Eastern suburbs stalwart the Coogee Bay Hotel hasn’t exactly been a destination for fine dining during its 140-year lifespan. But that might be set to change with the launch of new diner and bar Marrah (which replaces the beachside diner’s existing brasserie and Beach Bar). Taking its name from the Dhurga word for “fish”, Marrah’s menu – created by executive chef Nathan Tillott (The Greens) – is appropriately seafood-focused.
“We’ve upgraded this space with the intent to create a restaurant experience in a casual and welcoming setting,” Coogee Bay Hotel’s managing director Christopher Cheung tells Broadsheet. “We believe it is so important to continue to evolve our offering, along with the ever-changing Coogee dining scene.”
Expect dishes such as seared swordfish with eggplant puree; Queensland snapper crab with angel-hair pasta, chilli, garlic and lemon; and fresh oysters served naturally or with shallot vinaigrette or chardonnay granita. Meat mains include a dry-aged Kurobuta pork chop, Rangers Valley rump cap, and charred free-range chicken.
“I love working with all of the amazing seafood that we’re lucky enough to have in Australia,” Tillott tells Broadsheet. “However, I’m really excited about our ... classic restored French rotisserie.” (The rotisserie menu will be available from November, and meats including duck, pork neck and whole fish will be cooked on it.)
The wine list includes new and old-world wines, and the cocktail list features fun, beachy numbers such as the Smokin’ Tiki Punch (Bundaberg MDC Small Batch, apricot brandy, pineapple, lime and fassionola); the Banana Cake Old Fashioned, made with caramel and miso syrup and chocolate bitters; and the Marrah Martini (Tanqueray, Stone Pine’s rhubarb gin, passionfruit and cherry tomato).
Marrah’s design is inspired by its coastal surrounds. The undulating ceiling pays homage to the waves that lap the shores just across the road, and the forest-green hues echo the pine trees that line the beach.
“With the new menu and transformed space, we hope to establish Marrah as a dining destination for those looking to experience some of the freshest produce and hand-selected wines, all in a very relaxed environment that has been inspired by the surrounding coast,” says Tillott.