Situated on the foreshore of Sydney’s iconic Manly beach, The Pantry makes other lunch-with-a-view venues whimper with embarrassment. Easy to walk past and construe for a block of public amenities, The Pantry sits in a little booth right on The Esplanade. On an afternoon such as last Monday, cares melt away as the azure blue hypnotises, and you sup on sumptuous fare. I quietly giggle at the modesty of the name, The Pantry, and wish my pantry was filled with such delights instead of the odd assortment of dried fruits, nuts and tinned tomatoes.
Opting to order a range of dishes and sharing is the way to dine, as you can experience more of the wonderful menu. The goats cheese, pear, walnut & honey bruschetta is a textural feast; sweet flecks of firm pear dance with the smooth, goaty tang. Morcilla (blood sausage) may be scary for some, but is soft and full of flavour. My dining partner is a convert.
It would almost be an outrage to sit by the ocean and not have seafood, and the scallops do a splendid job of satiating the seafood hunger. How could they not when they are: baked scallops with manchego, sour cream, jam on and bread crumbs. I may have licked the shells, and one diner sustained an injury trying to scrape off the delicious melted cheese from the shell.
Gnocchi proves a good dish to share as it is rather substantial and can be served out easily. It is laced with plump prawns and juicy tea-soaked sultanas.
The Pantry is a wonderful example of modern Australian cuisine and showcases seasonal produce in enticing ways.
Go for the food and the view and the people watching –
“Are they just tanning their sunburn? Get out of the sun!”