Thursday, February 18, 2010

Manly Wine by Gazebo, Manly

Are those pink flamingos I can see in the window? When I see those, I know I'm going to like the newest wine bar from the Gazebo group. Just like the venues that have come before (Gazebo Wine Garden & The Winery), I am immediately drawn to the eclectic decor that I have come to expect from the Gazebo folks. And like before, thanks to the ever-awesome Lisa and her work connections, I get a chance to check out Manly Wine not long after it opens, along with other lovely company.
So as I've mentioned, my favourite thing about these wine bars is the atmosphere and the decor. Manly Wine is just like Gazebo Wine Garden, but with a slightly beachier feel to it. Which is perfect for the location of course. And it's HUUUUUGE! Walking in, we see the giant peacocks hanging off the ceiling, and the pink flamingos, the thong-shaped fairly lights, the gorgeous mismatched garden chairs and the vintage lampshades. I want to steal about half the lampshades.
While we decided what to eat, we start off with a lovely jug of rosé sangria. While a little more expensive than usual for it's size, it's lovely. There's a nice balance between the sweet strawberries and the lemon, and we easily polish off the jug.
Rosé Wine Sangria ($25.00) - Strawberries & lemon wedges, crème de fraise strawberry liqueur, bianco Italian vermouth & lemonade
A whole bunch of starter plates to share come next and my rumbling stomach makes me impatient while snapping photos before digging in. The meat plate is enormous, with a variety of cold cuts of meat, an onion jam and the most delicious quince jam. My favourite of the meats is probably chilli-flecked one since it has a nice spice hit, but the quince jam is the star of the platter. It goes well with everything, even the shoestring fries that that we ordered on the side.
Italian cold meats, toast & jams ($20.00)
Shoestring chips ($4.00)
The oysters are fresh and really great with the Shiraz vinaigrette, the perfect starter after a muggy day. While slurping up oysters with the cool breeze blowing in over the water and a lovely view of the beach, I can do nothing but sigh contentedly.
6 oysters, with a Shiraz vinaigrette ($19.00)
Crispy squid, mint, coriander & a chilled cucumber salad ($18.00)
Though I was initially gazing enviously at passing plates of the sausage rolls that I enjoyed so much at The Winery, I can't complain with what we ordered. The squid is a surprisingly decent spin on the usual salt and pepper squid. The batter is crisp and not too heavy, quite salty but the salad makes up for that. The kingfish is so pretty, the fish is very fresh and thickly sliced and the crunchy edamame provide a nice bite to the dish, though it might be a little heavy on the oil.
Kingfish ceviche, ginger spritz and crunchy edamame ($17.00)
We get told by the staff more than once that someone must be taking good care of us, since we have the best seat in the house. We're right in the corner of the restaurant with a window view, with the beach just across the road. As the sun disappears, it's easy to see why this is considered the best seat in the house and I'm feeling pretty lucky. Thanks Lisa :) Unfortunately for the mains, the disappearing sun means that I took some pretty terrible photos after this, since there's not much lighting in the wine bar!
Soft leek & blistered tomato tart, baby herbs, pesto, goats cheese ($22.00)
I had my eye on the tart as soon as I read through the menu. Leek, tomato and goats cheese? Oh yes. And considering how nice their pastry was in their grape & chicken pie, I had high hopes. I wasn't disappointed, the tart pastry was flaky and crunchy, more of a puff pastry than a shortcrust. There was just enough goats cheese, so that it didn't overpower the sweet, soft leeks and tomatoes.
Chargrilled chicken, king prawns & avocado salad, lime chilli dressing ($25.00)
Char-grilled ocean trout, potato rosti, blushed tomatoes and zuchinni tagliatelle ($25.00)
Karen's ocean trout is well cooked, moist with a crisp skin, and the rosti and zucchini go well with it. Denea's grilled chicken is enormous and just as nicely cooked, with a generous amount of avocado.
Beer battered Barra, mushy peas, fries & tartare ($24.00)
I LOVE how they serve Lisa's fish and chips. The huge basket and cone of newpaper for the crumbed fish is so cute, and the fish is really tasty. And who doesn't love a serve of bright green mushy peas? This is probably my second favourite main after my tart. And not just because they printed their own hilarious newspaper:
We decide to skip desserts here so that we can enjoy the slightly cheaper but just as satisfying Ben & Jerry's ice cream, saving us a little money. But I kind of love the newest wine bar, and I can see it attracting a huge lunch crowd and probably even a big breakfast crowd, especially from those staying at the Sebel which it is right underneath. Obviously it's not cheap, but let's be honest, you don't go to these places for a cheap feed. There's a great buzz to the place when it's full, and the service is friendly. You could do a whole lot worse for the same price in this area, and there are pink flamingos! How can you say no to that?? Thanks again to Lisa for bringing us along for a most awesome family & friends dinner!
Manly Wine by Gazebo
8-13 South Steyne,
Manly NSW 2095

(02) 8966 9000

Mon-Thurs: from 3pm
Fri-Sun (and public holidays): all day from 7am
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  1. love the presentation of the fish and chips too. looks excellent :-)

  2. there's something about fish n chips serving in newspaper that I just adore. This place always so busy everytime I walk past. Good to hear the food is good, will give it a try when i am in the area.

  3. haha cute lampshades! and love the look of the sangria mmm

  4. Thanks for coming! It was such a fun night and a great chance to see the new venue. I love the Gazebos the most out of all of our venues. It's probably because I want to steal all the chairs and flamingoes. Your tart was delicious, I know what I'm ordering next time!

  5. Didn't realise about this new venue in Manly until recently. Eager to check it out soon. Love the deco and food looks good!

  6. Wow the Gazebos are multiplying like rabbits! :o I like the eclectic decor :)

  7. Everything looks fantastic. I love the presentation of the fish and chips too! So funny that they printed their own newspaper.

  8. Hee hee their flambouyant decor do make it more lively and interesting :) Must try it out and its pretty close too (sorta haha)

  9. What a location, and that tart looks and sounds like something I could not resist. Washed down with rose sangria? Yum!

  10. Simon Food Favourites - Isn't it so cute and fun? It was tasty too :)

    billy - Same here! It's just not the same without it. It's pretty decent, and the location is great!

    chocolatesuze - I know, don't you want to steal them??? The sangria disappeared fast :)

    Lisa - :) it was great fun! YES you distract them and I'll grab the chairs!

    Ellie - the decor is probably my favourite of the three gazebos!

    Lorraine - Haha I know, they're doing well. I like it too!

    AlyciAmore - yeah it was pretty good!

    missklicious - I think it was a great touch!

    FFichiban - Haha yeah sorta, except for the annoying traffic on the spit bridge!

    Conor - Hehe the sangria was the best!


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