Belle: When I was younger, trips to Wollongong often felt like it was miles and miles away from home. The last time I ventured to Wollongong would’ve been almost ten years ago. So when The Lamstock was invited to dine at Flanagans Dining Room I was up for the trip down the South Coast. And surprisingly it was a lot shorter to get there than I expected (it was just a bit over an hour).
We arrived early and had a chat with Claire the owner. To start off the lunch session we had Blood Orange Gin and Tonic. It was refreshing and the gin was not overpowering.
Claire informed us that Flanagans Dining Room wasn’t always a restaurant with beachfront views. Before, Flanagans Operated as a fish and chip shop. Claire and her husband (chef John Connolly) had been eying the heritage listed 1940s Thirroul Beach Kiosk building for a while and when the opportunity arose, they snatched up the premise, teamed up with ex-Effendy chef Arman Uz and the rest is history.
Walking into the restaurant was like walking into a Pinterest page. The restaurant exudes that country cottage feel with the sea-foam greens and ocean blue decor, white walls, timber and ropes. It is a good escape to the beach cottage without the price tag.
The food here is a sample of the amazing foods that the South Coast has to offer. All the seafood are local from Shellharbour and caught in the morning.
We were hosted by Anita the restaurant manager and her cheerful presence at the cafe made it a comfortable dining experience. Anita started off the meal by offering everyone on the table a choice of Berry Wood Fired Sourdough, Rye or Spelt bread. I decided to go with the Sourdough and it was the perfect start to the meal. We were provided with Hunter Valley olive oil and homemade dukkah to dip in.
Our glasses were filled with Crooked River 2011 Estate White Blend Chardonay Semillon Savingnon Blanc to compliment the seafood dishes to come. I am no wine expert here, but I really enjoyed this blend.
Clyde River Oysters – Pink Shallot – White Balsamic. A refreshing hit came from the white balsamic before tasting the fresh oyster.
Seared Scallops – Sambal Chilli Paste. Perfectly cooked scallops and the chilli paste helped to enhance the sweetness of the scallops.
We sampled each of the four fish they had on offer. The fish were all well seasoned. My favourite of the four would have to be the John Dory followed by the Bream. This is my own personal preference and a lot of the bloggers on the table had their own favourites. The double fried hand cut chips was also a winner for me. It was a generously thick cut chip, crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside and with enough seasoning. I would recommend ordering just the bowl of fries on the side.
Salt and Pepper John Dory – Hand Cut Fries.
Salt and Pepper Snapper – Hand Cut Fries.
Salt and Pepper Rock Cod – Hand Cut Fries.
Salt and Pepper Bream – Hand Cut Fries.
After the round of fish Anita offered us a red wine to accompany the land dish. Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder – Smoked Eggplant – Cavolo Nero. I love a well cooked lamb shoulder. It felt rather heavy after all the fish dishes.
A glass of Crooked River 2011 Black Top Shiraz was served with the lamb dish.
Kadafi Pasty – Pistachio – Golden Syrup. I am the biggest fan of Middle Eastern desserts. I was glad this was shared, because I could have devoured that Kadafi Pasty on my own.
When this dish appeared on the table everyone of excited. Creme Brulee – Mastic and Vanilla. I found the burnt sugar a little bitter, but the creme was smooth and velvety.
Sun Dried Figs – Walnut – Maple – Clotted Cream. When this dish arrived, it looked like my kind of dish. I found it a little bit overly sweet for my liking, but thank goodness the clotted cream helped cut through the sweetness.
For those who need a quick escape from Sydney, a trip to Thirroul Beach and a dining experience at Flanagans Dining Room is well worth it.
A 7 course degustation is available on Friday and Saturday evenings for $75pp or $115pp with matching wines.
The Esplanade Thirroul Beach, Thirroul, NSW 2515
(02) 4268 1598
Operating Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 12pm till 3pm; Friday 12pm till late; Saturday 8am till late; Sunday 8am till 3pm.
DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock dined as a guest of Flanagans Dining Room. Opinions are however, our own.