:: Whitewater :: it fit the mould

2016-03-16 19.15.56My Mom is in town and it was time to take her out for a ‘ touristy dinner’.  You know the one I am talking about…when you put yourself in holiday mode and book the table at a restaurant that you wouldn’t normally go to as a local.  Think a little bit fancy, crisp white linen and china, staff dressed in standard black bottoms & white top and food presented with flare and perfection.  When you live in a beautiful part of the world, there are certainly businesses that focus on capturing the tourist dollar.  There is nothing wrong with that, it’s great for the local economy but it generally means these establishments are more expensive than the average punter is going to spend on a weekly dinner out.  For a local, these might be ‘special occasion’ venues and there are certainly several restaurants that would easily fit this mould in Manly. So when it came down to deciding which venue we would wine & dine my Mom at, I remembered Whitewater was on First Table‘s roster.  Whitewater has the beach front location, crisp but classic interior & a modern Australian menu,  it was the perfect combination for our ‘touristy dinner’ with our international visitor.  Plus, not only would we get 50% off our meal but we would be ticking another eatery off our list and one that we might not have made it to in awhile as just the two of us with baby in tow.

Continue reading :: Whitewater :: it fit the mould

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:: The Hold :: sailing into burger haven

2016-03-02 17.33.37I must admit that we walk past The Hold often, but have never really thought about it for a place to eat dinner.  Mostly likely this stems from the association that this space was just a cocktail bar previously and an expensive one at that…Harlem, for those playing along.  When you walk past , looking in, the interiors of The Hold are still dark and surreptitious but now are also detailed with wood from floor to ceiling and themed to be the inside of a old schooner ship, hence the name, The Hold.

However, the name does not give away what type of cuisine is on offer.  It is a bit of a mystery… So when I said to The Hubby, lets try out the First Table site this week and see which restaurant we can tick off our Eatery List;  The Hold appeared on their roll call of restaurants and the cuisine catalogued was American (New), Gastro Pub Food…ah ha mystery solved!   We had particularly healthy home cooked meals for well over a week and the thought of a deluxe burger and fries instantly made my hand scroll over to the ‘book now’ button to secure our reservation.  Now, not only were we in for a burger fix, we were also going to get 50% off the food bill too. Winning! Continue reading :: The Hold :: sailing into burger haven

::Sunset Sabi:: winner winner tuna dinner

The Hubby & I had heard some rumblings around town that the kids from Chica Bonita were opening another restaurant in the hood.  Oh don’t you love the buzz of anticipation!  If you have been to Chica Bonita, you would rate the funky fitout, the straight up mexi-street food and give it props for bringing alive the little lane way, where it is nestled.  If they applied the same formula to their new digs, then things should be good…real good.  So for our first review of 2016, let me introduce you to Sunset Sabi.
2015-11-10 17.32.05 Continue reading ::Sunset Sabi:: winner winner tuna dinner

Your Eatery List is ready

Phew!  Tick.  The Eatery List is now up-to-date. Yahoo!  It is looking good and very long but oooohhhh so enticing…It still does boggle the mind how many choices we have at our doorstep.  Manly, you rock!

It was actually a really good exercise to help focus, align and motivate us on our mission. Thankfully, none of the restaurants that we had currently reviewed had hung up their boots…but there were some ‘old timers’ that have quietly disappeared.   So I must take a moment to farewell these fine establishments… Continue reading Your Eatery List is ready

We’re back… :)

Hello 2016! The Hubby & I are back and ready to dust off our little project – to try all 100+ eateries in Manly and give a local’s perspective. While we were away there have been several new eateries that have popped up and some familiar ones that have retired. Have you checked out the Little Love Inn…it was love at first sight. How about The Boathouse? After major renovations of the old Shelly Beach Kiosk, it is a new thriving hub of activity at the Bower end of Manly. What about Harry Phat’s? Or Sunset Sabi? Cured? Cuba Miami didn’t last long and China Beach has set sail but The Hold has just had approval for outdoor seating as has Donny’s Bar. Oh it is so exciting. Manly, I just adore you.

IMG_5538First thing, first. Apologies for our absence…did you miss us? Back in the Spring of 2014, my full time job kicked into a new level that saw me craving ‘offline time’. Trying to write a review each week was not the best way for me to spend my time, then. So we took a break. Oh, and we also had a baby too..9 months ago…so life has been forever changed and totally enriched.  I have fallen in love with Manly all over again, in a new way, a new appreciation of it, as a Mother. But as Manly has been changing – hello new pedestrian area – and adding new eateries, stores and markets, The Hubby & I can’t help but long to get back on track with our little project that we started way back in the Winter of 2014.

So let’s do this. I can’t promise weekly reviews, my little ladybug only catnaps after all, but we will commit to a review a month minimum and hopefully more. Although, as my old boss, Naomi Simson, use to say…”there is no power in hope”, so I will keep this in mind too.  Reviews will be more of a range including lunches and of course dinner, when we can make it out  but we will also add in take aways – after all eating at home or at ‘The Office’ is just easier with a little one.  Oh and now we also have a new eye for certain details like…will our pram fit? He he he.  Plus, we are going to take advantage of the new booking site called First Table that has come to Manly…have you seen it? Basically, if you book the first table through the website, you get 50% off your meal for 2 to 4 people and just pay $10 for the booking. We are SOOOOO getting in on that!

Most importantly, we need to get our Eatery list up-to-date.  I will work on getting that fixed up, with all the links working so we all can use it as the go-to-guide when you think  (or can’t think) ‘where should we eat today’.

