One rainy night after work, the boy and I crossed the Spit Bridge to Manly for dinner at Bluewater Cafe which is located right on the main promenade. The interiors are decorated with surfboards and sailboat ornaments on the walls which gave it a laidback beach vibe, perfect with the selection of fresh seafood on the menu.
Cape Mentelle Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, $11 per glass and Evans & Tate Classic Pink Moscato, $8.5 per glass
We started off the night with two glasses of wine from the Margaret River region – the Cape Mentelle Semillon Sauvignon Blanc for the boy (which was quite acidic and lemony to the palate) and the sweet Evans & Tate Classic Pink Moscato for myself, which went down a treat.
Seafood Platter for 2, $110
After this we opted for the impressive sounding Seafood Platter for 2 and when it came out we were blown away by the size of it! If that wasn’t enough, it also came with a side of rocket salad and crunchy thick cut chips. After some strategic deliberation on how best to tackle it, we decided to start with the freshly shucked natural oysters. We drizzled them with the zingy eschallot vinegar and red chilli nahm jin sauce which went really well together (there are also plenty of lemon wedges on the platter if required). Next, we decided to get our hands dirty on some yummy Yamba prawns which we dunked in the seafood cocktail sauce.
We then moved on to the mussels which were cooked in a hearty tomato based broth. Little chance that Bluewater Cafe took a shortcut with the broth here as it was flavoured well with multiple herbs and garlic to give it a bit of kick with the mussels. In fact, the boy declared that this was his favourite portion of the platter after the meal.
My favourite part of the platter was actually the juicy Moreton Bay bugs which were coated with garlic butter. The succulent texture of the bugs was a cross between a scampi and lobster; the meat was sweet and definitely something I would order in the future. Next to the bugs on the platter was a piece of pan-fried salmon fillet with another serve of smoked salmon on the side. I would have liked the pan-fried salmon slightly more pink but it wasn’t too bad, especially flavoured with the dill butter that had melted onto the salmon while we were working our way around the rest of the platter.
If you are still reading by now, you are probably as tired as we were eating at the table. After a quick 5 minutes break to regroup ourselves (and another serve of wine), we moved on to tackle the last bits of the platter. At this stage, there was still the deep-fried soft shell crab, Thai fish cakes and prawn skewers. The fish cakes were the best at this end, with fresh flakey innards and a nicely crumbed batter. I liked the fact that it also came with two different kinds of dipping sauces, an aioli and a coriander soy sauce concoction. It was also thoughtful of them to provide a bowl with some lemon water and ice to wash our hands after handling all that seafood.
The team at Bluewater Cafe had excellent and attentive service, and made us feel very welcome throughout the night. Along with delicious food and beach side views (more so during the day), I’d recommend anyone passing by Manly to give this place a try!
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Bluewater Cafe
28 South Steyne, Manly NSW 2095
Ph: (02) 9976 2051