It’s always a treat for us Inner Westies to cross the bridge and head north. Manly, known for its beautiful sandy beach, cool cafes and relaxed laid back vibe was to be our location for a late Saturday lunch. As luck would have it we happened to pick a rather unfortunate weekend for our late lunch. Cold and overcast we trudged over to ‘Whitewater’. We were warmly greeted by staff and shown to our table.
Bianca: Whitewater is the fancier sister restaurant to café ‘Bluewater’ a couple of shops down the Styne. Elegantly fit out, with prominent shades of white, an open glass fireplace and beautiful exposed brickwork – perfect for a special occasion but with no pretences, is also great for a relaxed meal any time of day.
With the sun starting to poke its head out behind the grey clouds we thought we’d get into the spirit and order a couple of drinks. Vanessa opted for the ‘Tom Collins’, Alex spurred on by the interesting Spicy lychee martini from ‘Casa Ristorante’, got the ‘Spicy Lychee’- Absolut vodka, lychee liquor muddled with lychees, chilli and ginger. $18. Not as strong as Casa’s but still packing a punch. I preferred the milder subtle taste of Whitewater’s Spicy Lychee. I went with the ‘Coco-Mango Daiquiri’ – a blend of Havana club white rum, Malibu, mango liquor, mango puree and lemon. I’ll admit re-reading the menu whilst I was writing, I was surprised there was Malibu in the mix. I could not taste it at all. The first few sips were pleasant but after a while it became a little sickly. Vanessa’s Tom Collins and Alex’s Spicy Lychee were our top picks.
We were brought a small serving of ‘Australian marinated mixed Olives’ $7.95 to have with our drinks, which were a selection of Kalamata and green olives. Good to nibble on while we perused the menu.
To start we ordered two entrée’s. We were feeling somewhat nostalgic, so for a kick we ordered the ‘Prawn Cocktail’ – with tangy mayo, avocado on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce $18.95. This one was our least favourite dish of the day. The mayo was lovely with the prawn but there just wasn’t enough of the prawn to really draw a proper opinion, and the bulk of the starter was shredded lettuce.
Our second entrée was the ‘Tempura Barramundi’ – with crispy noodles, fresh rocket salad, wasabi mayo, radish and Concassea vegetables $22.95. For some reason, I thought this would come out as a rather elaborate salad. Instead a long plate was brought with 6 bite sized pieces of luscious pieces of barramundi fillets, topped with the mayo, vegetables and a slice of radish. The only letdown of the dish was in the seasoning, with all of us reaching for the salt. Otherwise all the flavours went well together with a bit of a kick from the wasabi mayo.
On to the mains. There was a bit of a rift forming over one item on the menu, with both Vanessa and I eyeing the Tajima rump Kobe style. I conceded and Vanessa was the lucky one to sample it in all its delight. ‘Rump Tajima Wajui’ – Kobe style wet, aged, full blood marble score 9 250g, served with grilled baby onions and roast potatoes $39.95. Vanessa opted for it medium rare and basted in Whitewaters homemade BBQ baste. This was without doubt a standout on the day, virtually melting in your mouth as each bite was taken. Whitewater is one of the few restaurants in the Manly area that offer this particular cut of meat. So it’s certainly a great drawcard. A very succulent piece of meat, worthy of a drive over the bridge. The round roast potatoes were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Everything a great spud should be, the only drawback was again the lack of seasoning. Salt is offered in a small bowl on the table so it really wasn’t much of an issue.
I had the perpetual inner turmoil of burger or steak. Having changed my mind three times I finally went with the ‘Medallions of Angus prime aged fillet’ – 250g with chips $34.95. Cooked beautifully medium rare and basted in the same BBQ sauce. I found my steak equally tender and just as delicious as Vanessa’s. Also on the slate were two baby onions grilled perfectly. They were a nice as a little side to mix up with the chips and steak. Unfortunately the chips were a bit lacklustre, some had an abundance of salt, and some had virtually none. We also got a ‘Rocket Salad’ to share.
Alex, perhaps to appease my indecisiveness went with the ‘Grande Burger’ – A Wagyu beef Pattie with fresh tomato, cheese, lettuce, tango mayo, gherkin and crispy chips $21.95. A very solid burger, great Pattie to bun ratio. It didn’t feel like these two components were fighting for top billing they worked harmoniously.
Always a sucker for dessert, we were lucky to be brought a Dessert platter with all of Whitewater’s popular desserts. On the platter was a Mango and Carrot sorbet, Coconut sorbet, a lemon tart with lemon financiere and Italian meringue, a Chocolate ganache slice, Tropical Dream – with chocolate biscuit, coconut cream and mango mousse cake and lastly a Strawberry Parfait Glace.
My personal favourite was the Coconut sorbet, light but with prominent coconut flavour. It was just a shame there wasn’t more of it. Vanessa and Alex’s standout was the Strawberry Parfait.
With ocean views of Manly beach, chic yet relaxed décor and atmosphere. Whitewater is a great option for any occasion whether it be a relaxing afternoon meal by the beach or a special dinner celebration. It’s worth the trip alone for that Kobe Beef.
Photos by Alex
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Whitewater Many, all opinions however are our own. A special thank you to the lovely Sacha, who organised our visit.
Love the prawn cocktails are back in fashion again. lol
“With no pretenses” …. Ummm, are you kidding??? Surely this is a mock review or maybe you’ve been paid to massively embellish the truth? Either way, “no pretenses” is not the way I’d describe Whitewater.
Extra pretense, zero substance, substandard food – These are all phrases I’d use…
It’s not a complete lost cause, the location is nice. In a perfect world, you’d completely change out the waitstaff (current waitstaff are so arrogant and pretentious, yet incredibly uninformed and unskilled), change out the menu (or at least the chefs – every dish of our degustation was poor.. very very poor) and lastly, I’d change the interior – what theme are you going for? NYC loft or a Sailors-Inn? It’s obvious more than one person has the keys to car there… Just pick one theme and go with it!
But if you can only correct one thing, change the chefs! The food is the most important thing – The arrogant waitstaff can be forgotten, so can the confusing interior, but the food is something you can’t make excuses for and it’s something that keeps customers coming back. So, if you do nothing else – at least improve your food!!
Sounds like you had a bad experience, we always write what we feel and experience ourselves. If we don’t like something….we say it. So, if you’re insinuating that this is a puff piece you’d be wrong.
Good response. That was precisely what I was insinuating, and I’m glad you’ve cleared it up.
As for Whitewater, one bad experience is possibly acceptable – however when the majority of reviewers call it bad – then it’s bad, it’s just undeniably bad…
I’m glad your experience was positive, however I’d say a positive experience at Whitewater is rare…