On the site of now-defunct Manly Press cafe, Jason Wright (ex-Kittyhawk) and his fiancée Leah Jensen have opened Arthur’s, a casual seafood bistro. The couple lives just over the road and had been eyeing off the venue for a while.
“We're in a fantastic area in Manly,” says Wright. “We wanted to create a spot for locals to have fun, get a feed and listen to some hip hop.”
The fit-out is relaxed and has an airy, beachside cafe feel, with wooden floorboards, high ceilings and large windows looking out onto Pittwater Road. Pops of colour come from the retro red-and-blue chairs, and the teal tiles in the central open kitchen. Paintings on the walls nod to the venue’s namesake, NSW’s first governor, Arthur Phillips.
“He was said to be ahead of his time and a very good man to the people,” Wright explains. “So it seemed only right.”
Oysters take centre stage when it comes to the food. Shucked to order and sourced from all over Australia, the daily selection might include tiny, intensely flavoured Sydney Rock oysters from Wapengo Lake, or larger, creamier Pacific oysters from Clyde River. The rest of the menu follows a theme of bright, loud flavours and sustainably sourced seafood.
There are scallops, seared and served with smoked corn puree and jalapeno poppers; or Hiramasa kingfish ceviche tacos served with mango-and-lime yoghurt, chipotle salsa, coriander and crispy shallots. For dessert, it’s hard to pass up the mini eclairs, pumped full of Mars Bar ganache and deep-fried.
Wines are from Oakvale in the Hunter Valley, and a standout sweet, peachy sparkling works well with the briney oysters. There are tinnies too, from small batch suppliers like NOMAD, Young Henrys and Tiny Rebel.
Arthur's Oysters and Seafood
46 Pittwater Road, Manly