East Coast Lounge, Chowder Bay

Sydney’s Chowder Bay takes its name from the whalers who used to make chowder from the abundant seafood they caught in the bay.  Up until recently Chowder Bay wasn’t open to the public as in 1890 a base was built for the Submarine Mining Corps then in 1922 it became a depot and barracks for army engineers.  In the 1970’s it became the site for the Army Maritime School which operated until 1997.

The original

The original Depot Building

After the Maritime School closed, this beautiful and picturesque part of Mosman was reopened to the public.  The historic buildings that once housed army personnel were restored, transformed and given a new lease of life as private businesses moved in and took advantage of this part of Sydney becoming popular with nearby residents and tourists.

It's like walking into a house

It’s like walking into someone’s home

One very new business that has just opened in Chowder Bay is East Coast Lounge.  Prominently located at the top of the hill is the Depot Building that was built in 1890.  It’s a two-storey late Victorian weatherboard cottage that’s been beautifully restored and has expansive views that look out onto Sydney Harbour and Clifton Gardens Beach.

Beautiful furniture

Beautifully decorated rooms

Stepping inside East Coast Lounge is very much like walking into someone’s home – someone with a very nice home!  There’s the open kitchen on your right and the lounge room with a fireplace on your left and beyond the fireplace is a dining room.  East Coast Lounge, with it’s polished timber floors, homely furnishings, wall-hung paintings and multiple large windows looking out over spectacular water views, has a lovely calming and welcoming feel to it.  There’s very much a beachy feel too, not only with the views, light and airiness but with the timber furniture, white walls and pale blue accents.

The 'kitchen' bar area

The ‘kitchen’ bar area

The furniture is designed by Stuart Membery and other Australian designers.  All items of furniture have been handmade to the highest quality and can be ordered for purchase.  I certainly had my eye on the very comfortable cane lounges and the expansive dining room table.

Very cosy by the fireplace

Very cosy by the fireplace

Essentially, East Coast Lounge is a place where you can shop for furniture, a painting, homewares, books or a unique piece of art.  It’s also a place where you can sit down and relax while enjoying a glass of wine, a cup of Bellocq tea or a very good coffee while indulging in a charcuterie or cheese platter.

Teas from Brooklyn, NY

Teas from Bellocq in Brooklyn, NY

Tania and I were there for the food and wine.  We sat at one end of the dining room table with my little guy (unable to get a babysitter; it happens) choosing to sit right down the other end of the table.  Tania and I looked at the wine list.  It’s a really interesting wine list with a lot of wines available by the glass and we started with a glass of Tar and Roses Pinot Grigio that had a lovely soft pink hue.  It was a crisp and dry white that was perfect for what was, a beautifully warm day.

Tar and Roses Pinot Grigio:  $10.00/glass

Tar and Roses Pinot Grigio: $10.00/glass

Alfie wasn’t happy to be ‘on the job’ for Hotly Spiced and so despite me enthusiastically talking up the kids’ menu, he said he didn’t want anything.  I ordered him a Kids’ Grazing Plate that was ham and cheese fingers, fruit pieces and organic popcorn.  He looked annoyed at first but then ate every bit of every thing that was on his plate.

Fresh flowers and my little guy preferring to sit as far from me as possible

Fresh flowers and my little guy preferring to sit as far from me as possible

Kids' Grazing Plate:  $12.00

Kids’ Grazing Plate: $12.00

The Kids’ meals come with a complimentary babychino and despite Alfie saying ‘I don’t want a drink’, he drank it and polished off both marshmallows.

Babychino - complimentary with a kids' meal

Babychino – complimentary with a kids’ meal

He then said he’d like some hot salami (he’s going through a chilli phase) and pickled onions (he’s going through a vinegar phase) and so went to the bar and placed an order.  Out came a wooden board with not only salami and pickled onions but also some antipasto and wonderful bread that’s delivered from Bourke Street Bakery.  No surprises, he found his appetite.

Alfie's special platter

Alfie’s special platter

Meanwhile, Tania and I shared the chorizo, haloumi and lemon from the ‘small plates’ menu.  All cheeses are supplied by Formaggi Ocello in Surry Hills and the small goods from R & S Danube in Marrickville.  This dish arrived on a white paddle and was so simple and so enjoyable.

Chorizo and Haloumi:  $14.00

Chorizo and Haloumi: $14.00

Next we shared the antipasti plate that contained a variety of salamis, some proscuitto, olives, roasted and marinated vegetables with a rosemary flatbread.  I really enjoy this kind of a grazing meal; it’s very casual, informal and relaxing.  The salamis were wonderful and I loved the artichokes but I think my favourite were the olives that had a firm texture and weren’t too salty.

Antipasti Grazing Plate:  $25.00

Antipasti Grazing Plate: $25.00

We couldn’t leave without trying the cheeses so we ordered three, choosing a truffle pecorino, the brie and the gorgonzola.  I thought the presentation was extremely elegant.  All cheeses were served room temperature and there were ample crackers and flat bread.  I loved how the pecorino had been shaved and then there was a mystery ingredient in a duck egg coloured little dish.  Tania thought it might be a type of honey that’s particularly dark but then realised it was Gelatina Di Uva Zibibbo otherwise known as ‘the honey of grapes’.  It’s been made for a long time by the Italians and called the ‘elixir of life’.  It certainly goes very well with cheese and although sweet, it’s not a sugary type of sweetness.  I really loved it.

