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The Boathouse Shelly Beach Sydney Cafe Review

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Every so often I’ll come across somewhere I feel is worth blogging about and today I finally went to the newest addition of the Boathouse chain which recently opened up in Shelly Beach, Manly.

If you’re not familiar in the Boathouse there are now 3 cafes, one in Palm Beach, Balmoral and now Shelly Beach. I’ve visited the Palm Beach one but it was too busy to get a seat at the time but it’s positioned in the most beautiful area right on the beach and definitely worth venturing up to that area for.

Palm Beach Boathouse

The Boathouse, Palm Beach 

Seeing as I live in Kirribilli, the Balmoral Cafe is a bit of a local for me and I’ve been so many times as it’s a great quiet cafe for a weekend brunch. See my review here.

Boathouse Balmoral

The Boathouse, Balmoral

I was itching to visit the Shelly Beach Cafe as this is one of my favourite beaches in Sydney for it’s flat, calm waters and awesome snorkelling.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach, Manly

So how did the Shelly Beach Cafe compare to it’s other establishments? I got there just as they were closing up for lunch (they close at 3pm) so it probably wasn’t as busy as it usually is a few hours before meaning getting a seat wasn’t a problem. That’s the thing about the Boathouse, it’s first come, first served when it comes to seating and something that’s always bothered me about their set up. You line up to order and pay, then frantically find a seat before the food arrives and it doesn’t take that long so the search is ON.

<em>The Boathouse Shelly Beach <em>

Something I loved about the new cafe is the amount of space they have. It’s their biggest one yet and the design is beautiful. Think of the Hamptons, New York and it would be about right. A light spacious interior with seating inside and out with the most perfect view of the beach. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

Interior of Boathouse Shelly Beach1
Interior of Boathouse Shelly Beach
Boathouse Shelly Beach Interior 2
Boathouse Shelly Beach Interior 3
boathouse food

How did the food compare to the other cafes? I had the classic Boathouse Salad (Quinoa and Salmon) and the boyf had their famous fish n chips which are undoubtably the best in Sydney. Yet on this occasion the fish was over cooked resulting in just mainly batter and not a lot of fish. We noticed that the other fish n chips coming out of the kitchen were looking the same but I’m thinking it was the end of the day and so I’d pass it off as a one off because it is usually the best in town!

Their salad on the other hand had got so much better since I last visited the Balmoral cafe. It had always been good but this time, it was out of this world. Such amazing flavours and a classic dish from them. Brilliant! We didn’t drink any wine as it was $14 a glass but good to note their is a bar there so a good place to go for a afternoon drinks.

One of the best things about the Boathouse in Shelly beach which is different from the other cafes is the fact that they reopen for dinner (from 6pm) where you have to book so there’s no more hoping to get a seat. I’ve always found so many amazing cafes in Sydney but when it comes to dinner, why can’t they stay open? Luckily I’ve got a new trusty local to visit in the summer and I can’t wait to book a table ready for perfect sunset viewing.