Remember what Australian summers used to be like? Ice blocks, cicadas, singlets and shorts, thongs, days at the beach, picnics, sunburn, ice cream trucks, humidity, two showers a day, frozen water bottles, jumping in the pool. But we’ve just had our coldest summer in 50 years and the last three months have been all cardigans and soggy shoes. I feel like, as a nation, we’ve somehow been robbed of our identity. What is Australia without it’s Australian summer?
So this post is dedicated to summers past. We celebrate you, and we mourn you. Please come back.
A few weeks ago the weather teased us with one weekend of perfect summer. Serendipitously, I had planned to take a friend to Manly on the same weekend to run some wedding errands, and also finally go to a restaurant I’d been eyeing for a while: The Pantry Manly.
From the outside, The Pantry doesn’t look like much. It’s situated on the promenade, and is the second floor of one of those beach toilet blocks. Doesn’t look/sound very impressive, but if its website boasts “The Restaurant With The Best View” as its tagline… it must get better right?
HELLLLOOOOOOOOOO most amazing view in Sydney!!!!!! I cannot tell you with words just how beautiful the view is from this restaurant. I had requested a window table and very (very) kindly, the restaurant held it for us even though we were 40 minutes late!! The photo doesn’t do it justice, so here are some more from various other angles:
Our table. As the waiter sat us down, the view prompted my friend to ask: “Have you brought me here to propose? Because the answer is YES!”
Proposals, first dates, mothers days, I’m telling you, any occasion when you want to impress your date/co-diner…. THIS IS THE PLACE.
The unadulterated view from our table. It was so perfect, a rare sunny day, sitting semi-alfresco, beach, ocean and sky literally at our window. I have never been so taken aback simply by a restaurant’s view… and at this point, the restaurant could have served us dog-food and we wouldn’t have cared. We were happy just sitting there sipping on our tap water – I think we were asked for our orders about 5 times!
“The Pantry” is not just a name, its the whole concept. The small space is decked out with washed wood, copper lights, hanging meats, and dried pasta and wine-filled shelves.
The menu is charcuterie, cheese, breads and tapas – ie. ALL THE THINGS THAT I LOVE and there are some more substantial meals that looks great too. We decided to order “picnic style” and went for a selection of small plates.
Truffled Salami $12
This was so thinly sliced it just melted in your mouth – it came by itself (no bread) so we just ate it with our hands.
Boiled egg & mixed leaf salad w/ white anchovy, olives, flaked tuna, potato $18
A twist on the tuna nicoise salad – white anchovies are officially my second favourite tinned fish now. Salad is always a risky menu choice, because though you’re trying to be healthy, they’re often disappointing and you just end up hangry. This was really tasty though, and quite substantial!
Chicken liver pate, onion jam and soudough toast $14
There aren’t many things in this world I love more than pate. There isn’t much to say here because pate is ALWAYS good.
The food here is on the pricey side, but well worth it, because I would have happily paid the full bill amount without having eaten anything, just for this…