Flanagan's Dining Room - Thirroul Beach, NSW

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A certain charm - a window side view of Thirroul Beach from Flanagan's.

I recall easy and lazy holidays beach side. I can feel the refreshing breezes rolling in and enveloping my face. I am taken back to beach bungalow days. I see iconic symbols and reality of the great Australian life style. I greet dogs and cyclists passing by in absolute content. I hear the roar of the ocean surf.  I watch a young board surfer running down with anticipation to where the waters meet the fine sand, and to what lies ahead for a day of technique, practice and fun. I see intent walkers strutting out on the sand washed pavements. There are women and men of various ages watching the Tasman sea coast with focus, some ready with surf suits, mostly holding their boards and all under the spell of a sea side lifestyle.  And then we come across Flanagan's, heard so much about, with much expectation.  Already we like what we see outside the modest but charming place,

Black pudding breakfast - uniqueness, presentation and detail in choice of ingredients.

Called Flanagan's after its road location, its bungalow like site and venue at once offers a casualness and friendliness to any visitor.  Not open for dinner (except for the 7 course degustation menu available on Friday and Saturday evenings), the restaurant cafe emphasises on carefully chosen ingredients, interesting menu combinations and exquisite presentation.  The staff are attentive and well trained in my experience. Seated at a window side table, we felt at home as if we had prepared the breakfast ourselves and and a relaxing time viewing the goings-on outside. And what a breakky!  I did not regret satisfying my curiosity as to how black pudding with eggs and toast have a place on a showery and cloudy Sunday's morning. The sourdough is sourced from the Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery an hour's drive south - and the seafood comes from my fav supplier of seafood at the Shellharbour Fish Market!  I adore the bonito, swordfish belly and sweet William from the lunch menu, but prefer to go to Flanagans's in the early part of the day, when I can dabble in home made salmon cakes, free range Eggs Benedict and a cuppa. Seating can be limited when the crowd comes in and so can be the vehicle parking on summery days.  The wood theme of decor inside at once suggests of comfort and being away from it all.

Entrance to Flanagan's - a bit retro atmosphere, very Aussie beach and modern dining.

Okay it is not actually an exclusive bungalow that Flanagan's has.  It does share the building with a surf club, perhaps underlining  a lifestyle theme and accessibility to beach lovers (who must be adequately dressed).  I am not convinced why the Indonesian condiment, sambal, is served with the delicate flavours of scallops, but I am heartened with the availability of Clyde River oysters from the Batemans Bay area.  I am blessed that Flanagan's is easily accessible to me within fifteen minutes - it also offers the high standards of grilled dish that is a significant feature of the Wollongong area.    Flanagan's displays a variety of cuisine influences from French, Mediterranean, Australian and south-east Asian, so there is  an eclectic variety to choose from.

The joy and anticipation of heading to the surf.


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