Vanessa: Growing up in Sydney’s north shore, trips to the northern beaches were frequent. Having moved from the area, these trips are few and far between however we recently visited a place that might see us return more often. The Collaroy, which is facing Collaroy beach, boasts fantastic views over the water making it the perfect place to relax whilst wining and dining, particularly over the summer months.
Team FFS, along with Mr M, recently spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon enjoying the views, cocktails and menu that The Collaroy has on offer. The decor is modern, bright and has a marine theme throughout, very fitting for a beachside venue.
As we sat down and perused the cocktail list, I instantly regretted that we all drove as the drinks menu is varied and extensive. Alas, one must be sensible, so we each chose one cocktail, whilst waiting for our meals.
There are a number of different menu options from your typical pub-style favourites as well as more sophisticated options featuring locally-sourced seafood. Eager to try a range of options, we chose to share starters between us and let me say each dish impressed us more than the next.
Arriving first was the guacamole with fresh fried corn chips ($15). Deliciously light, yet strong flavours of onion and tomato mixed through the guacamole made this a perfect dish for sharing and a good intro to the menu.
The gyspy ham and gruyere croquets ($14) served with curried mayo and were perfectly crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. I loved these croquets plus anything with gruyere in it is a winner in my books! The curried mayo also adds a mild kick which boosts the flavour.
Mr M is mad for a hot wing, so there was no way we weren’t going to be trying these bad boys. The smoked hot wings are served with a blue cheese dip ($15) and definitely have a kick to them. Spicy, sticky wings that are cooled by the blue cheese dip – a great little starter if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty!
The king fish cevice served with avocado, pink grapefruit, jalapeños and corn chips is delicious and something I recommend trying if you are after a light seafood starter. Very mild fish tones but strong citrus bursts from the grapefruit, this is a dish with finesse and worth a try.
Moving on the mains, Alex and Mr M could not go past the herb & cheese crumbed chicken schnitzel with slaw, aoili and chips ($20) . This is a very substantial serve of chicken for the price and definitely a good go-to pub favourite. The slaw adds good colour to the dish, but a little bland in flavour.
You will notice in the photo we also chose a side of waffle fries ($9.50) to share. There are too many words to describe just how good these are. Crunchy and well seasoned, these are a definite go to sharing option.
The “Burger Queen”, Bianca, strayed from her usual option and chose the duck breast with duck croquette, smoked eggplant, kale & orange salad with pomegranate jus ($28.50). A well-presented dish that had good flavour elements to it. It was, however, cooked a little too rare for Bianca’s taste.
I opted for the Spanner Crab Spaghetti with chilli, lemon, garlic and salsa verde ($26). Fresh flavours with a slight sweetness to it from the crab, this is a good option for a summer pasta that isn’t heavy.
As we sat back and took a little breather, our friendly waitress came over to temp us with the option of dessert. We are weak and caved to it, although we were reaching a serious level by that point.
There was one item on that menu that was screaming out at me. The Belgian Waffles with butterscotch sauce, salted pecans and banana ice cream ($13) was truly amazing! The combination of the butterscotch with the saltiness from the pecan was delicious enough but the strong flavour of the banana in the ice cream just brought this home. I recommend you save room for this one!
We also couldn’t go past trying the summer pavlova with seasonal fruits and vanilla cream ($13), for me this is a great dessert to enjoy in hot weather. The meringue was soft, the cream was light and the fruit was sweet, a perfect combination!
The fresh berries with white chocolate creme, coconut ice cream, rum caramel and chocolate crack ($13). was a little underwhelming in comparison to the other two dessert options we tried. I did love the coconut ice cream but didn’t particularly enjoy this one overall, mainly because i’m not a huge fan of chocolate. (gasp!)
The Collaroy definitely is worth a visit if you are in or around the northern beaches over summer. Grab yourselves a cocktail, a great pub meal and a killer view – you can’t go wrong!