Choice of 3 cheeses:  $26.00

Choice of 3 cheeses: $26.00

The environment at East Coast Lounge is so relaxing and comfortable that we forgot all about the time.  Abruptly Tania realised she had but a few minutes to get to an appointment about an hour away.  I just had time to visit the bathrooms that are not unisex (hooray) and are as clean as a whistle and beautiful soaps and hand creams are available – excellent!

Views to Clifton Gardens

Views to Clifton Gardens

East Coast Lounge is in a very beautiful setting in a unique location that fortunately has finally been made available to the public.  Parking is available although the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust has made sure every space is metered and you won’t get away with paying less than around $10.00 and there will probably be a bit of a walk from your car to all facilities at Chowder Bay.

Views out to Sydney Harbour

Views out to Sydney Harbour

Tania and I had a very relaxing and enjoyable time that felt almost as if we were visiting each other in our homes (if our homes were as nice as East Coast Lounge!)  The staff are relaxed, gracious and smiling and come across as if they’re welcoming you into their own residence.  They’re discreet yet attentive, and have a vast knowledge of the wines and produce they are serving.  The venue is excellent for not only a glass of wine and a shared plate but also for some unique shopping.

Views from all windows

Views from all windows

I found East Coast Lounge to be an exciting and unique addition to Mosman’s dining scene.

Verdict:  I’ll be a regular.

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea

Hotly Spiced and My Kitchen Stories dined as guests of East Coast Lounge.

East Coast Lounge:  7B Chowder Bay Road, Mosman NSW 2088

Ph:  02 9968 1658

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Comments

  1. I love how it really does look like someone’s living room! What great cozy atmosphere.

  2. What a cute place, looks very relaxing!

  3. They should hire you on the tourist board of these picturesque locations if not Australia as a whole because your reviews make visiting very appealing. If only t’were possible. 🙂

  4. I miss SYDNEY 🙁 Liz x

  5. Sounds like a delightful place! I love the paddles for serving. And, I want a babychino. That’s so cute! You’re so lucky to have this nearby.

  6. How nice to see a place with a decent kid’s menu with real food. Pleased that was a better eating experience than the Chinese one:)

  7. My favourite food ever comes on grazing plates like that. What fantastic kids menu options!

  8. I would be a regular too!
    Have a wonderful day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  9. I’d love to graze with you all, too! Even Alfie’s children’s plate looks terrific!!!

  10. I love this place. Everything about it. Your images are spectacular. And I love how you wrote about Alfie and that last photo of him is simply precious.

  11. Great looking place. I love stores where you can browse and eat. I’m amazed at Alfie’s patience, good on him. GG

  12. And it’s in your neighbourhood? Lucky you!! I want a metabolism like Alfie for Christmas. Can you talk to Santa?? He’s the cutest thing ever and can eat what he wants. I do have envy. 🙂

  13. I love grazing plates and picky platters so much- perfect meal for warm days! It all looks so great and how nice you were able to relax and catch up with Tania in such a lovely venue. Alfie is like my littlej, she often spends had pocket money on olives- but only at the growers market’s or deli, no supermarket pretenders for her! 🙂 xox

  14. Such a stunning locale! I want my house decorated this way 🙂 I love the idea for the kid’s meal, so lovely to see a non-nugget meal.

  15. What a beautiful spot Charlie! I’m glad you finally found somewhere that does a good job of food. That kids platter is brilliant. Nice to see a healthy kids meal not batter ‘fish’ and chips.

  16. G’day What a cozy and relaxing place to catch up with friends…looks to be a great feed Charlie!
    Cheers! Joanne

  17. What a lovely place for a get together. I think I remember Stuart Membery-he used to design for Country Road or Esprit didn’t he (I cant’ remember exactly)? Hehe Alfie’s food preferences are so funny!

    • I think he had his own label and the clothes were all incredibly bright and very voluminous. I’m guilty of having quite of few of his designs – back in the day! I think his furniture is much better than his clothing.

  18. Alfie is just adorable 🙂
    This is my kind of a place to dine! I love the look, the classy beach style and homey feeling. I’m going to start serving my appetizers on paddles now! What a cool look! Makes me want to leave my office right now for a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers 🙂

  19. So, so lovely. Can we please hand deliver your next order?
    Just dreamy… .

  20. Oh Charlie it was a lovely lunch appart from the abrupt ending. It was so relaxing and what an amazing view. I’d like to go back and stay longer

  21. Thank you for showing me a part of Sydney I have yet to explore!

  22. The first comment to make is that I love the photos of Alife. You can really see how much he has grown and matured over the last couple of months! Don’t tell him I used the word “beautiful” to describe him…he’d like that word much less than his initial resistence to the menu! East Coast Lounge is precisely the kind of establishment I prefer over all others. The view, the comfort of lovely home, and a casual menu with hospitality. I would also return often! No doubt!

  23. This looks fabulous Charlie. We are in Sydney this week so will try to get along to this cafe. Looks very enticing.

  24. East Coast Lounge looks like a lovely place to visit. The food is presented perfectly. So pretty, and your little guy sure is photogenic!

  25. yep it was great. we had a lovely light lunch there last week. i even saw a lady come in who looked like you charlie! i said to hubby that could even be charlie! i was too shy to go up and ask!

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