Back in December, we brought you the news that Coogee Pavilion Rooftop was to open before the end of 2014. And on opening day, we popped along for a drink and a photo opportunity at the beautiful venue with the best views over Coogee Beach.
Location and aesthetics aside – well just for one moment – Coogee Pavilion Rooftop is also set to become a dining destination with a modern East Mediterranean menu that is right at home with the laid back beachside setting.
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But first, no visit to Coogee Pavilion Rooftop is complete without a drink in hand, and as the sun goes down, the Pavilion Pina Colada ($18) made with Havana Club 7, pineapple and coconut goes down like a dream. It’s easy to close your eyes and listen – the sound you hear may just be the gentle Mediterranean waves lapping on the shore.
And it is precisely Mediterranean flavours that features in Executive Chef Jordan Toft‘s menu. Growing up in western Sydney with a multicultural population, he brings the culinary influences of Lebanon, Turkey or Greece to our own Coogee Beach.
The food is mezze style and packed with smoky, zesty and spicy dishes. The entire menu is featured in the photo gallery above from tantalising dips to char-grilled seafood and smoky meats.
Start with the moreish crispy wedges of Pita Chips with Moorish Spice and Hummus ($7.50) and delicious parcels of Haloumi Grilled in Vine Leaves with Grilled Lemon ($12.50). If you can take the heat, the Blistered Padron Peppers with Fragrant Salt ($12.50) are a flavour bomb, complemented by the smoked garlic toum.
A range of accompaniments includes farmer cheese and cucumber with vinegar, dill, salt and sesame but it is the Crushed Tomatoes, Onions, Parsley and Lemon ($10.50) that steals the show. Served soup-like in a bowl, the dish is more of a gazpacho style and makes a cool and refreshing summer side dish.
Charred Octopus ($16.50) is dressed with spicy harissa powder and burnt orange but it is the Charred Squid with Ink Vinaigrette an Aleppo Pepper ($16.50) that stands out – tender, succulent with a touch of spice and heat.
Also from the charcoal grill, the Charred Chicken Wings with Red Chicken Spice and Yoghurt-Pickle Sauce ($14.50) are crowd pleasers and make for some delicious not-so-shy finger licking. The Chicken Hearts ($10.50) are tender and tasty bites that come dressed with chicken salt, toum and wild cucumber pickle.
Other top picks are the Kefta Cheese Meatballs with Lemon Tahini ($18.50) which you pour over the soft meatballs and the tender Lamb Rump Skewers with Green Za’atar and Crisp Thyme ($18.50), served slightly pink.
The food at Coogee Pavilion Rooftop is reminiscent of holidays in the Med. The dishes are light yet filling with punchy and smoky flavours. Whether you’re sharing a few plates with good mates or enjoying an elaborate feast with friends, you’re in for good times.
Coogee Pavilion Rooftop
Rooftop, 169 Dolphin St
Coogee, NSW, 2034
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