Monday, 31 July 2017

A Winter Girl's Lunch at Manly Pavilion.

I got back to Sydney from London last week, and ever since I landed the weather has been absolutely beautiful! Think bright blue skies and 20 the middle of winter. Naturally this meant the weekend had to be spent near the ocean, so on Saturday Laura and I caught the ferry up to Manly for a late girlie lunch at the stunning Manly Pavilion.

Sydney blogger Catherine Lux of Lux Life at Manly Pavilion Sydney

Quietly re-opened just over a year ago, after a spot of bad luck for a couple of the previous owners, the new owners - the Miramare group - were keen to let the destination and food speak for itself, with little fanfare and press activity. Slowly spreading around the city through word of mouth, Manly Pavilion is quickly becoming *the* place to go for effortlessly good food and breathtaking views. 

The restaurant sits on the top floor of Manly Pavilion, with a ballroom and events space sitting on the ground floor (after all, Miramare are famous in Sydney for their events-organising capabilities). The Bistro at Manly Pavilion provides exceptionally good seafood and Mediterranean style cuisine, with a number of Italian dishes on the menu. Inside is a relaxed dining room with classy polished wood tables, hanging plants, and a buzzing atmosphere, while outside consist of a balcony for relaxing with a glass of Moet and Chandon, staring out at the ocean and ferries chugging in and out of Manly Wharf.

Laura and I arrived around 2pm, and were thrilled to score a table right by the window overlooking the balcony and water. We began with cocktails, made my the restaurant's talented mixologist, Thomas. I chose the Harbour Breeze, while Laura opted for the Pavilion Fizz. Julia, the lovely restaurant marketing manager, joined us for a quick chat as I had a few questions, and luckily she kindly let me photograph her incredible lychee martini, haha.

Manly Pavilion, Sydney Restaurant Review
Manly Pavilion, Sydney Restaurant Review

I was fascinated about why the restaurant opened with such little fanfare, the history behind the location and the group, and how they found Thomas (who we had a great chat with about everything from different types of gin, to crop circles and conspiracy theories - great guy!!). We also asked Julia for her recommendations on the menu - everything looked amazing and we had a really hard time choosing what to have.

Eventually I went for the Scallops to start. A generously sized portion, with five plump scallops cooked to perfection.

Manly Pavilion, Sydney Restaurant Review

Laura chose the fried zucchini flowers filled with truffle and cheese. I tried one and oh my, they were incredible and so, so moorish. 

Manly Pavilion, Sydney Restaurant Review

We also shared a selection of the home-cooked breads with olive oil and balsamic. Both of us are total suckers for freshly made bread dipped in lashings of olive oil!

Bistro at Manly Pavilion Sydney Restaurant Review

For mains I just had to go for the Swordfish steak. It's my favourite, and I can't resist it whenever I see it on a menu. It was probably the biggest Swordfish steak I have ever had in my life, and was accompanied with crushed potatoes and a delicious ratatouille type of sauce with roasted red peppers, onions, and olives. 

Bistro at Manly Pavilion Sydney Restaurant Review

Laura chose the Gnocchi with pork ragu and ricotta. I had a little taste and it was delish!

Bistro at Manly Pavilion Sydney Restaurant Review

After mains we had a short break before dessert arrived, and took the time to have a wander outside and take in the view. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that I actually live here now...a couple of years ago this was just a dream, and now it's my actual reality. I've learnt so much about myself over the past year or so, and I'd encourage absolutely everyone to follow your dreams, no matter how scary they seem. Sometimes you get lucky, and with hard work and perseverance, you achieve (almost) everything you've been dreaming of.

Bistro at Manly Pavilion Sydney Restaurant Review

We headed back inside for dessert, which was without a doubt the best part of the meal! Both Laura and I have *really* sweet tooths, and as I wasn't starting my low sugar thing again until today, I wanted one last blow-out dessert (while I was in London, and my first week back in Sydney, I stopped my low sugar diet and basically just ate whatever I wanted). 

I chose the vanilla profiteroles covered in a rich chocolate sauce, flaked almonds, and raspberries, whilst Laura chose The Manly Pav. The pavlova was filled with passionfruit curd, and topped with raspberries and champagne cream. Both desserts were absolutely incredible and definitely something reserved for a treat day!

Bistro at Manly Pavilion Sydney Restaurant Review
Bistro at Manly Pavilion Sydney Restaurant Review

We absolutely loved our afternoon at Manly Pavilion, and we're already planning to go back to check out the all-day brunch! We were surprised with how huge the portions were - in fact we found them a little too big and struggled to eat everything - and we left with rather large food babies, which meant the sunset walk along the beach after was very welcome. 

Catherine Lux, Lux Life
Dress: Mango // Bag: Zara // Shoes: Tony Bianco // Sunnies: Bye Bye Bella

Sunset at Manly Sydney

Whether you're a Sydney-sider or in town visiting, Manly Pav is perfect for a relaxing lunch or dinner by the water, and it was definitely worth the ferry ride up from the CBD. Afterwards, Laura headed back to the ferry, while I headed down the road to a friend's rooftop BBQ, and despite the steak on offer there, I just couldn't fit a single thing in after my epic lunch.

Stay tuned for all of my London blog posts, including a very exciting stay at Shangri-la at The Shard ;)

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*We were kindly invited to the restaurant and our meal was complimentary for review purposes, however as always, all opinions are my own and 100% honest.

1 comment

  1. I loved visiting Manly!! And that food just looks incredible.


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