Sandyfoot Cafe and Bar, Shoal Bay, NSW

A short drive from Nelson Bay is Shoal Bay, the eastern-most suburb of Port Stephens.

Such a stunning beach

Such a stunning beach

When we were staying at Nelson Bay we drove to Shoal Bay looking for somewhere to enjoy breakfast and directly across the road from the stunning beach we found the Sandyfoot Cafe and Bar.  The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating but as the day was spectacular we sat outside and enjoyed the view of the beach.  The beach is totally north-facing which is actually a rare thing for any beach on Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Barefoot Cafe and Bar

Barefoot Cafe and Bar

The setting at the Sandyfoot Cafe is superb and sitting looking out onto the lovely beach in such a serene and non-hurried environment was actually quite therapeutic.

Barefoot Cafe and Bar

Finding a table

At the cafe you order at the counter and pay, then they give you a table number and everything is brought to your table.  We did seem to have sat ourselves at the wobbliest table in the world so we asked the waiter for something to put under one of the legs to balance it and he came back with a few layers of cardboard and chocked up the table.

Two of us at the table and a third on the phone

Two of us at the table and a third on the phone

Carl started with a soy cappuccino that he said was excellent but he was barely able to enjoy it as his phone was running off the hook because it was a week-day and it seemed everything at the office was blowing up.  I sat with Alfie and enjoyed a bottle of chilled mineral water.

Drinks to start with

Drinks to start with

I ordered the Eggs Benedict for both of us that came with hash browns and a tomato.  I was quite disappointed when it was put in front of us as I thought the presentation was very ho-hum.  A sprinkling of some finely chopped parsley or chives over the hollandaise sauce wouldn’t have taken much effort and certainly would have helped.

Eggs Benedict $15.00

Eggs Benedict $15.00

While the eggs were beautifully poached, the hollandaise sauce was dire.  It had an unusual flavour like it had been made from a packet-mix instead of being a genuine sauce made from natural ingredients.  The hash browns were very oily and the tomato unremarkable.

A beautiful view from the cafe

A beautiful view from the cafe

Alfie ordered the pancakes with maple syrup, whipped cream and strawberries.  Again, I didn’t think much of the presentation.  I think a stack of pancakes always looks better than pancakes spread around a plate.  However, my nine-year old isn’t as fussy when it comes to presentation as I am and Alfie had no complaints about the piped cream and the scattered strawberries and said he enjoyed his breakfast very much.

Pancakes with maple syrup, whipped cream and strawberries:  $10.00

Pancakes with maple syrup, whipped cream and strawberries: $10.00

Verdict:  The Sandyfoot Cafe is in a stunning position and one of only a few cafes in the area.  While sitting outside and enjoying the view is very special, in terms of what we experienced with the breakfast menu, the food is a let-down.  I have heard it’s a lovely place to go to enjoy a drink at the end of the day.

Such a stunning beach

Such a stunning beach

Sandyfoot Cafe and Bar:  Shoal Bay Resort and Spa, Shoal Bay Road, Shoal Bay NSW 2315

Ph:  02 4981 1555

Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay

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  1. Oh Charlie it doesnt look good. Places by the ocean often dont try do they?

  2. I wish I was there to enjoy the view and the warmth.

  3. The views from Sandyfoot Cafe are amazing! You are right, seeing we eat with our eyes, pancakes stacked make for a way better presentation and so would have some chives and fresh hollandaise on those eggs!

  4. Stunning location, such a shame about the food. GG

  5. They certainly didn’t go out of there way to make the dishes pretty did they? Too bad the taste didn’t make up for it…at least the view was nice! xo

  6. The part where spread-out pancakes win is that then every pancake gets doused with syrup, rather than a soaked first layer and dry other pancakes. #pancakephysics

  7. I’m surprised about the lack of garnish on the eggs benny as well. I know why *I* don’t have them on my dishes, knowing the dire straits of my veggie crisper but a restaurant has no excuse.

