I’ve been accused of featuring the eastern suburbs too heavily, but I can’t help it if there’s a concentration of great eats (and drinks) in that part of town. So I’m delighted to be celebrating something that the northside (my home turf) has in abundance – great eats with great views! Time to enjoy a long leisurely lunch with friends and a fantastic outlook. Here are five of my favourite lunch spots with wonderful views – and they’re all north of the Bridge!
St Siandra The Spit
Perched over the sand on the eastern side of The Spit, St Siandra offers so much more than location. The North African-influenced menu is as impressive as the view. Dunk charred potato flatbread into tahini swirled with bright olive zhoug, but save some to soak up the fermented tomato sauce with the skewers of beef short rib. Tender bug meat flash-fried with baharat and curry leaf is dish-of-the-year material!
Cottage Point Inn Cottage Point
I love watching the seaplanes land and take off alongside this converted riverfront general store on Cowan Creek in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Guests share the deck with kookaburras while lunching on a menu that wanders from the Mediterranean to Asia with a subtle sprinkling of native flavours. Hospitality is first rate and the wine list is impressive (including a great half bottle selection).
Pilu at Freshwater Freshwater Beach
On a sunny day, there’s no better view than the one from the balcony of this iconic beachfront diner – sun sparkles on water, surfers dip in and out of the waves, and all’s right with the world. Add some of Sydney’s finest food, wine and service and I’m in heaven. The menu evolves seasonally, but great crudo, hand-rolled fregola, the best suckling pig, and crunchy, creamy, honey-filled seadas, are guaranteed.
Ormeggio at The Spit The Spit
Ormeggio’s long been one of my favourite diners for the creative genius of Alessandro Pavoni coupled with head chef Victor Moya. Add that distinctive Middle Harbour view, which Alessandro says reminds him of Lake Garda, and you have one of Sydney’s finest lunchtime venues. The meat-free menu gives a fishy spin to Italian classics like seafood lasagna ‘alla Bolognese’, bluefin tuna puttanesca and swordfish cotoletta. Then there’s the OMG gelato menu for dessert!
Chiosco by Ormeggio The Spit
I’m sort of double-dipping here because Chiosco is the casual sibling to Ormeggio which is right next door on d’Albora Marina. While Ormeggio has the million dollar views, from a sunny table at Chiosco you can still watch the boats bobbing and the birds swooping and enjoy some of the tastiest Italian trattoria dishes you’ll find this side of Italy. Go the sharing feast for Sydney’s best calamari fritti and my fave vitello tonnato!