Bistro Manly, a 90-seater beachfront venue on the ground floor of the Novotel Manly Pacific, serves up classic French food.
The lunch and dinner menus include prawn bisque with blue swimmer crab and rouille (a sauce with saffron and cayenne pepper); 120-day dry-aged beef sirloin with Café de Paris butter; confit duck leg with mushroom risotto; and a pork chop with roast vegetables and parsnip puree.
Seafood also features prominently on both menus. There’s yellowfin tuna niçoise, chilli prawn linguine, and snapper with a beurre blanc(white butter) and yuzu.
The lunch menu also has a “light” section featuring French favourites, such as croque monsieur, Wagyu flank steak frites, and a steak sandwich with Gruyere. Dessert doesn’t stray too far from typical French bistro fare, either. There’s crème brûlée, apple tarte tatin and a vanilla pecan and strawberry bombe alaska.
Aperitif hour at Bistro Manly’s open-air courtyard is very civilised – perfect for snacking on charcuterie, cheese, crisp-fried school prawns and smoked-salmon pate. Much like the food, the wine list is a bit French and a bit Australian, ranging from a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne to chardonnay from South Australia’s Shaw and Smith. A whisky cart can be rolled out if you’re after a nip.