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A mouth on the bay

October 13, 2014 - Port Stephens

Wherever I roam one thing remains constant. I must eat. So I always keep my nose in the air to catch any waft of good news about dining locally.

In the few days of #mylegendarydrive, while discovering all the fun there is to have in Port Stephens, I’ve been impressed by the quality of meals I’ve had. So I thought to leave behind my simple little good eats guide to some places that have made my taste buds sing.

A stand out dish was my first lunch in Nelson Bay. If it’s on the specials menu when you go, I heartily recommend tucking into the delectable bacon, corn and shallot frittata at The Little Nel Cafe in the Nelson Resort. It comes with a small parmesan side salad and a few crunchy chips. Simple, extremely tasty and light. What’s not to like?

Little Nel also does a fine breakfast, as does the Longboat Cafe in Fingal Bay, tucked beside the surf lifesaving club on Marine Drive. It’s the top spot to stop and refuel after striding along the sands leading north to the famous spit.

Go early of an evening to dine at the Little Beach Boathouse in Nelson Bay, allowing time for a G&T or glass of wine at sunset. It’s a magical experience and sets the tone for a fine dinner in a magnificent location. The restaurant is the second lovechild of Alicia and Luke Cameron who also operate Sandpipers but hats off also for Boathouse co-owner and chef Ben Way at the helm of kitchen turning out dishes perfectly in tune with the relaxed seaside surroundings. I’d suggest the fresh catch of the day or ask the cheerful service team to steer you through the menu.

Should you want to spice up your life then head to Salamander Bay where Alex Chan has his Asian restaurant L’il Buddha. Try a plate of salty spiced king prawns and a Buddha’s Delight (mixed vegetables and tofu in red bean curd sauce), with a dash of Alex’s special chilli sauce to liven up the evening. – RW









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