A nostalgic sandwich shop and high-end cocktail may seem worlds apart, but the two come together in upscale, retro bar The Nook, just steps away from Manly’s main street. In a former corner store on Sydney Road, it’s as cosy as its name suggests.
Sandwiches take the spotlight here, and the Reuben is a 36-hour affair. First, the kitchen desalinates the meat, which is marinated for 24 hours, before being smoked for six hours and steamed for another six hours. The result is a tender stack of pastrami, brimming with briny flavour, tucked between two pieces of dark rye along with sauerkraut, pickles and melted Swiss cheese. The à la carte options include a pork-and-veal meatball roll and fried chicken with cheddar-and-chive waffles.
Exposed brick walls, ’70s-inspired mosaic tiles, a ribbed cedar-wood bar and a curated playlist of funky old-school hip-hop invoke the disco era.
There are three desserts on the menu, but co-owner Harrison Maher recommends the Triple D’s Cheesecake. Maher’s mum Danielle – also known as Triple D – is behind the namesake pastry, which is topped with caramel popcorn bits.
The drinks list’s “Nook Tails” are a take on classic ’70s cocktails. The Purple Lady is a mix of local craft gin, merlot, pomegranate syrup and a house sour mix, garnished with foam and a floating passion fruit. The NY Winter Fashion starts with a base of rye, sweetened with maple syrup and shaken with ginger, orange peel and aromatic bitters, and served on the rocks.