I seriously had to end the end year with at least one bad pun post title haha. The title might be bad but the iconic Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf is anything but. Can you believe this Central Coast treasure has been in operation for 43 years?! There has been a building on the spot since the early 1900s but for 43 years this venue has been owned and operated by four generations of the same family, the Cregan-Claytons.
THE ICONIC WOY WOY FISHERMEN’S WHARF VENUE:
For 43 years Fishermen’s Wharf has overlooked Pelican Island supplying fresh, sustainable (where possible) seafood to the tourists and people of the Central Coast. It has been here so long the birds of Pelican Island now live on the roof of the venue and are fed twice daily. They ask you not to feed the pelicans as they get their fill and there are so many of them it borders on a semi-aquatic Hitchcock movie. The now azuregreen Brisbane waters run under, around and past this mighty restaurant and seafood market and if you choose to dine outside you must be ever vigilant in combating the endless seagulls who shamelessly plan on stealing any morsel not under guard.
Dining here doesn’t feel like just dining at a restaurant, it feels like dining on the island with the birds and fish so fresh you might as well have caught them yourself. Fishermen’s Wharf sources over 90% of their fish from local small-scale fishermen and pretty much the only non-sustainable fish they serve is the Tasmanian Salmon – it is farmed and does not fit the classification.
The restaurant section recently underwent a major renovation as it was literally about to fall into the water. Designed and built by local business, Law Building Design, the new venue looks like a natural wood-framed fish tank nesting above the water. The oranges of the wood are naturally paired with pristine beauty to the waters that vary from teal to aquamarine.
The wine menu is an international wonder of (mostly) organic, natural, and biodynamic wines that will impress most sommeliers and the cocktail list and delicious collection of beers-in-bottle ensures I will never drive to Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf again. This place screams long long boozy lunches. I love how there is about five times the amount of white wine to red because this menu is well thought-out and all those whites are there for the varying seafoods they are selling.
Food-wise Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf is at the top of the seafood restaurant food chain. Their maxim has always been to serve
the best seafood as simply as possible. They keep serves generous, costs down and the atmosphere relaxed with service kept to a minimum. They have a note that stipulates waits will be longer during busy periods because each dish is cooked to order, you can even walk through their Seafood Market and select which fresh fish you would like cooked!
Their main menu is quite small with an emphasis on share plates. Local oysters, sashimi, ceviche, BBQ sardines, pippis, fish tacos and spring rolls round out the starters. They offer fish and chips with a large selection of fish breeds and they have a decent kid’s menu. Their shellfish section makes me drool and on my next visit I WILL be smashing the Blue Swimmer Singapore Chilli Crab and if I can ever find a partner we will be indulging in their seafood platter.
WHAT I ORDERED:
Dark ‘n Stormy Cocktail – Kraken Spiced Rum, Lime and Brookvale Ginger Beer
Scampi – split and BBQ’d
Barramundi Spring Rolls
Pippis in XO Sauce
BBQ Whole NZ Flounder and Chips
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
By we, I mean me. I couldn’t find a partner to enjoy this place with so was allowed to order two entrees and two mains and inhaled a couple of Dark ‘n Stormy cocktails to myself. They originally had me at a beautiful indoor table but, while it was occasionally sprinkling, I requested to sit outside on the deck. I just HAD to be closer to that beautiful water and the birds. Part of me regrets the decision – battling the seagulls was ludicrously fun but the Dark ‘n Stormy’s and some of the best seafood I have eaten made it easier to deal with.
The Barramundi Spring Rolls, no word of a lie, single best spring rolls I have ever eaten. Such fresh flavours and a wonderful shell. You cannot visit this place without eating them. The Split and BBQd Scampi was amazing. I had a bit of flesh-from-shell separation issues but the flavouring was divine. I didn’t use the sweet chilli sauce that accompanied them, didn’t want the sugary sauce tainting such a wonderful meat.
The Pippis in XO isn’t something I would usually order, I steer clear from food that requires me to work my ass off to eat it but I just had to see what they tasted like with XO sauce. As a child I used to catch pippis on the Central Coast with a childhood bestie who passed away the week before I visited the Coast, it seemed fitting. And I’m glad I did – they were lovely and the extra fishiness and spice of the XO worked a treat.
Finally the BBQ’d Whole NZ Flounder with Chips. It came from their daily specials menu. They have quite a few dishes on the specials pending what is available and fresh on any given day. A large fish that was cooked simply. It was simply cooked with some shallots, perhaps some ginger and cooked in mild butter. The seasoning was basic, the dish simply spoke for itself and I did manage to devour the entire thing, not one bit was stolen from a seagull. I may have thrown them a chip or two to distract them so I could use both hands.
Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf isn’t just a Restaurant and Seafood Market, it’s an experience and an institution that feels as much a part of Woy Woy as Pelican Island and Brisbane Waters. The new renovations and their sublime, but simply prepared, seafood elevates this place to one of the best seafood establishments in NSW.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets & 0/1 bonus
WOY WOY FISHERMEN’S WHARF DEETS:
PH: 02 4341 1171
The Boulevarde, Woy Woy NSW 2256
PRICING: The seafood platter for two is the most expensive dish at $90-. I would consider this a medium priced venue. It could cost a lot pending how much you want to drink.
Lunch: Mon – Sun 12 – 3pm
Dinner: Fri – Sat 3 – 830pm
TAKEAWAY: Full takeaway outlet
LOCAL DELIVERY: YES – check with venue for details
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
KID FRIENDLY: Definitely
For more reviews of Central Coast Restaurants – check them out HERE