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The Cowrie

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
Travel safe during COVID-19
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What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Daily temperature and symptom checks for staff
  • Socially distanced dining tables
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Tables disinfected between guests
Read more
Updated 24/11/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 24/11/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
The Cowrie is dedicated to the ongoing support and growth of developing our menus strictly based on locally sourced and seasonally driven produce. This is also correlated with engagement within our local community, working together with local growers developing Australian honey, citrus, native herbs/spices and sustainable seafood. Our mission is to consistently build our connections with these passionate growers and bring that quality of product to the dining experience at the restaurant.
USD 79 - USD 99
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
Australian, Contemporary, Dining bars
Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Wine and Beer, Waterfront, Family style, Gift Cards Available
Reviews (571)
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All reviews seafood pork risotto potatoes glass of wine special occasion great view central coast set menu fine dining delicious meal birthday lunch cooked perfectly our wedding anniversary terrigal beach views courses
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As a former chef of over 15 years experience and not simply a pretentious foodie, I believe my critique should be fairly accurate (apologies, as a former chef I do not like foodies), Appetizer: A mixture of olive, radish and pickle, I felt like I...was in a Lebanese restaurant briefly. I found it a slightly strange choice for this type of restaurant, nothing special but the marinade was nice. Entrée: Mushroom risotto In general was very good a standard risotto which in terms of technical cooking was cooked almost perfectly with one caveat, it was "onda" the Italian word for wave, in essence has to do with the look and texture of the dish. Technique: There where literally only 2 crunchy grains of rice which had not been fully cooked, not sure how that happened unless they had a couple of the grains on the edge of the pan which did not get cooked off properly but incorporated at the end. Technically this was the only let down. Taste: The taste was good, seasoning was good my only critique was the truffle in the dish just needed to be dialled back a touch. Mains: Hunter Valley Duck Breast, grilled witlof, duck dumpling, master stock, chestnut puree, persimmon. Duck was well cooked, the introduction of the dumpling was a nice surprise and worked well (surprisingly) with the other components. Technique: Duck was well cooked, maybe a touch on the tougher side, but certainly not so as to make it a problem. This particular protein is a difficult one at the best of times. All the components worked really well together, this dish was sublime. Taste: There was not a single component that dominated the dish, the inclusion of the dumpling really helped to elevate the duck and worked with the other components. The Chestnut made sense when taken with the other elements. Desert: Affogato, vanilla bean ice cream, Mr Black Amaro liqueur, espresso shot. A very simplistic dessert but the decision to include this specific liqueur was a smart one, I was afraid that it would dominate the dessert but I was shocked by how well it complemented the components In General: Technique : I am not sure who the chef is but they showed a lot of ability to balance components and demonstrate a fair amount of maturity and understanding when approaching the dishes, yes there was the slight technical hitch with the Risotto, but I guess as a former chef I understand that two renegade grains of rice do not constitute the sump total of demonstration of technique in the rest of the dish. Taste: Overall every was fairly well seasoned in terms of taste with the risotto, again just to dial back some of the more overpowering taste of the truffle, but the balance of truffle in the potatoes was spot on so this may be simply a decision by the chef, just for my taste it should be tweaked down a touch. Service: Was really, really good, attentive, and really wanted to please the customer, a lot of Passion, maybe this could be dialled down a touch but in general they where very good. There where a couple of technical issues I noted with one of the waiters which I wont go into here but in general very very good. Price point: for the type of food and service, I had no issue paying th price I did for this food. The Service the Ambience it was all worth it Now the final confession: I visited the Cowrie over 3 years ago, and the food has remained consistently good, so i am a little confused by the SoSo reviews. I found the standards have remained pretty much on the same level. Will I return to the Cowrie? First chance I get so far on the Central Coast it is the best restaurant I have found here and I have lived here for over 12 years.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Have been before a couple of times and the standard has really dropped. The staff tried but they couldn't make up for a fairly mundane experience. The service was extremely slow. The food was nothing special and the portion sizes would leave a mouse hungry....The menu was the most confusing I've ever seen. We got two different descriptions of the cheese platter from two different staff members and when it came it was a $5 supermarket standard Blue. It was around $120 for our starters - 10 oysters with one fifth of a lemon, a standard delicatessen meat plate and a mocktail. The mocktail was very nice but everything else was pretty mediocre... Desserts were again, ok, but pretty standard. I know dozens of better restaurants around the Central Coast, at half the price. The view doesn't make up for the massively over-priced and mid-range quality meals. For a special occasion this was rather un-special.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Reviewed 14 May 2022

We had an extremely delicious meal which included the 3 courses. The staff are so friendly, polite and knowledgeable. All the little extras that are given certainly make this a dinner to never forget. The meals have so much flavor and very well presented. With...the meals changing each season we will certainly return again being a wonderful dining experience. Would like to say a big thank you to Alana and Dimitri for all their help.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Reviewed 13 May 2022

First visit to this restaurant and will be visiting again. Food was delicious and well thought out. Service was friendly and discreet. parking available directly outside. Will return again soon.

