The Collaroy is another new Merivale opening. The large restaurant group have revamped The Collaroy on Pittwater Road right on Collaroy Beach. There's a ground floor kiosk to service the pub and bar downstairs while upstairs is the restaurant with live music from Friday to Sunday.
Apart from going out on Friday and Saturday nights, my next favourite meal is a leisurely long Sunday lunch. It puts you in a good mood for the week ahead and there's no rush, the only mandatory is to enjoy the sunshine. You get home around 4:30pm and you're in bed by 8:30pm. A win win.
It's been a little while since we've visited Collaroy. In that time Merivale have transformed the pub into one of their multi level multi use venues. There's a certain look to some Merivale places and it's like The Newport and Coogee Pavilion had a baby. And yes it's the building that was so battered by the 2016 Sydney storms that the vertical supports holding the balcony up washed away.
We're eating here with Louise, Viggo and baby Henry who is growing up on avocado rye sandwiches. Service starts off a bit strangely. "Sparkling water?" one waitress says to me and pours just me a glass, drips quite a bit of it on the table and then walks away without offering or pouring it for anyone else or cleaning up the trail of water. She is thankfully replaced by someone else who is friendly and efficient.
"OMG there is pizza???" I say excitedly because when I stalked the menu online I did not see any pizza. There's a whole pizza menu in fact. Usually when I know I'm having pizza, it am happy for at least the week beforehand thinking about me being reunited with my true love, pizza. As for the rest of the menu it's quite a middle of the road Modern Australian menu but for once, nothing really jumps out at me so we go with some recommendations.
Please don't read too much into it but I gravitated towards the pornstar martini, but I promise it's mainly for the passionfruit, apple and vanilla flavours paired with the Wyborowa Vodka and Chandon sparkling. I'm not disappointed, this is sweet, fruity and delicious. Louise goes for a punny cocktail with the Mangoes into a Bar which is Olmeca Reposado Tequila, ginger, mango, apple. It's also good but it's packed with crushed ice which would perhaps best go down in summer than winter.
The food arrives really quickly and the two pizzas arrive first. The Maiala is San Marzano tomatoes, fior de latte, slices of hot salami, thinly sliced Italian ham and parmesan. It's a Neapolitan style thin base with puffy crust. I'm in heaven. I may or not have eaten three slices of this.
We didn't actually order the garlic bread, this came out because a waitress spilled a drink at a nearby table and a couple of drops got on our table (no big drama) but they handled it well, solicitously enquiring if there was anything that needed cleaning and automatically bringing out this and another dish. It's topped with a generous amount of garlic, enough to ward off vampires.
The kingfish ceviche tostada is one of the favourite dishes at the table. The deep fried tostada shell remains crisp even under the toppings. The kingfish is served chopped and seasoned with salsa picante and there's also avocado crema, radish and a massive mound of coriander and salad on top that gives it a lovely freshness.
Conversely, while the thinly sliced and lightly floured cuttlefish were super tender, they were sitting in a 1/2 cm layer of oil which seemed strange. It made the cuttlefish greasy (obviously) and the bread was also soaked in oil. I'm definitely not oil, butter or fat phobic but it seemed unnecessary and perhaps an error.
We also received these mozzarella sticks because of the spilled drink. They're crumbed on the outside with Italian breadcrumbs and are melty and gooey inside and come with a pot of passata which is quite mild. I would have loved the sauce to be cooked down a bit more because the sticks are quite mild in flavour too.
We don't often order specials because you Dear Reader can't get them but the regular menu mains weren't really enticing me but the sound of the pork knuckle did. Also Viggo lives for pork so we knew that he would like it. It's a 1 kilo pork knuckle meant for 2 people with pineapple kimchi, Thai basil, jalapenos and sweet and sour sauce. There is a good amount of crunchy crackling on this and the meat is soft and tender. I adore the sweet and sour sauce and the chunks of pineapple, Thai basil and coriander. Some flatbreads would be amazing to wrap the meat and salad in (I'm thinking back to the famous Girl and The Goat pork knuckle dish that I had in Chicago).
We all enjoyed the roasted pumpkin and pear salad. It comes with radicchio, toasted sunflower seeds and a sherry vinaigrette. A bit of goat's cheese or feta would have been a nice addition too but this is a solid vegan offering.
Our two desserts are at the polar ends of the spectrum (and pizza lovers, please know that there is a Nutella calzone that promises Nutella, Nutella and more Nutella). The citrus frozen yogurt is a mouth puckering citrus tart froyo with a toasted oat biscuit crumb, candied cumquats and toasted meringue to balance the sweetness.
I must admit that I was more smitten with the warm white blondie. This is actually not like a typical blondie or white chocolate brownie. It's actually more like a biscuit in texture. It comes with a delightful malted milk gelato and there are also whole and crushed Maltesers. It's sweet but utterly moreish. And despite the amount we've eaten during our long Sunday lunch, we finish it all. And I'm in bed by 8:30pm that night!
So tell me Dear Reader, which is your favourite day and occasion to eat out? Have you ever had anything spilled on you and what did they do? And what time do you go to bed on Sunday night?
This meal was independently paid for.
1064 Pittwater Rd, Collaroy NSW 2097 Monday to Thursday 7:30am–12am Friday & Saturday 7:30am–3am Sunday 7:30am–11pm merivale.com Phone: (02) 9114 7366