Balmoral's historic beachside spot has scored a makeover and a terrace champagne bar.
With a history that trips back almost a century, the heritage-listed Balmoral Bathers' Pavilion is pretty hallowed turf. So, it's only fitting the historic waterside venue has an impressive cast of Sydney hospitality and design gurus overseeing its next phase of life. The art deco beauty reopened in October 2019 after an extensive ten-week makeover, with some new and old hospitality elite at the helm.
The beachside venue now sports a fancy fit-out by award-winning design studio Luchetti Krelle, whose works you'll have spied at the likes of Manly Greenhouse, Verandah Bar, Banksii and the Sydney Opera House lobby. Expect lots of white tablecloths, sea-toned stripes, plants and lots of light from the venue's epic floor-to-ceiling windows.
Bathers' gives you a few options: the bistro, the bar, the kiosk and the fine dining restaurant. The Bathers' Bistro is your more casual option, and it's open for brekkie, lunch and dinner. But, prices still aren't exactly cheap — smashed avo is $22, and mains like grilled Yamba prawns and fish pie will set you back around $35–45.
For something a bit more special, you'll want to make a reservation in the venue's fine dining offering, The Good Room. The menu changes daily, but expect lots of seafood and cuts of duck breast and lamp rump. It's a set menu deal here, with two courses for $90 and three for $110. You'll also have 350 wines to choose from and an ocean view from wherever you sit.
For snacks, you can grab a seat in the adjoining bar, and, on Sunday afternoons, the terrace becomes a champagne bar, so you can indulge in Louis Roederer, prawns and steak frites alongside panoramic views of the ocean.
If you're just after a post-swim feed, there's also the option to grab a hamper or fish and chips from the downstairs kiosk. A visit to the upstairs gallery is also an option.
Front-of-house star Cam Fairbairn has jumped on board to head up the service side of things, filling a void we've all been feeling since the closure of Rushcutters Bay favourite Acme earlier this year. In the kitchen, four years on from a previous stint at Bathers' Pavilion, Cameron Johnston (St Claude's, Jonah's) makes his return, stepping into the role of co-head chef of the venue's fine dining restaurant, alongside Peter Gong (Catalina). Kumiko Endo, with stints at Attica, Tetsuya, Fujisaki under his belt, joins the gang as head pastry chef, while Jess Mead (Acme, Kingdom of Rice) takes on the task of restaurant manager.
Owner-Chef Serge Dansereau has overseen the Bathers' Pavilion site for the past 20 years and confirmed earlier this year that he's been granted a new lease for the next two decades. So you can expect to have more than a few Sunday sessions here.
Images: Nikki To.