The Daily Telegraph
There’s just one place that’s got people talking, social media buzzing and Instagramers sharing ... and that’s The Boathouse at Shelly Beach. Locals have followed this ground-up rebuild of former restaurant Le Kiosk with avid interest, watching it grow and bloom into a chichi restaurant, kiosk and function centre.
With venues in Palm Beach and Balmoral, the Palm Beach Group was awarded the lease for the Shelly Beach building in March 2014. Drum roll please, that wait is over. Shelly Beach, the third Boathouse establishment, opened its freshly-painted doors in June.
And pretty it sure is. Powerhouse designer team and co-owners Andrew Goldsmith and his wife Pip Robb are the style-meisters behind this big-buck fitout.
He’s the landscaper turning the neglected outdoor area at the rear into in a fairy grotto and adding an alfresco dining terrace, fun, funky lighting in the trees and shade-loving plants.
She’s put together the interior. Think contemporary Hamptons-sur-Mer with huge boughs of decorative magnolia, oversized stripy drum shades, fish wood prints lining the walls and subtle pops of colour on floor standing lights, napery and crockery.
That all-round gorgeousness works as distraction, because getting a table is pfaff. Such are the joys of First World Problems. At least there’s a view, the beach and takeaway drinkies to while away the time.
The trick is to come at night when the restaurant goes “all grown up” as Goldsmith says and takes bookings.
One tip — as we found — is to ask for a table, or you could be stuck at the back by the loos as we were, even though the restaurant wasn’t fully booked. Our newly assigned table is under the window with a view into main dining area, OK it’s a tad squeezy, but a $9 glass of Joseph Chromy pinot noir and the sardine flatbread chilli, tomatoes and basil get things moving.
With a nod to the location, Boathouse Group executive chef Tom Eadie’s menu focuses on fish.
The signature beer battered fish and chips is a staple, but for something lighter, go for the pretty and very green spinach spaghetti.
It’s topped with delicate scampi and pippis cooked with garlic, chilli and anchovies — it’s quite delicious.
Aged rib eye and duck with seasonal greenery and potato rosti keep carnivores happy; while sharers can tuck into a bucket of tiger prawns, cheese and lavosh, trendy salads and warm flatbreads straight from the oven.
To finish, there’s four desserts to sample. Gooey chocolate fondant and classic Brit public school favourite rhubarb and custard with baked apple are tummy fillers on a winter night.
That Boathouse chic formula hits the mark again. Prices are on the high side, but it’s not just style over substance.
If it’s busy now, wait until summer.
WHERE: Boathouse Shelly Beach, 1 Marine Pde, Manly. 9934 9977
OPEN: Breakfast 7-11.30am; lunch noon-3pm; dinner 6-10pm; Tuesday to Saturday
GO FOR: Green spaghetti $32; aged beef rib eye $42
COFFEE: Single Origin
VIBE: Style high club
BOTTOM LINE: $124 for 2
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