
Last weekend my partner and I found ourselves in Nelsons Bay enjoying the charming laid-back town and spent our day browsing around the d’Albora Marina and the various shops such as the ice creamery, as well as the markets along the foreshore.
We were just taking our time enjoying Nelson Bay, we were in no rush as we waited for 7pm as we had booked for the Moonshadow ‐ TQC Cruises twilight dinner cruise, Cruising Eats ‘n’ Beats.
A 2.5-hour cruise aboard the Moonshadow V, a magnificent three deck boat.
Cruising Eats ‘n’ Beats, departs Saturday nights all year round and even has a special three-hour New Year’s Eve dinner cruise departing December 31, 2022.
The Eats part to the name offers a delicious three-course meal, while the Beats offers music performed on board by renowned local talent, as you cruise the beautiful waterways of Port Stephens.
After we boarded the Moonshadow V and were shown to our seats we were able to go to the bar and order drinks from a range of cocktails, mocktails, a selection of Hunter Valley Wines and locally brewed beers, as well as the usual soft drink options.
After we resumed our seats, we were served the entrée, a charcuterie board which offered roasted beetroot hummus with house made dukkha, marinated green and black olives, with a selection of cheeses and semi-dried tomatoes, Salami, spiced gherkins served with warm ciabatta bread and crackers.
Before the main course was served, we had time to explore the boat, from the bow we had terrific views of the coast of Port Stephens and even saw dolphins racing alongside the boat.
For our main we had the choice of one of five options which included gluten free and vegetarian options. My partner chose the Creamy Tuscan chicken with Italian maniche pasta.
While I had the slow cooked beef Brisket in barbecue sauce, drizzled with garlic aioli, served with chips, rocket and pickled red onion. The mains were extremely enjoyable and the waiter who served us was very friendly and enthusiastic.
For dessert we had an alternate drop of White Chocolate and Citrus Tart or Black Forest Gateau. So, if you didn’t want what you were given, hopefully you could trade it with your fellow dinners. Lucky for us, I wanted the gateau, and my partner wanted the tart, so it worked perfectly for us.
After we had finished our scrumptious dessert, we headed to the top deck, which was illuminated by rows of lights. Despite the mild breeze we remained on the outside of the boat on the way back to the marina, enjoying the night air with the on-board music. A brilliant night of Eats N Beats.