Thanks for your patience and the messages throughout the time we have been offline. I look forward to getting our mission back on track but also engaging and contributing to the community, the awesome little village of Manly, that we call home. Yah!

:: Ironbark :: inventive pizza menu

IronbarkManly_PizzaThis week The Hubby & I jumped on our bikes again and headed toward the other end of town from Darley Road to tick off Ironbark Manly from our list.  Ironbark has been in the same location on Pittwater Road since I have lived in Manly but even though we have been to numerous eateries all around it, we still had never ventured inside.  The Hubby & I love pizza, so we were very much looking forward to trying a ‘new-to us’ pizza place.  Would this be our new favourite pizza in town?  We were about to find out.

On arrival, the restaurant smelled divine and had a pleasant vibe to it even though it wasn’t packed when we arrived, only three other tables of four people seated.  The staff were attentive and friendly and allowed to select which table suited us best, which I always like. Now that we are photographing our food for the blog, we have learnt to find a seat with the best lighting and hopefully not too many people around us as well.  Using my smart phone at the dinner table, very much goes against my commitment to being present with those around you… so The Hubby & I work together to quickly set up and snap the photos without fussing about too much.  We have gotten quite speedy but are still working on the quality of our photos.  Let us know if you have any tips… Continue reading :: Ironbark :: inventive pizza menu

:: Bluewater Cafe :: is it really a local’s cafe?

After 3 weeks overseas for work and play, The Hubby & I are back on track to continue our Darley Days mission.  It is amazing how things can change in 3 weeks in our little village too.  I have seen a some new places pop up, a few under construction and hype building for the launch of Daniel San this weekend too.  Gotta love Manly!  I’ll make sure to update the Eatery list ASAP too!

However, for our first thursday back at it, I had steak on the brain and so The Hubby & I looked at our list and narrowed down to three options…Ribs & Rumps, Manly Grill and Bluewater Cafe.  Bluewater is the only option of the three that both of us had never been to so we decided to give it a go.

I’ve known about Bluewater for years, it seems to have been along the surf beach front as long as I can re2014-05-22 14.06.22call.  I remember a former colleague once mentioning that she loves their ‘food on a stick’, which initially peaked my interest and has stuck with me still.   I’ve also heard that locals do frequent the cafe, but yet none of my friends seem to dine here or have mentioned it for a possible dinner outing.  Perhaps it is more of brekky and lunch spot than dinner?  Well, we were about to find out ! Continue reading :: Bluewater Cafe :: is it really a local’s cafe?

Just a little note to let you know that I have been overseas for work and now holidays, hence the interruption  to The Hubby & my weekly dinning mission.   We will be back on track mid September, so make sure you tune in then!  Thanks for your patience and continued support as well!

:: Jipang :: earn your local badge

Jipang_DarleyDaysThis week The Hubby and I were feeling like heading to one of our old favourites… Jipang, the Japanese noodle house located in the Henry Roth arcade.  Their location in the arcade is a busy thruway, between the Corso and library, where you can sit, eat and watch Manly walk by.   The staff lovingly wear an Australian flag bandana for headwear as part of their uniform, a small touch that distinguishes the eatery and makes me smile too.  The Hubby & I were after a quick, cheap and satisfying meal which we knew Jipang would deliver. Plus, we rate their Gyoza – Japanese style dumplings (6pc) as some of the best in town… I’ve been known to just pop in and order a plate of gyoza simply to satisfy a craving…delicious!

Jipang is unofficially split into three different dining areas with a handful of tables inside the small eatery, seating at the bar overlooking the action in the kitchen and lastly seating outside in the arcade thruway.    When we arrived, we were able to grab a table inside and immediately started pondering the menu.   The gyoza’s were an automatic order but we also included The Hubby’s new staple the Agedashi Gyoza – deep fried dumplings in soy flavoured sauce.  He use to always order the Agedashi Tofu but once the gyoza version was spotted, he hasn’t looked back.  I finally decided on the Mixed Tempura Udon – prawn tempura (2pcs), kakiage tempura (1pc) & some vege tempura for a main and The Hubby went with a split order of the Jipang Chahan – fried rice & a bowl of clear soup and Karaage Chicken marinated deep fried chicken.  It was an unusual order for The Hubby, and I was initially concerned that he did not order enough food which would put my noodles in jeopardy… sharing was not part of the plan tonight for the mains.. ha ha. Continue reading :: Jipang :: earn your local badge

:: Fika Swedish Kitchen :: a kindred spirit


Fika_DarleyDays
Have you heard of Fika?  It popped up on the scene across from the Manly Library entrance just over a year ago and specialises in Swedish fare, a first for the area.  Fika is a Swedish word that translates as ‘taking a break for coffee and a bite to eat’ according to the rhetoric throughout the cafe.  However, the team go on to explain it is more than that… “it’s a moment to relax, to catch up with your family and to laugh with your friends.  It’s making up for lost time, or part of your daily ritual.  A cosy escape, or a refreshing pause. It’s the time between meals, the place between destinations.  I don’t know about you, but appreciating the definition of Fika, gives me the warm and fuzzies and total resonates with me. Oh the Sweds…they are so clever!  I am a sucker for Scandinavian culture though and actually make a living promoting Danish designer furniture and Swedish lighting to Architects and Interior Designers.  So for our Darley Days dinner this week, The Hubby & I were looking for that cosy escape and agreed it was time to try FikaContinue reading :: Fika Swedish Kitchen :: a kindred spirit