While it was busy heralding the launch of a landmark 64 venues in Sydney’s new Allianz Stadium in 2022, Merivale quietly opened the Surf Deck, a breezy beachfront bar next to the hospitality group’s northern beaches pub, The Collaroy.

It’s a place designed to while away afternoons with a Pina Colada (“a thing of iced beauty”, according to executive chef Jordan Toft), and summery plates that take big inspiration from Mexico and the Med. Think zesty swordfish carpaccio served with lemon and pink peppercorn, and tacos stuffed with either battered fish, citrusy grilled pork belly or crispy squash flower. (Toft’s pick is the yellowfin tuna tostada.)

As at the pub next door, there’s a hefty menu of Vinnie’s Pizza, the woodfired pizza brand also served at Merivale beachside destinations Coogee Pavilion and The Newport. As for the look – which includes a centrepiece rattan bar hung with dried palm leaves, exposed floorboards and windows on every side – the Surf Deck echoes Narooma waterfront bar The Quarterdeck, a 20-year-old South Coast institution that Merivale took over in 2021.

Most importantly, there are no bad seats here. It’s perched almost right on the sand, with sublime views in every direction. But the best spot has to be at the countertop facing out towards the water, with waves crashing just metres away.

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Updated: January 13th, 2023

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