Date of visit: May 2022
Reviewed 30 April 2022 via mobile

The food is next level. They have a seperate dedicated plant based/vegan menu and wines. My coeliac partner enjoyed items from the regular and plant based menus. By far the fanciest 4 courses of food I’ve had in a long time. The staff were extremely...attentive and friendly.More

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed 21 April 2022 via mobile

The Cowrie is our favourite restaurant and for many years I have taken my daughter when I visit from the UK, it is almost a ritual. I have not been to Australia for over 2 years and this seemed an appropriate way to celebrate being...with my daughter and a belated special birthday. The first course was delightful, but the main course was barely warm and very disappointing. This was, however, put right with a hot version of the pork, but I did actually have to get up to flag this problem. The restaurant is under new ownership and has definitely changed and is considerably more expensive. I’m not sure that I will be rushing back on my next visit.More

Date of visit: April 2022
The Cowrie Restaurant, Owner at The Cowrie, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2022

Hi Janis_I10, We appreciate you taking the time to provide this feedback. Since re-opening under new management in October, we have been working as a team to enhance many aspects of our offerings, especially the level service that we offer to our guests. We are...More

Reviewed 21 April 2022 via mobile

A wonderful night . Absolutely delicious food including extensive vegan menu . My carnivorous partner was also very happy . Exquisite presentation of dishes . Stunning view from the balcony . Friendly knowledgeable attentive staff . Comprehensive wine list featuring wines from all over Australia...and overseas . Incredible value . Wish we lived locally !More

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed 18 April 2022 via mobile

We had both omnivore and vegan 3-course menus for dinner. Both the food and service were amazing. The Fig leaf ice cream, black truffle cream, cereal, apple, local honey dessert was the highlight. A special shout-out to Michael who went above and beyond by dropping...us off at our hotel nearby. Thank youMore

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed 30 March 2022

We were always regular diners at the Cowrie restaurant and loved the whole dining experience, the food, the view. the hospitality and the ambience of our local restaurant. After it changed hands late last year, the food was still exceptional and of course the view...just as special however the ambience just wasn't there. We stopped going, This was down to the new manager who had a dreadful disposition should not be in hospitality. Thank God she's gone and the Cowrie is back on track with a lovely new manager Hannah and you can see and feel the difference in the atmosphere. The food truly is exceptional. They have a very creative Owner/Executive Chef Dimitris Aronis and Head Chef Reece Timora. What they create is divine! You must go and taste for yourselves. You wont regret it . So glad to be back as a regular. We've been back 3 or 4 times in a 6 week period and business is booming so make sure you book ahead online.More

Date of visit: February 2022
Reviewed 26 March 2022

I went to The Cowrie expecting a beautiful meal, however, we were sadly disappointed. We were unaware that The Cowrie had changed hands or been sold during the Covid lockdown period and so we went there expecting it to be a beautiful night but it...was a very underwhelming experience. Service was lacking, we had to ask for table water and weren't given a drinks menu. Our entrees and mains were just okay, however, I had a cooked white fish main and it was over salted to the point where I could barely eat my meal. We had been waiting so long for our food, however, that we ate what we were given because we were starving. The bread that we ordered was like a rock and could've been used as a substitute baseball. I will never return as The Cowrie is not what it used to be. Overall our experience was expensive and disappointing!More

Date of visit: October 2021
The Cowrie Restaurant, Owner at The Cowrie, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2022

Hi Miss_Rosie3, We are sorry to hear that your most recent visit was so disappointing. Our team are consistently working to strengthen the level of service that we offer to our guests, and always appreciate and welcome feedback. If you would like to discuss this...More

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
6 December 2021|
Response from vada | Reviewed this property |
You should contact the restaurant direct, under new management. They are the only ones that can answer your question correctly. These forums are not direct contact with business. Good luck !!
Jeanette W
30 July 2019|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Jeanette W |
Thank you for all the answers. I love the food at the Cowrie, but agree it is probably not a great place to take young children.
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Cowrie

Yes, The Cowrie is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

The Cowrie is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4