Home > Italian, Syd: Killcare Heights, Sydney > Bells, Killcare

Bells, Killcare

My favourite ‘uncle’ really requires no introduction, he wanted to share his thoughts on Bells, Killcare. I had a really awesome experience at Bells, and would love to go back again and pershaps stay overnight. Here is what he has to say…

I’ve been wanting to visit Bells at Killcare for the longest time. I’ve seen the website, read reviews and of course heard from Gastronomous Anonymous herself about her dining experience there! All positive of course! So when Lala mentioned having an offsite near Terrigal, the first thing I said to her was, “Hey, I can fly you up there!” – that’s the same offer I made to her last year when she was going to the Hunter Valley…. her response to both offers were as follows and without hesitation, “Erm, I am not getting into that little plane!” – nothing I could say could change her mind… not even the fact that she could carry more than 100ml in liquids or that she could carry more than 30kgs of luggage could change her mind. Oh well, maybe next year huh! So how did we end up going to Bells? Well, in planning the offsite, Lala’s had to made a few (boring) driving trips to Terrigal. On her last visit, she actually said that Bells was only 20mins away from Terrigal! Awesome!

So here we are. REWIND to the weekend that just passed. Just an hour out of Sydney, we found ourselves in the heart of Gosford, going through some nicely windy roads and eventually reached Killcare! Timecheck: 12.40pm – only 10mins late for my 12:30 booking. I hate being late. I did a shoot in the morning and stupidly left a tad too little time for brekkie or a pre-drive snack! To say I was famished when we reached the front door of the restaurant is an UNDERSTATEMENT.

We were greeted by a lady in dark jeans and a white jacket. Trendy. I noticed that they spelt my name wrong on the reservations book. “Minor detail!” – my stomach tells my brain. We get asked if we wanted to sit inside or on the terrace, a quick glance over to Lala, who points towards the terrace. “Great idea!” – my brain tells my stomach. As we sit down and look around, a lady promptly offers us a choice of beverages. Sparkling water is what we asked for…and it quickly lands on our table, in goblets etched with Bells’ trademark star(fish). Against the lovely winter sunlight, the water glistens… at this point, I sit back and well, have words with my flat and non-existent bum that it’s been quite the drive, but also oh-so-worth it.

The waitress brings us the menu. There is an a la carte menu and a sunday tasting and roast option. My brain didn’t hesitate and said “tasting menu!” Lala agreed. We looked at the a la carte and there was a great selection! Too much choice confuses poor me. I usually end up ordering everything. Oh yeah. It’s scary, the amount I can eat. We also ordered an entrée size of the suckling pig gnocchi. Lala loves gnocchi. And I was hungry, so there was no issue with not being able to finish it.


Before our order is taken, we also get served some really tasty Sicilian and Ligurian olives and a nicely baked parmesan and caper biscottini.

The house bread soon arrives, served with olive oil. As the waitress poured the olive oil into the serving plate, again, it caught the sunlight and it looked like she was pouring liquid gold. I put it down to being hungry and just seeing things…..

So here’s what we had. What I had too much of: the house bread. SO GOOD. Stefano kept asking me if I wanted more. I didn’t want to be rude, so I said “YES PLEASE!” Everything was cooked to perfection. I cannot fault any of the dishes we had.

The potatoes and salad. subtle flavours, nicely dressed and finished.

We also saw Stefano Manfredi serving his dishes to customers. It is very refreshing to owners / head chefs walking the floors these days. Dan Hong, does it, Josh Nicholls, and Stefano as well. It’s just nice seeing the interaction between diners and the owner / chef.

Fig and hazelnut after meal delight.

The ambiance of the establishment is faultless. It’s got a seaside charm. And even though it’s not located on the water, it is near water and the nautical theme of vertical lines repeated in the cushions and upholstery through out was very tastefully done. A log fire in winter always seals the deal! Very charming inside and out.

It’s certainly a place to visit on a day like we had – sunny winter’s day. Clear blue skies, crisp fresh air … with laughter of young children running around the gardens punctuating muffled conversations.

So was my stomach happy? You bet! Ambience, location, service, food and a kind of warmth that you don’t get from many restaurants these days!

It’s another YUM from me or in Gastronomous Anonymous’s term: 8 / 10

Bells Killcare

107 The Scenic Road

Box Head 2257

Ph: +61 2 4360 2411

Manfredi at Bells on Urbanspoon

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  1. June 29, 2011 at 8:04 am

    um, you have…a pilot license?! that is so. freakin. kool! *squee*
    that is a massive amount of scrumptious food you had, not to mention in such a beautiful setting. im high jealous.

    • June 29, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Uncle can eat! eat A LOT!!! so i am not really that surprised….
      think he can fly a helicopter – although, uncle never asks if i want to go sightseeing….

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