The location of this light filled café – right on Shelley Beach – alone make it seductive during a Sydney Summer. Such a great spot to have a coffee, breakfast, and read the paper, alone or while the (not so) Small People busy themselves in the sand and sea. With the plants, fresh flowers, framed prints and big lampshades, it’s a spot on beachside casual feel, and one that you wish was your own dining or living room to spend all day.
There aren’t any bookings so you do have to hover to get a table (and given the layout of the room this is ok, I found it extremely awkward at the narrow Balmoral Beach location and gave up), but on the couple of occasions I’ve been everyone is pretty chilled and happy to share on mostly larger communal tables. It’s a counter order system, line up and pay and grab your number, so you do have to line up again each time you want another round of drinks or coffees. The menu is very compact, so that they can turn the tables and appease the crowds, but the ingredients were fresh and what was there was well done. If it’s a bucket of prawns and some oysters you’re after, you’ll be very happy indeed with the Summer menu appropriately biased towards cold dishes and seafood. There isn’t a specific kids menu, but they do the various dishes in smaller sizes. Staff were very friendly and quick to follow up when they noticed our meal seemed to be taking longer than usual and set about rectifying it and offering us some free drinks.
We’ll be back for breakfast.
The Boathouse, 1 Marine Parade, Manly Ph +61 2 9974 5440 http://www.theboathousesb.com.au/