Before it was a restaurant, the heritage-listed structure that houses Ripples was used for secret military operations to defend Sydney Harbour. It's not difficult to understand why. From any table on the breezy waterside deck, spectacular views extend as far as the eye can see; Watsons Bay and Nielsen Park decorate one horizon, while the Northern headlands cradle the harbour on the other. Within closer range lies the pretty greenery of Clifton Gardens, bordered by white sand and the boats that bob merrily on the harbour.
As an appetiser for the senses, the magnificent view is a hard act to follow. Ripples accepts the challenge gracefully, offering a well-priced feast that matches the vista in uniqueness and allure. A round of tomato and mozzarella arancini with a pickled tomato chutney ($10) and a glass of Antonini Cereso Prosecco ($12) will tide you over while you choose from the comprehensively scrumptious menu and wine list.
The decadent truffle has been embraced throughout the menu. It is infused into the oil that dresses the wild mushroom bruschetta with sous vide egg ($18), adds deep flavour to the cream that is served alongside perfectly cooked beef tenderloins with marrow butter and cherry tomatoes ($32), and makes luscious cameos in the seasonal specials. Chestnuts, toasted Sardinian pasta, Packham pears and mustard fruits are among the other quality ingredients used to make the tasty, traditional dishes sing.
Dessert continues the theme of traditional with a twist. Our pick is a rich, flourless chocolate cake drenched with salted caramel sauce and lifted with a generous scoop of apple pie gelato ($15). Closure is brought by a Frogmore Creek Iced Riesling and a round, fruity espresso.
Ripples is the kind of place where time stands still; it's easy to while away a day here without noticing. Hearty Italian-style food, good wine, and a view that reminds us why we are just so lucky to live in this city are an unbeatable combination that we'll be back for time and time again.