Every week it sounds like there’s something new opening in Cronulla, a reasonably isolated beachside town outside of Sydney that seems to have a dining gem around any corner. For now, they’re keeping a lot of this to themselves – but at the end of last year, we spent a weekend in Cronulla and thought we’d bring you four of our favourite dining experiences.
EAT Burger – 43 Gerrale St – http://www.eatburger.co/
The recently opened Eat Burger has become a favourite for locals, and boy is there a good reason for that. Upon dining, I asked for their most popular dish, and here it is, in all its glory, accompanied by their perfect shoestring fries ($6) and a truffle mayo ($2).
This is the Wagyu beef burger ($16) with streaky maple bacon, caramelised onion, smokey BBQ sauce, McClure’s Pickles, cheese, lettuce and truffle aioli. The meat was perfectly cooked and the condiments were served generously. As close to perfection as you’ll find; and I’m told the rest of the menu is just as good. You can take a look at it HERE.
As you’ll see, their menu also includes spiders, shakes, a pork belly burger, chargrilled corn, sweet potato fries and more. I’m a bit desperate to come back and try their fried chicken burger…
Queen Margherita Of Savoy – 9/2-8 Surf Rd – http://qmos.com.au/
If you’re looking for Italian in Cronulla, look no further than the Queen Margherita Of Savoy, with their beautiful woodfire oven from Napoli filling the restaurant with an incredible smell, and producing perfect pizzas along the way. They are also one of only a handful of Sydney restaurants with AVPN accreditation (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana), which is basically a certificate of authenticity from Naples.
For starters, I had the Arancini balls ($16) with mozzarella, prosciutto, nduja and a San Morzano tomato sauce. The sauce had a nice kick to it, and the dish will flowing with incredible flavour. Perfect to share between two.
Since it was in the name, I had to try the Margherita ($22). And it was perfect. Covered in crushed San Marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte, basil, olive oil and grated grana padano, this was among the best I’ve ever had in Sydney or anywhere. Adding on a bit of chili oil was non-optional for my palette, and the dish was a success of simplicity – just as any great pizza should be.
I was not even the least bit hungry by the time I was offered desert – but how could I say no to a chocolate sundae? The restaurant’s house made peanut brittle is what sets their spectacular sundae apart from the rest. But just look at it. You’re salivating right? What more do I need to say?
Shucked – 2/43-45 Gerrale St – Official Facebook Page
Shucked had only been open for a few weeks – the music inspired paintings on the walls (their logo is inspired by Notorious B.I.G. and he sits on the wall alongside the likes of Amy Winehouse) still looked like it was drying – when I enjoyed their signature oysters, accompanied by a glass of champagne. Though their menu also offers burgers, fish & chips (using premium flathead) and even fried chicken, I snuck in the below dish before heading along for another meal elsewhere – but I’ll definitely be back to try the burgers (which I’m told are phenomenal). But sticking with the oysters, they are definitely worth the trip to Cronulla alone.
You can get your oysters – Sydney Rock Oysters, naturally – served hot or cold, in sets of three for $9. Pictured above, my Oysters (cold) have been served two ways – 3 with smoked ocean trout and caper aioli, and the other 3 with Tokyo Ponzu, wasabi and pickled ginger. The mix of trout with the Oyster was extraordinary.
In addition to their standard oyster selection, you can also get 3 “shucked market” oysters for $12. This is a unique selection of oysters served daily from the markets and local suppliers. And amongst the “hot” options, you can see your oysters fried, served Kilpatrick style, or with a spinach, ricotta and blue cheese mornay.
In addition to the food, their wine list is both exceptional and affordable, with Peppertree their house at only $7.50. Shucked offer both takeaway and dine in, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 1pm to late. No bookings required.
Yalla Sawa – Beach Park Ave – yallasawa.com.au
And finally we take you to another side of the spectrum all together, and we finish our dining experience with Yalla Sawa’s signature Arabian Cuisine. There’s no amount of writing that will do this restaurant justice, because they’re playing with flavours so unique, dishes so rare and a great atmosphere to match that doesn’t just make it one of the finest places to eat in Cronulla, but in Sydney as well. Here is a look at just some of the highlights of the menu – which, by the way, is the sort of place where you have to just tell the chef to bring out whatever he thinks you’ll want to eat…
The warm cauliflower with tahini and pine nuts ($14) was a simple but delicious start to the meal, bursting with flavour.
The stuffed zuchinni ($18), filled with rice, lamb mince and covered in a red sauce was a simple but inspired dish. You could say the same for the dish on the right, the falafel, with picked turnips, chilli and mint on saj bread was perfect: you can’t help but want seconds. And at $6 a pop, you probably can…
The braised beef short rib ($29) was the sort of dish that showed just how unique the flavours can be in this style of cooking, when working with a meat that we’re all very familiar with. The short ribs were served with pomegranate molasses, harissa and the added touch that made the whole dish: a Jerusalem artichoke puree. A side of chat potatoes, with tumeric, coriander and harissa labneh ($9) is also a must.
But it’s the lamb shank tagine ($34) that stole the meal, covered in raisins, toasted almonds, honey and a stunning broth, served beautifully with rice. This dish melts in your mouth and leaves you tremendously satisfied.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Cronulla’s culinary scene has to offer. We’ll be heading back to the beach soon to see what else we can find…
All information was correct at the time of dining. Check the websites of the respective websites for the latest menus and prices. A special thanks to Visit the Shire for making this possible.