The Bathers' Pavilion is housed in a Moorish inspired building that was built as a changing shed by Mosman Council in 1921. A multi-million renovation has created one of the most characteristic buildings in Sydney on the water. Flooded with natural light this unusual setting imbues the dining experience with a seaside holiday romance. Upstairs, the beach house ambience continues, with more spectacular views from function rooms that spill onto a large white terrace.
THE BATHERS' CAFÉ
Also located in the Pavilion is The Bathers' Café. The Café serves Mediterranean-style food in a casual atmosphere, with the choice of communal tables or more intimate cushioned booths for brekky with friends, a late lunch after a day at the beach or a fantastic afternoon tea. Pop in for morning tea, afternoon tea or a glass of wine or a beer.
PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Evoking images of all-in-one striped swimsuits, zinced noses and changing room huts, Bathers' Pavilion merges classic beach culture with a delightful gourmet scene. Sporting an enviable view that begins with the sand of Balmoral Beach and stretches as far as the eye can see past Manly's North Head, the sparkling blues and greens of the sea can't help but add to the restaurant's charm. While the weather-beaten sandstone facade nods to 1928, inside, the restaurant dining room is tastefully decked out in blues, browns and sandy tones. Cushions, comfy armchairs and throws give a homely touch to an otherwise primly set restaurant, and a fireplace takes over the sun's job in the cooler months.
Tapping into the beauty of seasonal produce, owner and head chef Serge Dansereau and chef de cuisine Alan Compton turn out an impeccable menu of modern Australian dishes. Merging traditional European techniques with fresh seafood and ingredients from Down Under, each dish carefully balances flavour and presentation. Both the steamed goat's cheese panzotti with olive tapenade, zucchini flower, baby tomatoes and anchovy butter, and the Moreton Bay bug with cucumber, majoram butter, frisee, crisp polenta and kipfler potatoes wins a lot of hearts. The nori-wrapped ocean trout with bok choy, green papaya and chilli salad and Vietnamese dressing wrestles for attention with beef tenderloin with brisket, potato, artichoke and roast shallot with porcini sauce. Finish, perhaps, with a risque wooer of menage a trios des chocolates with vanilla Anglaise; however, if the choice is all too much, opt for one of the famous degustation menus and leave it to the experts. There's a more casual cafe to the right-hand side of the building which still sports the amazing vista, and there's an outdoor kiosk which offers pre-made sandwiches and quiches.