It’s easy to compare The Collaroy to hospitality group Merivale’s other beachside dining behemoth, the eastern suburbs hotspot Coogee Pavilion. The hospitality giant took over The Collaroy in May 2018.
Every decision made in reworking this venue has been done with the building’s location in mind – from Australian artist Craig Parnaby’s beach-themed murals to the specifics of the menu.
There’s a kiosk vibe on the ground floor and the food is rustic. Think “bowls” (falafel bowl, ocean-trout bowl, meatball bowl and steak bowl – which includes spider steak, crushed potatoes, cherry tomato and a roast-garlic salsa verde) and inviting displays of pastries and cakes.
After 6pm the ground floor takes on a bar feel and serves ham croquettes, anchovy toast and other snacks, as well as a nightly supper menu pitched as a homey family meal.
Upstairs it’s coastal, simple pub food in a bar with north-facing views of Collaroy Beach. Have oysters shucked in front of you, spitchcock (a type of eel), steak frites, fish and chips, fish of the day, burgers, and salads.
And Vincenzo Biondini’s inimitable woodfired pizzas (Vinnie’s Pizza is also at The Newport and Coogee Pavilion), including the “Gnomo”, a classic Italian sausage, mushroom and fior di latte pizza elevated when the crust is stuffed with black truffle (when it’s in season) and ricotta.