It’s the quintessential beach debate; are you a Northern or Eastern Beaches fan? Whilst Bondi has Icebergs, Manly has been gaining its hipster dining edge, first with 4 Pines Brewery, Merivale’s Papi Chulo, then a collection of artisan small bars. Recently a newly launched Manly Pavilion has been quietly opening its many doors onto sparkling seas and unrivalled views, and finally the competition is on!
The Pavilion, originally build in 1933 for the comfort of bathers has in recent years changed hands many times as fine dining lost its appeal. Today the stunning white heritage building commands a new contemporary look thanks to Squillace Architects. Say hello to concrete floors, designer ‘O’ chandeliers, white washed walls, overhead planters and touches of copper.
Under the guidance of head chef Andrea Corsi (ex Pilu, Cala Luna and UK’s Michelin Starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons) this is Sicily on a plate with a bit of sass thrown in. Bloody Mary oyster shots, house made focaccia and crostini kick off the evening, simply pair with a Mezcaloni – a twist on a negroni made with smoky agave Mezcal. The taste of the sea comes to life in an antipasto of octopus, Coffin Bay oysters, salt and pepper calamari and Port Lincoln mussels kissed with fresh tomato. Golden medallions of seared scallops on a puree of Jerusalem artichokes or perfectly seasoned Barossa chicken pate are the go to starters. The ‘special’ of suckling pig, will bring men to their knees and ladies may want to date the chef, (who in our opinion) has stolen the crown from the suckling pig master Giovanni Pilu. Thick, melting, unctuous slices part like Moses and the crackling dusted with rosemary, well it’s a cracker beyond anything you’ll get to put your hands on at Christmas. Blue eye Trevally is a beauty with crispy skin and creamy flesh followed by a salted caramel espresso martini and a panna cotta with a ginger crumble and mango sorbet.
On a Saturday night, the place is buzzing with private events, a ballroom downstairs and many just enjoying the bar, view and stars. Gone are the white table cloths and the fancy foams – what has emerged is pure Manly; unpretentious, gregarious and so much fun you’ll want to come back.
West Esplanade, Manly Cove 2095