Australia’s most prestigious yacht club – and home of the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race – the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), is located in prime position: on the water’s edge in Rushcutters Bay. Now, it’s also home to the latest all-day restaurant from the Boathouse Group.
The Sydney-based hospitality group, which has built its empire on waterfront dining and long summer days, has taken over the space of the club’s former bistro. This marks the group’s 10th Sydney venue, but only the second one in the eastern suburbs. Up until the opening of the Rose Bay outpost just over two years ago, all the whitewashed beachy venues have been north of the Harbour Bridge.
It's a fitting union. Moving into the 300-seat CYCA dining room and terrace, the group has injected its signature nautical style via lobster pot pendant lighting, touches of marble and a jungle of lush greenery.
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Alongside the decorative changes, the group’s executive chef James Brownrigg has developed an all-day menu that both CYCA members and visitors can enjoy. To start, breakfast options are kept casual with classics like bacon and egg rolls and avocado on toast.
Shifting tune for lunch and dinner, the menu brings a sophisticated Mediterranean influence. Among Brownrigg’s dishes, there’s beef carpaccio with truffle pecorino, white taramasalata, a glossy round of house-made Turkish bread carrying the summery combo of lemon and sea salt, and a prawn pasta boasting a lip-smacking chilli hit. Making use of the kitchen’s newly installed pizza oven, there’s a selection of hand-stretched flatbreads available too.
“With the food, we try to make something unique and produce-driven,” Brownrigg tells Broadsheet. “We spend a lot of time finding the best ingredients and presenting them in a simple way for people to enjoy. We don’t try to overcomplicate things.”
In addition to switching things up at the CYCA, the hospitality group has refreshed the menu in its Manly Pavilion digs ahead of the warmer months, delivering snackable dishes of baby peppers, flash-fried calamari and sugar plum tomatoes. This freshen-up extends to the location’s interiors, shifting gears to something a bit more casual, taking advantage of the venue’s secluded waterside terrace.
There are plans to transform the Palm Beach eatery’s homewares store into Casa, an Italian pop-up cafe and restaurant. Plus, opening hours at Shelly Beach are extending and the cocktail offering is coming to the fore.
“We’re reflecting on what we’ve done well over the years and just reassessing,” Brownrigg says. “[We want to] give people more of what they want, which is relaxed dining, but we still want people to feel like they’re being looked after.”
Boathouse CYCA is open for both bookings and walk-ins to CYCA members, their guests and non-members who reside outside of the 5-kilometre radius.
1 New Beach Road, Darling Point
(02) 4379 1131
Mon to Sun 8am–8pm