The Mosman Rowers’ is situated on a prime piece of heritage waterfront land in Mosman. The club started in Circular Quay in 1873 but now has its very unique and special location in Mosman Bay.
The clubhouse is a rustic weatherboard building that has a balcony overlooking the very pretty bay and it’s a great place to sit and enjoy a drink on a Sunday or any sunny afternoon. It’s also a kid-friendly club and as such, there are no poker machines or other gambling devices so families are very welcome.
Being set in such a special location, and being a club that welcomes families, and being within walking distance of where I live, you would think I would be a regular visitor. I’m horrified to announce that when I went there a few days ago, I hadn’t actually been to the Mosman Rowers’ for about 15 years. I’m not sure I know how that happened.
Last Sunday afternoon I slipped into my thongs and walked to my friend Annie’s house and together we walked with our boys down to the Mosman Rowers’. It was a beautiful day for a walk and it’s also an easy walk as it’s all downhill. When we arrived at the Rowers’ I threw off my thongs and slipped into something more elegant.
If you’re not up to walking, there is a ferry service in Mosman Bay so you can arrive by water. The club also has a courtesy bus and if you book a day ahead they’re very happy to come and collect you to bring you down to the Rowers’. The courtesy bus is also available to drive local patrons home and this is a free service however they do suggest a $5.00 donation to the Club’s building fund.
We sat at an indoor table and looked over the menu. I was pretty impressed with the selection as it’s quite varied and there are a lot of options not typically seen on club menus. There are a lot of shared plate dishes and so we ordered a few. You order at the bar and then relax at your table and the food is brought to you – none of those annoying buzzers!
We started with the salt and pepper squid that was served in a chip-fryer basket. It was a generous serve for the price and the squid was tasty, spicy and very tender. This was Alfie’s favourite.
We then tried the goats cheese and basil stuffed mushrooms with tomato marmalade which were delicately bite-sized and the tomato marmalade with the mushrooms worked so well with the dollop of goat’s cheese. I thought these are a great snack if you’re wanting something to enjoy with a glass of wine.
My favourite dish on the shared plates menu was the arancini balls with lemon zest and aioli. They were generously sized but I would have loved a little more aioli that I thought was sparingly served. The risotto balls had a lovely crunchy coating and the risotto was flavoursome and ‘to the tooth’.
Next we tried Rocky’s famous curry bites with mini papadums and mint yoghurt. If you’re trying to eat elegantly I would avoid these as they’re a little messy but the curry is wonderful and full of spices and the meat tender. The papadums were crisp and crunchy but typically, snapped in an unpredictable way which can lead to a mess.
After the shared plates had been digested, Annie ordered the steak sandwich which is chargrilled scotch fillet with sauteed onions, cheese and homemade relish. It was a very generous steak sandwich piled high with fillings and the steak was extremely tender and cooked, as requested, medium-rare.
I ordered from the pizza menu and thoroughly enjoyed the MeDel Terra Bianca with fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, garlic, truffle oil, thyme and sea salt. This was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. The base of the pizza was light and crispy, there was a good balance between cheese and fillings and a most wonderful aroma from the truffle oil.
Gelato is available and Annie’s boy ordered chocolate gelato that arrived as three large scoops and this was devoured before I had the opportunity to capture it. Gelato is $12.00 and made by Gelato Cart.
And then of course, Elvis turned up and serenaded us as the sun went down and wine o’clock arrived.
Annie and I were very impressed by the friendliness of the staff at the club and found the food to be of very good quality. It was freshly prepared and was brought to the table within a reasonable time of ordering. Memberships are available and Annie and I both bought a five-year membership for $150.00. This entitles you to 10% off all food and beverage orders while also helping to support a club on heritage-listed premises.
While I thought the club-like carpet should be torn up in favour of floorboards and while the chairs are cumbersome and awkward, I believe this is a club that serves fabulous food with great value for money in a unique and extremely picturesque setting.
Verdict: Well worth a visit.
Mosman Rowers‘: 3 Centenary Drive, Mosman 2088
Ph: 02 9953 7966