Occupying its own corner block off The Strand and Pacific Parade is Buttercup, a new Dee Why venue. The all-day, three-room destination is the latest venture from the team that brought us Hemingway's and JB & Sons. But unlike its American-inspired counterparts, Buttercup is pure Aussie.
“The American thing is done. We all grew up eating this sort of food, mum’s delicious parma and rissoles. The dishes are inspired more by family than any top chef,” says co-owner, Paul Fraser.
Bright and warm like the name suggests, the interior is painted yellow and blue, the bearded waiters wear yellow aprons and the custom-designed yellow Lamarzocco coffee machine sits proud on the side bar. In the front room, bar stools and window seats give the space a beachy vibe. A comfy brown leather booth extends around the entire back wall of the third room.
Everything about Buttercup is “unintentionally local”. The playful sign and botanical menu design are courtesy of Sydney illustrator, Adriana Picker. The coffee is by Northern Beaches-based Barrel One Roasters, and the wines are, mostly, NSW labels. “We get beer from people that we know,” says Fraser. 4 Pines is available in tins, bottles and on tap.
For chef Dave Lawrence and co-owners George McLean and Paul Fraser, the Buttercup menu is about doing familiar dishes really well. Tomatoes are smoked and dried. Vegetables are pickled and charred. The brisket is smoked for 12 hours and is available as a breakfast side.
The Ploughman’s Breakfast is a winner. It comes with gold-medal ham, avo, poached eggs and pickles. The lunch menu has items such as the humble ham sandwich with Dijon and corn relish, and fish and chips served battered and crumbed. The dinner menu offers a hearty daily roast that changes nightly. And once the sun sets, with sweet names like Marmalade, Myrtle and Cherry, the extensive cocktail list shouldn’t be bypassed.