This was just one of those days. Those perfect days you daydream about. A day off: no work, no uni. Just a whole lot of sleeping-in, breakfast after a long walk and then a long lunch followed by an even longer siesta. It was as my dear boyfriend jealously calls it, “a severe lady of leisure day”. Whatever, haters gonna hate! Yet again, my trusty partner in food inhalation was busy adulting and working in the middle of the day on a Wednesday (whaaat?!), so I took my beautiful mumma bear along to The Pantry Manly for a cute little date (who by the way, is a total competitive eater just like yours truly).
I’m going to keep this write up short & sweet because honestly, The Pantry Manly’s food, service, ambience and postcard view speaks for itself. Set right on the golden sands of Manly beach, this outstanding restaurant is one of those incredibly well-priced and humble yet bold and daring places that went straight onto my ‘must come back ASAP’ list. It is truly perfect for any occasion – breakfast, a lazy lunch, date night or just “I’m hungry and I must inhale delicious food immediately with my gal pals”.
Our seven million course lunch started with this beautiful Garlic & Chilli Prawn dish. It was not what we expected at all when we ordered it, but in the best way possible. The sauce that the prawns sat in was similar to a bisque – creamy, flavoursome, zesty yet light and moreish as fudge! The warm French baguette…don’t even get me started on how much I love a good stick of freshly baked bread. Legit, if you had just given me 3-4 of these and said that that was all I could have for lunch…I would have happily said thank you and dived in face first.
YASS YASS YASS YASSSSSS!! How good are scallops??! I LOVE SCALLOPS!!! Admittedly, I’ve never had baked scallops before & I was slightly on the sceptical side with this dish, because there is honestly nothing I love more than a scallop flash fried in butter. Sweet lord almighty these were INSANE though! They were cooked to perfection and paired brilliantly with the creaminess yet crunchiness of the baked manchego cheese, salt of the jamon and tartness of the sour cream. Mumma bear, who gets a bit grossed out by a lot of seafood didn’t come up for air at one point after she’d had her first bite of these and I had to fight her for a second one…that should say enough.
I’m not one to lose my shiz over artichokes, but mum totally is (whatever floats your boat I guess). I tried one of these, it was yummy…but I’m no connoisseur so I asked mum what she thought and her exact words were; “ohhhh my gawwwwwd…these are beautifulllllll…so tangy and well seasoned but not too full on…I lurrrveeee them”. Yep. Exact words.
Frotthhh…this slab of tuna was no joke the size of my face! The bed of salad which it sat on was honestly to die for…I had no idea it came with the dish and my mum told me my eyes lit up like Christmas morning when I saw it (no surprises there #foodobsessed). It was a combo of roasted chat potatoes, le above-mentioned artichokes, mixed lettuce, grilled asparagus, cherry tomatoes and a light lemon-y, tangy dressing of some sort…aka instant winner in my eyes. This tuna though….LIT AF!!! It was pink and soft on the inside…pure magic and shock of the day…I couldn’t finish it the serving was so generous. I know I know, what is wrong with me?! This dish scored a straight 10/10 from me…perfect in every day for a hot summer’s day by the beach.
I’m a frother for sides. A good side dish can totally send a meal to the next level of amazeball-ness. The Pantry Manly has a great selection of salads, small dishes & sides which our waitress recommended to accompany each dish. We decided on the grilled mushrooms (mum’s choice) and the green beans with lemon almonds (my pick). The mushrooms were yum and charry, but nothing that made me want to jump for joy. The green beans on the other hand were perfection – the right amount of crunch to them with an on point balance of lemon, salt, oil and really just an all round good time.
Not going to lie, Mumma Well Fed picked the dish of the day. These perfect hunks of meat came floating on a rotolo of baby spinach, ricotta, mushrooms, chestnuts, sage butter and aged Parmesan. This dish was rich, decadent, morish and totally food-coma-inducing in the best way possible (if you insist on licking the plate clean like I may or may not have…). The lamb chops were soft, juicy and perfectly pink. The sauce had been reduced impeccably and packed so much flavour. Put parmesan cheese on anything and you have my heart. Writing this right now, all I want is for this dish to magically appear right in front of me again.
If you hadn’t already gathered from my abundant “omg” and “amazeballs”-ing throughout this post, The Pantry Manly is a total must visit. Simple food, done really friggin well, with outstanding views and second to none service…what’s not to love?
– A xx