THE POYER’S AT ALBATROSS MARINA
Address: 6/44 Cook Parade, Lemon Tree Passage
Open: Breakfast 7 days, 7am to 11am; lunch 7 days, noon to 3pm; tapas 7 days, 11am to close, dinner Thursday to Sunday from 6pm.
Phone: 4984 5827
Head chef: Ludovic Poyer
Owned by: The Poyers
HIS family tree is peppered with chefs, a butcher and a baker, so Ludovic Poyer is continuing a proud ancestral tradition with the opening of The Poyer’s restaurant at Lemon Tree Passage.
Poyer and wife Mandy opened their eponymous restaurant last week in the waterside Port Stephens town. He follows in the footsteps of many family members before him by pursuing a culinary career. The family history is reflected in a painting in the newly opened restaurant.
‘‘My grandfather had a restaurant called Poyer’s. The painting includes my grandfather, my grandmother and my father and it was painted around 1941,’’ Poyer told Food & Wine.
‘‘My brother has a restaurant too and my father used to have a restaurant and my grandfather used to have a restaurant. My great-grandfather was a butcher and my great-great-grandfather was a baker.’’
Since moving to Australia in 1997 the chef has worked at the likes of Pepper’s Anchorage, Margan and the San Francisco Grill, Sydney Hilton, just to name a few. His family hails from the coastal region of Normandy in the north of France, a parallel to the The Poyer’s prime waterside location in Lemon Tree Passage. Poyer has adopted his new home with gusto, calling it a ‘‘hidden paradise’’ just 20minutes from Williamtown airport, 35minutes from Newcastle or 10minutes from Corlette by boat for those lucky enough to have their own.
‘‘We are the last building on the peninsula, on top of the water. If a plumber wants to come and do work, he has to come at low tide,’’ he said with a laugh. ‘‘We love it here ... Lemon Tree Passage is a hidden gem.’’
Poyer first made his mark there running the kitchen at the boat club, which built from a Friday night service of less than 10 people to regularly serving more than 150 people under his influence. Now he and Mandy have branched out with their own restaurant. They’re serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and an all-day tapas menu.
The menu shows off Poyer’s classical French influences and techniques – with his own twist: ‘‘I like to play with people’s palates a little bit.’’ He’s also making the most of local produce on his menu by working with local fisherman to list the freshest seafood on his specials menu, delivered not by road but by boat.
The French influence is also strong on the dessert menu which includes tart tartin, praline parfait and chocolate fondant under the experienced eye of French pastry chef Jacques Fallou.