Having only moved to Manly a few weeks ago, I have not yet had the chance to sample much in the way of the many restaurants that line the seafront and saturate the town. It was Saturday, and after a day at the beach we were looking for a hearty, fresh bite to eat. Fish was what we wanted, and after a lengthy stroll with regular stops to survey each and every menu along the way - we were finally enticed into the Jellyfish with its attractive menu of swordfish ($27.90), braised lamb ($29.90) and lobster angel hair pasta ($28.90).
The restaurant itself has a nice ambience to it. There is a simple whitewashed, and thus, fresh feeling to the interior décor, whilst the outside seating is made up of an arrangement of wooden chairs, tables and cosy booths with decorative cushions. Lights are dimmed, and candles burn on each table, giving the place a relaxed, warm vibe. The staff are all young and eager to help. Our waiter was a friendly, chatty guy who we were happy to tip. The bottle of red we wanted had sold out, so we were recommended another (more expensive) alternative, for the price of the cheaper bottle we'd initially ordered. From that point onwards I was admittedly won over.
Great service with highly attentive and knowledgable staff.
Obviously it's not the cheapest place to eat, with mains fetching between $27- $34, but the menu offers deliciously diverse choices, combining a wide range of flavours and ingredients. I went for the fish of the day ($28), which was seared Trumpeter accompanied by snowpeas, mushrooms and crispy onions in a creamy dill sauce. I had never tasted Trumpeter before, although the waiter informed me it tasted like Barramundi. It was delicious. The thick white fleshy fillet tasted something like cod; it flaked away in succulent chunks and held the mild, salty, slightly meaty flavour - which went so well with the fresh-tasting dill sauce. The skin of the fillet had been seared perfectly, and was dusted in chunks of rock salt - deliciously crisp. The portion size was not too generous, however, with just a couple of snowpeas and mushrooms accompanying the fillet (although it was a chunky piece of fish). My boyfriend went for the commonly named fish and chips' ($27.90), although the option was not the standard soggy battered cod and chips you would usually expect. It was a sizeable chargrilled swordfish, served with a tower of chunky chips, asparagus and an incredibly flavoursome tomato salsa - an interesting addition to the dish.
Sufficed to say, there is a lot in the way of choice when it comes to eating at the Jellyfish. It is an ideal place for a quick bite to eat when enjoying a day at the beach, as there are simple, but pleasant breakfast and lunch menus to satisfy any post-surf cravings. bircher muesli is priced at $9.90, a BLT with egg is $12.90 whilst a "big brekky" reaches $16.50. The coffee there is delicious too; I had a flat white made with light and creamy, perfectly textured milk, that meant it went down all too quickly ($4.70 for a mug).
Delicious, fresh seafood.
If you miss the early breakfast, you can grab a late one on the lunch menu until 5pm. Here you can choose from a number of deliciously clever ways of serving eggs (chargrilled chorizo pesto scrambled eggs, roast tomato, red onion marmalade $14.90). There is a wide range of pasta dishes to choose from, which are also served on the dinner menu (range from $25-$29). I have already planned what I am going to order when I next eat there - The Tasmanian smoked salmon, marinated goats cheese with asparagus, cherry tomatoes and pesto oil on wholemeal sourdough ($17), which has indeed won over my fickle heart when it comes to any mention of salmon, pesto or asparagus.
Whether looking for a hearty breakfast, light lunch or refined dinner, the Jellyfish in Manly can certainly deliver. They have created a relaxed, yet chic place to dine, which is in keeping with the fresh, surf-y, bustling vibe of daytime Manly. When evening falls, the lights are dimmed and candles are lit, creating a warm, elegant atmosphere which completely compliments the sophisticated dinner menu. It is an eatery which can cater for any mood, event or celebration, be it at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I have already chosen my next dish when visiting the Jellyfish. What will yours be?
Where: Shop 5 93-95 North Steyne Manly NSW.
Why: Tasty, well prepared meals served in a comfortable yet chic environment.
Cost: Mid-high with most mains starting from $27. Cheaper breakfast and lunch deals (grilled chicken burger & chips $16).
When: Any time before, during or after a day at the beach. Mon-Sun 7am-Late.