SOURCE: Come Travel with us

The Point Bar & Restaurant is in the Ramada but not part of the Ramada, although you wouldn't know this. As you walk into the foyer it's off to the left and there's nothing 'separate' about it.

We've dined there several times, for breakfast and dinner mainly, and the food is always good (better than good!). It's very 'open plan' and you can easily wander from the bar through to the restaurant. The thing we like about The Point is that, even though it's in a 4+ star hotel, there's a relaxed feel to it. This may be partly due to the fact that it opens straight out onto a large outdoor terraced area that is right next to the riverside walkway and grassed area. The decor is light in colour and there's plenty of fresh air and natural light, so you don't feel 'boxed in'.

The Point Bar & Restaurant - patio dining.

The Point Bar & Restaurant - patio dining.

The Point Bar & Restaurant - light and airy.

The Point Bar & Restaurant - light and airy.

We haven't tried every restaurant in Ballina but it's safe to say that The Point is up near the top of the tree when it comes to dining. Because it's not exclusive to the Ramada it does get busy and, even if you are staying at the hotel, it's still an idea to book – especially on the weekend.

We met a friend in the bar for a pre-dinner drink and when drinks looked like going past our 7pm booking time (even though we could take our drinks through to the table), there was no problem pushing it back a half hour.

When we did sit down, we went straight for the mains:

  • Risotto with broccolini, chorizo, asparagus and parmesan ($24),
  • Chicken parmigiana with tomato, feta, basil, macadamia nut pesto and chips ($19)
  • Byron Bay pork loin with sweet potato mash and braised red cabbage ($27)

Wine – Mount Adam Cabernet Merlot, Barossa Valley ($35/bottle)

  • My sweet tooth relented and the dessert I had was divine – Strawberry, macadamia and vanilla bean cheesecake ($9)

How was it? Let's just say all the plates left clean!

Full à la carte menu here

The bar has a good selection of wines, spirits, beers and cocktails and the night we stayed we had a couple of drinks at the bar and then wandered through to the restaurant.

Bar menu here

The one thing that we found slightly unusual was that the bar closed at 10pm on the Saturday night we were there. Admittedly there are plenty of other pubs close by but The Point bar has far nicer decor and it's much closer to the rooms upstairs than any of the pubs (once again, a reminder that the Point Bar & Restaurant is separate to the Ramada, even though it's on the premises).

The Point bar.

The Point bar.

The following morning I (Giulio) wandered down for breakfast (someone else was a little too 'snoozy'). It was quiet – breakfast isn't advertised on The Point's website and is more for hotel guests – and the staff were cheery, but not over-bearing. Always good for a Sunday morning.

The menu is quite simple but covers all bases. I ordered a fresh aple juice (squeezed there and then) and the Eggs Benedict with ham ($16). It disappeared. A good indication there was nothing wrong with it.

Some other breakfast items on the menu:

  • Toasted banana and macadamia bread ($8)
  • Eggs your way with sourdough ($8.50)
  • House macadamia muesli with skim, soy or rgular milk ($10)
  • Seasonal fruit with country style yoghurt ($10)
  • Scrambled eggs carbonara with bacon, basil, parmesan and sourdough ($14)

Some of the sides:

  • Sauteed spinach ($3)
  • Smoked salmon ($4)
  • Hash browns ($3)
  • Grilled mushrooms ($3)

Tea and coffee as you like, assorted juices.

Eggs Benedict with shaved ham - always a favourite!

Eggs Benedict with shaved ham - always a favourite!