Sydney, it's time to take your drinking to the next level. With a perimeter balcony overlooking spectacular beachside views, the rooftop addition to the Coogee Pavilion marks a new height in sophistication from the Merivale clan.
No expense was spared in this elaborate reinvention of the former Beach Palace Hotel site. For the design concept, Justin Hemmes and his team drew inspiration from a fictional character they created, an eccentric botanist called 'Wylie' who entertained on his private rooftop conservatory. The story is brought to life with lush overflowing greenery, sketches of exotic birds and indoor greenhouse structures.
A Mediterranean menu, designed by executive chef Jordan Toft, allows you to create a feast from the east with a selection of small plates designed for dipping, wrapping, tasting and sharing. The smoky and tender charred squid ($16.50) will have you shouting its praises from the rooftops. These small hoods have been marinated in an Aleppo pepper spice mix, grilled over charcoal and dressed in ink vinaigrette. Order a side of Lebanese bread ($3.50) so you don't waste the delicious lemony juices.
The Adana shish kebab skewer ($18.50) is served as a bowl of spicy mince-meat slabs, topped with finely sliced onion, sumac and a chargrilled chilli. Add to the spectacle grilled haloumi wrapped in vine leaves ($12.50), crushed tomatoes with parsley ($10.50) and dry yoghurt in chilli oil ($9.50) and you're ready to roll your own creative kebabs.
I suspect Wylie might have been an alcoholic, considering his greenhouse is equipped with four indoor and outdoor bars. There's an extensive list of local and imported beers, beach-inspired cocktails and fruit punch pitchers, while wine is available by the glass, bottle, carafe and on tap. Once you've conquered the bar queue, take your Pavilion Pina Colada ($18) out onto the sun-drenched deck, or you can hide under the shade sails if you prefer. I mean, who cares if everyone here has a better tan than you anyway.
Life's a beach at the imaginative new Coogee Pavilion Rooftop, and with a vacant middle level, the sky's the limit for Merivale.