Friday, 27 December 2013

Down by the water: Sydney 2013/14

While this Sydney weather shows no signs of consistency, one thing is true: the water is warm, the humidity is off the charts, and it's time to head to the beach. Truth be known, beachside eats have never really been Sydney's strongpoint (save Bondi Icebergs and North Bondi Italian, R.I.P the latter), so it's a delight to see beach/adjacent dining lifting its game. Two will open in the coming weeks, so here's a chance to get a waterfront seat on what's happening in Sydney this summer. 

1. Watson's Bay Hotel Beach Bar

It seemed that in 2013, nothing old in Sydney is beyond a bit of a reboot. Not even in the most established of establishment suburbs. The Watson's Bay Hotel has had a bit of a spit and polish of its own, and the beer garden has, in true Sydney form, been rebranded a 'beach club'. Featuring new and fancy typography and a menu that boasts seasonal, fresh coastal food including chilli mud crab for two, substantial salads, grilled seafood and (our favourite) ice cream sundaes, it may not win any awards in the food calibre stakes, but then again, it doesn't really need to. With a location as stunning as this, it's just great to see an establishment realising it shouldn't rest on the view alone, and so lifting its game on the food and bevvy front means that pretty much everything you take in, is a pleasure. Or at least, that's the goal. 

1 Military Road, Watson's Bay, NSW02 9337 5444

Mon – Sat 10am – 12amSundays 10am – 10pmBreakfastMon – Sun 7am – 10amLunch & DinnerMon – Fri 11.30am – lateSat & Sun 11am – 4pm / 5pm – late

2. Papi Chulo (opening NYE 2013)

Across the water and far away (from FBi) lies a golden and magical land named Manly. For those lucky enough to live nearby, or brave the trek to Sydney's Northern Beaches, you're in for a treat, come NYE 2013. Papi Chulo is set to open in the space that once held the much lauded Manly Pavilion where The Apollo chef Johnny Barthelmess once held post. If you're a fan of barbecue (and in this country, it's almost seditious if you are not), then Papi Chulo is for you. Inspired by the deep south of northern America, the cuisine is inspired by pit perfection - think succulent meats, smoked and barbequed into submission, unapologetically bold cocktails and spiced flavours a-go-go. Dishes destined to be favourites include smoked maple black pepper pork belly, prawn and scallop cerviche with chilli, mango and coconut and an epic sandwich menu sure to satisfy. To quote the most bogan American of them all, Guy Fieri, this is flavour town, bitches. 

22-23 Manly Wharf, Manly, NSW

Monday to FridayLunch: 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner: 5:30pm - 10.30pmReduced menu available 3:00pm - 5.30pm
Saturday11.30am - 10.30pm
Sunday11:30am – 9.00pm

3. North Bondi Fish

Sadly, the iconic North Bondi Italian is no more (though nobody misses the attitudinal staff and the haphazard service). Certainly countless aspiring restaurant moguls have been salivating over the prospect of getting their hands on one of Sydney's most beautiful locations, but the cards are down and the winner is Matt Moran. North Bondi Fish is precisely what it says it is - it's about free and easy food, obviously seafood driven, and naturally, with a sunset location like this, there's a cocktail list worthy of any blinged out kaftan-wearing blonde. Drop in for a fish burger and an Aperol spritz, or several courses of charcoal-grilled seafood and a cold glass of something crisp and white. North Bondi Italian it ain't. But that's not a bad thing. 

Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi

12- Midnight Tuesday to Sunday from February 3, 2013. 


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