Italian High Tea at Manly Pavilion
Hit the ferry for an afternoon tea unlike any other in Sydney
Manly Pavilion has been making waves since it was lovingly restored and re-opened last year and subsequently award Best New Restaurant by the 2011 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. Back in 1933, when the original Pavilion was built to accommodate Manly bathers, its tearooms were an immediate hit. Now looking to re-capture some of the building’s heritage, head chef Jonathan Barthelmess has re-introduced the tradition of high tea with an Italian twist.
Forget being buried under a mountain of rock-like scones laden with jam and clotted cream – Barthelmess’s menu delivers high tea, but not as you know it. This is mid-afternoon grazing that’s fresh and light.
Celeriac parcels with lemon, parsley and chilli oil are devoured greedily with a glass of Zardetto prosecco – peachy, zesty and crisp, it’s the perfect afternoon aperitivo. Crostini roasted with a little chilli oil can be combined with a choice of mushrooms and parmesan, or roast pork with a balsamic-laced radicchio slaw. The savoury delights are equally well accompanied by a glass Pala ‘I Fiori’ vermentino di Sardegna – floral and slightly vegetal with a pleasing minerality.
While the savouries are certainly given more attention than your traditional high tea – something we heartedly approve of by the way – the sweets have not been neglected. Highlights include the profiteroles filled with a sherry-spiked cream, and zesty macaroons (not macrons) washed down with the delicious crisp apple flavours of a Marcarini moscato d’Asti.
Manly Pavilion boasts a reasonable range of T2 teas and tisanes, but more as an afterthought. Rather, the hero of the show is Barthelmess’s Italian hot chocolate. Made from Italy’s quality Amedei chocolate, it’s rich and unctuous and served in a demitasse glass. You’ll be glad you saved your biscotti for dipping till last!
Where: West Esplanade, cnr Commonwealth Pde, Manly
When: Tue-Sat noon-5pm
Price: $50, $70 with matching wines
Phone: (02) 9949 9011