It's been interesting to watch 8 at Trinity's popularity grow in recent months through word of mouth alone.
It is a testament to the quality of the dining experience offered at what is not only a new development, but a new development in a relatively remote part of Lake Macquarie.
It is also a calculated move by Natalie Johnson, director and general manager of 8 at Trinity.
She held off promoting the restaurant until the food and service were up to her admittedly high standards.
"I haven't done any advertising. I wanted to launch it with the proper marquee we have now, not the temporary one we started out with," she tells Weekender.
"You can only launch something once."
Johnson timed it just right. The 300-seat restaurant is huge, but attractive. Recent landscaping has given the surrounds a tropical feel, and beyond is a marina full of enviable watercraft.
You could be anywhere in the world.
Trinity Point is a 23-hectare development on the lake at Morisset Park, on the southern end of Lake Macquarie, owned by the Johnson Property Group. Managing director Keith Johnson is Natalie's husband. He looks after the development, she the restaurant. The pair met when Keith asked Natalie to consult on the Trinity Point project. Two years later he proposed.
8 at Trinity is Johnson's baby, her pride and joy, and she is involved in every conceivable aspect of the restaurant and its operation.
"We started out with grass and a concept plan," she says.
"People were so negative about the project. We decided to build the restaurant and show people the quality of the overall project, and its potential.
"It had to be 300 seats. It had to be big. I remember the builders were laughing at me, saying 'A bit ambitious, aren't you?', but I had seen a structure in Bali that I knew would work here."
Johnson flew the architect from Bali to Australia to design the 8 at Trinity marquee.
"I wanted it to be weather-proof, 365 days, so I found a guy who makes boat sails. Every panel of the marquee had to be cut on an angle, to the millimetre," she explains.
"Every single thing you see in the restaurant, I've decided upon and chosen. Chairs from Spain. Marble and brass tables. I knew exactly what I wanted.
"It wasn't cheap but you know what? Since the restaurant has been open, all the land has sold. The marina is full. The restaurant has done its job."
She excitedly shares the updated plans for Trinity Point. Among the highlights are 220 carbon neutral waterfront apartments, covered in greenery to blend in with the landscape; another 300-seat restaurant ("One isn't enough!"); a floating pontoon tennis court; a 10-room day spa; and a helipad.
"All the things you are able to do overseas, like hire a cabana for the day, you'll be able to do here. This will put the lake on the world map, I truly believe that," she says.
The restaurant continues to do its job. It's open 11.30pm to 9.30pm, Thursday to Sunday, and every sitting is fully booked with a waitlist. The menu is huge but intentionally so. Johnson wants 8 at Trinity to cater for everyone.
"I like to think our food is fine-dining quality without the pretentiousness," she says.
"You can bring the family and order a pizza, order from the $18.88 pasta lunch special, or choose the $268 1.5kg Tajima Wagyu Tomahawk MBS9+ and a bottle of Grange.
"You can walk from a boat into the restaurant in shorts. We don't intimidate anybody.
"We offer an affordable 8+ steak ($75) and people leave saying it's the best steak they've ever had. Or you can pay $368 for the 400g Japanese Kagoshima A5 Wagyu Scotch Fillet designed to share.
"There are choices whatever your budget."
The food offering is deserving of the online hype. Presentation is excellent, portion sizes are generous, and the flavours memorable.
I would return for the vanilla-glazed cheesecake alone.
The cocktail and wine list are equally impressive, and there are a world of beers to choose from.
Looking around the restaurant, the majority of diners are taking photos of their meals and sharing them online. Social media-driven word of mouth in the modern world.
"I do all the social media. I read all the comments because I like to know what the customers are thinking, good or bad," Johnson says.
"What I want is for them to come back. That's the aim."
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