- Chloe Grabham
This seaside gem is one of the South Coast's most iconic clifftop hotels
The Scarborough Hotel has been one of those places that I have wanted to visit for years, and last Saturday my mission was accomplished. Even on those rainy days, the Scarborough Hotel still offers a good feed, a freshly pulled pint to be devoured against a breath-taking backdrop of the roaring waves of the Pacific ocean.
Located on the picturesque Illawarra coastline, this is a must stop for anyone looking to truly encounter a seaside Aussie pub atmosphere, with a view, and it is because of these stunning views that getting a car spot or even a table during peak time can be somewhat of a challenge.
Undoubtedly one of the coastlines most prized pieces of real estate, the hotel makes the most of its emerald grassy yard space ( the Seacliff Garden) filled with timber picnic tables and chairs, shaded by the navy umbrellas for those afternoon sessions in the sun. For cosy undercover seating on those not so sunny days, the Horizon Balcony looks out over the Seacliff Gardens and beyond and is within proximity to the upstairs bistro and bar.
It's a mixed crowd of locals gathering for a cold craft beer and catch up's, to families celebrating birthdays with bottles of champagne and balloons to road-trippers looking for a place to stretch their legs and grab a hot cup of coffee. One of the great attractions of the Scarborough Hotel is that is pooch-friendly so feel free to bring along your four-legged pals.
Now to the menu. There is a lot to like about this stick-to-the-classics, modern pub style array of dishes. Start off fresh and light with a poached chicken salad ($26), or try the Tuscan caesar ($24) constructed with cavalo nero, cos heart and prosciutto croutons topped with a soft egg. When by the sea, one must indulge in a tray of fresh oysters, choose from 6 ($19),10 ($29) or 24 ($34).
The beer battered fish & chips ($26) isn't your soggy, corner shop style of fish and chips! Using fresh fillets the batter is crunchy, golden and not too oily, and that squeeze of lemon juice never goes astray. The barramundi & chips ( $30) might not have the battered crunch but is just as fresh and great for seafood fans looking for a slightly healthier option.
A pub menu just isn't a pub menu without the traditional burger and chips, and the Cheeseburger ($25) is sure to satisfy any cravings for a good pair of buns. With the addition of jalapeno cheese, house pickles, a side of chips with an ocean view, this is all round winning combo.
There are steaks, and pastas and other seasonal dishes worth checking out too with a kiddy menu's section designed with portions and appetising dishes for the little folk.
High tea, events and functions are some the Scarborough Hotel's special offerings and are worth looking at to make your next gathering or special event one to remember. Even though the hotel is only open during the day and closes before happy hour has even begun, it is worth the trek down south, rain, hail or shine.
383 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Scarborough NSW 2515