Leading the charge in the Central Coast's foodie revolution
BY RENEE WALKER
The Central Coast has woken to a food revolution and Woy Woy's credentials in the dining and cafe space are steaming along. Novocastrians have traditionally known this place as a train stop on the journey to Sydney, but this once-sleepy fishing village is now booming with premium eating and drinking options. Lucky for you, we’ve done a scout-about and got the low-down.
This is an institution on the Woy Woy Peninsula, known for its takeaway fish and chip business, however its premium restaurant that wraps around the waterside is just as famous. This award-winning venue is renowned for its quality and sustainably-sourced seafood prepared by some of the best heads in the food business. It’s so good, Nigella Lawson came here for a feed when she visited Australia in February this year. The restaurant and bar has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past six months, revitalising a tired wharf into an architecturally designed and purpose built restaurant with stunning views over the Woy Woy Peninsula, particularly at sunset. Definitely sample the scampi and oysters, and we loved the Chilli Crab done Singapore Style for something different. And if you think you can do better at home, then why not pick up some fresh seafood from the fish market out the front!
Located upstairs at the refurbished Bayview Hotel, Frankie’s Rooftop offers punters the perfect combination of best experience drinks, beautiful but comfortable décor and a spectacular view all the way to Gosford. An artfully selected spirits range forms the back bone to a banging cocktail menu, and did we mention the 40 premium whiskies? Drooling. Don’t shy away from The Death Flip, a creamy combination of secret ingredients with a shout out to Chris Hysted-Adams of Melbourne’s Black Pearl. Given the Black Pearl was recently crowned Best International Cocktail Bar you get the idea pretty quickly. This place has serious creds. The atmosphere is a premium but relaxed cantina vibe with touch of plantation-chic. It’s the place to go if you want to kick-on for a classy night cap after dinner or step up your regular Sunday session, but be sure to wear your Sunday best – it’s new coast, not old coast.
Young Barons quietly slipped into the main street of Woy Woy but certainly not without anyone noticing. This little slice of metropolitan chic has forever raised the bar of dining standards in Woy Woy and sitting inside the contemporary-clad location, you’d fast forget you’re on the little old Peninsula. The cooks in the kitchen, Bryce and Danielle, are of the Bells at Killcare school of food so the Italian-inspired menu is exceptional but not over the top. The pasta and gelato is made in house daily, meaning the food is always fresh, flavoursome and you’re always wanting another bite. While the menu does appear to be limited to begin with, you’ll fast realise it’s because they nail every single one of them – it’s quality over quantity. Pick anything off the menu really, but we loved the Gnocchi and Rigatoni. They also have a lovely courtyard at the back of the restaurant to enjoy your Aperol Spritz in the warmer months.
Tropicana Pizza Pizza is the love-child of husband and wife team, Cate and Tim. The restaurant opened late last year and has been welcomed by the local community with open arms. Cate, an interior designer by trade, has created the restaurant like a “love letter to our time living in Redfern” and the interiors pay homage to 1970s with a Hawaiian vibe. Tropicana has a rotating selection of beers, which is a great way to sample a new brew on each visit. Speaking about Woy Woy, Cate said, “The community here is exquisite. We’ve set out to reshape the nightlife in Woy Woy,” which has had a rougher image in years gone by. Cate added, “It really has been the case of “Build it and they will come” and we set out to build something we wanted to frequent.” These guys don’t take themselves too seriously and you can feel it amongst the fun vibes of the restaurant.
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