The Pantry, Manly

I fell in love with The Pantry in Manly several months ago after a very pleasant (and delicious) dining experience with Boyfriend. It’s located right on the beach in Manly and is full of so much charm – the perfect setting for breakfast, lunch or dinner with friends, family or that special someone. I love a restaurant that focuses on creating a nice ambiance as much as creating nice food.

Shortly after my visit with Boyfriend, I told my friends that we HAD to go there.  It took several cancelled occasions, but we finally made it a couple of weekends ago for a birthday dinner.  Finally, my friends could see what I’d been raving about.  And, unless they lied to me, no one was disappointed.

We started with a jug of Sangria, which isn’t on the menu but they made at our request after the one carafe (I believe that’s the fancy word for jug-containing-alcoholic-beverage) they offer on their menu, wasn’t available. This is because they’d run out of St Germaine, which I wrote about here.

The Sangria was a worthy replacement.

The Pantry menu has a selection of entree and tapas dishes (plus selections of charcuterie as well as pate, terrine and pickles). This is great for sharing entrees, which is exactly what we did.

We shared some grilled chorizo sausage ($8) which was grilled perfectly and was quite generous for a tapas serving.

We also shared some crumbed baby bocconcini with chilli jam ($10).  This dish reminded me of the one  I had at Sake.

It was so so tasty, delightfully indulgent and the housemade chilli jam was a wonderful accompaniment.

Please excuse the terrible photo!

Finally, we shared a dish I’ve not only eaten at The Pantry and Barbuto (a restaurant started by a former chef of The Pantry, which by the way, is also worthy of a visit) but have made for myself at home (can’t get enough!): goats cheese, pear, walnut & honey bruschetta ($14).

As it turns out, goats cheese, pear, walnut and honey are a match made in heaven.

My only complaint this time around was that the bread was a little soggy. Whilst I guess this made it easier to eat, I much preferred the crunch of the bread I had the last two times.

We each ordered our own main.

Two of the girls ordered the Angus beef burger with mixed leaf, onion jam and fries ($21). You have to admit, that’s one tasty looking burger.

Both girls seemed to enjoy their burgers.  The fries, which I had to sample of course, were very good. (It is possible to get bad fries, people).

The Birthday Girl, ordered the gnocchi with spinach, pumpkin, goats cheese, pine nuts and lemon ($24).

I’m not going to lie, I stole several pieces of Birthday Girl’s gnocchi. It was very, very tasty.

Lastly, I and another girl ordered the tagliatelle with calamari, chilli, butter and pangrittata ($24).

I usually try to order something different if I’m going back to the same restaurant, so I hate to admit – I had this dish last time.  On account of it was so delicious the last time I had it, I had to have it again. This was a risky move as sometimes when you go back for something you remember as being super tasty it doesn’t live up to the memory. Fortunately this time I wasn’t disappointed.

This dish is light and fresh with perfectly cooked calamari. The crunchy breadcrumbs (a.k.a. pangrittata) are a perfect addition to this dish, adding a touch of texture and extra flavour.

We didn’t stick around for dessert (Movenpick up the road was calling our names), but the last time I went I had the Eton Mess which was scrumptious.

All in all it was a wonderful evening with great company and great food in a great location. I’d really recommend going to The Pantry if you’re looking for somewhere nice to eat in Manly. .

Would I go again? Definitely.

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