The Boathouse group has a number of beautiful venues, in waterside locations, with 8 venues across Sydney such as Palm Beach and Balmoral. The cafes have a beautiful hamptons vibe to them, with white and navy nautical colouring to its décor, complemented by stunning floral arrangements.
We visited their Shelly Beach location which is a beachside cafe and attached kiosk, as well as wedding and event venue. From the kiosk you can grab your coffee and food to go, or dine in for a more leisurely experience with the stunning beach view from your table.
The menu is a modern Australian one, with a focus on high quality products and fresh produce and proteins, many of which are inspired by the sea. They’re open for breakfast and lunch (changing over at 11:30). There’s no reservations, so get there a little earlier than your intended time and put your name down in anticipation of an available table. Service is fast and the kitchen are pumping out the meals, so you shouldn’t have to wait long.
We had a party of five and thus we ordered a good mix of the menu.
The Mushroom and eggs dish is a gluten free option and to be honest is probably less mushroom, more potato Rosti, though we have no issues with that. The most gigantic piece of rosti you’ll see, served with a whole roasted tomato, poached eggs and salsa verde. Some tomato relish or similar would be a great addition.
We very much enjoyed the seasonal greens (another GF option), a good mix of kale, brown rice and seasoned with sesame, Chili and topped with poached eggs and a lovely sauce packed with flavour.
The smoked salmon fritters was an interesting one, the fritters were little round pieces and then topped with smoked salmon, zucchini and poached eggs. Probably could have done with a bit more flavour and especially more creme fraiche to tie it together.
They also have the sweeter options, an especially beautiful plate of ricotta hotcakes, drizzled with a generous lashing of lemon curd and marscapone, sprinkled with poppy seeds and topped with summer berries.
Not to mentioned their quality buttermilk scones, light and fluffy and a good amount of gold to the crust, served with jam, cream and fresh strawberries.
Drink wise, there’s your favourite coffee options, with the attempt of an anchor in its art as well as juices and smoothies.
If you’re there for lunch, there’s beers and wines and even a few cocktails. The Rhubarb crumble even works well at breakfast, a beautiful concoction of Vodka, rhubarb syrup, apple, cinnamon + Boathouse granola.
We did have a lovely time, but could be improved somewhat by a bit more promptness with table cleaning. Lots of tables had dirty plates and ours remained for quite a while from the previous customers before we asked them to clean it. That said, staff were friendly and responsive.
The Boathouse at Shelly Beach
1 Marine Parade Manly
Open 7am – 3pm daily