Casual Dining in Under $100 – Bluewater Cafe Review

Bluewater Cafe, South Steyne - Manly Bluewater Cafe, South Steyne - Manly

Just up from the sand and clear water, and away from the chaos of the Manly Corso pub scene, is a lovely little restaurant called Bluewater Cafe. Whether you are taking a day trip to explore Manly or having a cruisey afternoon on the beach, Bluewater Cafe is a casual dining experience that will mark a lovely end to your day at Manly Beach.

When we arrived at the quaintly designed, open plan restaurant, we were greeted with stunning views of the ocean and a warming welcome from the wait staff. The first thing we noticed was how great the acoustics were. The music was at a pleasant level, and although there were other groups of customers scattered across the restaurant, they were muffled and didn’t distract us from our own conversation.

We started off our meal with pumpkin and feta cheese arancini balls accompanied by a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Fruitwood Moscato. The arancini were fresh and perfectly cooked, with a crisp crumb, and hot, cheesy rice filling. The white mayonnaise sauce complimented the flavours of the entrée instead of overpowering the natural flavours of the dish.


The chicken parmigiana was beautifully presented on top of a serving of pesto pasta. The pesto was a surprising point of difference and added a lovely contrast of flavour. The chicken was cooked perfectly, with a crispy crumb, bursting with contrasting flavours of Napoletana sauce and cheese.

We also chose the carbonara pasta which exceeded expectations. The dish was well-balanced r with no flavours overpowering any other. The dish had the perfect ratio of cream to cheese to bacon, with huge chunks of meaty bacon and a generous helping of parmesan cheese rounding it off perfectly.

Now we’re not usually dessert people, but to finish we decided to give the passionfruit meringue a try, accompanied by a big scoop of creamy, vanilla ice cream. The crust was crisp and the filling was sweet and flavoursome, exactly how a meringue should be.

Bluewater Cafe has an Aussie-Euro style menu with generous servings of each and prices you would expect from a casual dining eatery. There was a good selection of wines to choose from, ranging from dry whites to sweet Moscato, through to full-bodied reds and a great selection of beers and cocktails.

Every item on the menu was fairly priced, and no stand-alone dish was over $30, so we were pleased that our meal for two didn’t even hit the $90 mark! Given the prime location, food quality and portion sizes, Bluewater Cafe on South Steyne makes for a wonderful, affordable, casual dining spot.

Overall, we had a lovely evening in Manly at Bluewater Cafe, the vibe was casual, perfect for a family dinner, or a low-key night out. We highly recommend Bluewater Cafe as the service was prompt, the wait staff were helpful and friendly and the meals were well proportioned and flavoursome.