    The fine weather and surroundings make up for a lot of shortcomings when it comes to the food, however. We had several bouts of snow showers and blowing snow during the day. Luckily I was at work so I could commiserate with my students about the event rather than whine about it to myself. 🙂

  8. It’s such a pretty location! We drove there as well, love the view out across the water. Food sounds a bit ordinary…

  9. Lovely photos and splendid get away! WOW! Awesome! Very pretty, indeed!

  10. Beautiful photos! You and Alfie had the best view of Shoal Bay. Mmm the Eggs Benedict looks very tempting 🙂

  11. This looks fabulous! The views are amazing. I have to get to Australia someday. Your eggs benedict looks incredible as well. Delish!

  12. Tania is right, looks like they relied a little too heavily on the view to draw in customers. A little extra effort wouldn’t help. They need to google images of they dishes they want to serve to up the presentation!

  13. Such beautiful views, but such a shame about the food for you! I find I often do not order eggs benedict anymore as I prefer the one I make at home on a lazy weekend! That’s a bit ordinary that the sauce tasted like a packet sauce! Was it really worth the $15.50 ??

  14. What a shame Charlie! It’s funny that the trickiest part of the dish- poaching the eggs just right- was the bit they got right, but the hollandaise probably came out of a UHT tetra pack 🙁 xox

  15. What a pity the food was so disappointing. I have actually seen a bottle of “Hollandaise” on the shelf in a store before – not sure how that’s possible.
    Have a lovely day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  16. You’re right, the presentation does leave a bit to be desired! What a shame. The heart on the coffee is nice at least 🙂

  17. Eugh did they pick up those hash browns at Macca’s? They obviously don’t rely on return business or they would care a little more. Great view though and perfect blue skies.

  18. Too often the ones with the great location think they can do anything because people want to sit there to eat. I agree with Shashi, we eat first with our eyes and especially so when we’re paying big dollars to enjoy it. It would take almost nothing to plate that food well and to make a real sauce.

  19. Boo to the breakfast being subpar! It really isn’t so hard to get pancakes and eggs right!

  20. I’m dreaming of beach weather right now in these cold temps!

  21. It’s almost like the cafe knows people will come for the view and don’t care about taste or presentation! We could teach them a thing or two, right? You’re making me awfully sad we don’t have time to work in a trip to Australia when we trek to NZ next winter. Sniff, sniff. I think I may have to come for a blogger’s convention…I’ll see if I can sell Bill on that idea 🙂

  22. It looks like a nice place to sit with a coffee or cocktail. Too bad about the food.

  23. I can’t imagine living without a cell phone, but they can be such a curse, can’t they? There are downsides to being always available. Wonderful view, although it sounds like the food wasn’t up to snuff — too bad.

  24. I normally don’t say this….but the food looks terrible….:( No matter how beautiful the place is, but I would never go back if the food was bad, but I would happily do the opposite. It does look beautiful though…

  25. A shame about the hollandaise but the rest looks as if it hit the spot, at least as far as Alfie was concerned!

  26. Sorry that the food was not good…but the view from the cafe is stunning.
    Hope you are having a nice week Charlie 😀

  27. Average food is disappointing especially when good money is being spent, but look at that view!

  28. Ho-hum presentation or not…food never tastes better to me than when enjoyed near the water with someone you love.

  29. I’m sorry the food wasn’t up to what you anticipated, but the setting is worth every dollar! 🙂 i think you’re right about it being a lovely place for evening drinks. Maybe at sunset! Now we’re talking. 🙂

  30. Oh Charlie, that view looks amazing … disappointing the Hollandaise Sauce wasn’t up to standard!

  31. Another beautiful day!!! We never see that much sun in Melbourne 🙂 Gosh how can i cafe stuff up Hollandaise sauce sorry but to me that’s not good enough but hope you still had fun!

  32. That hollandaise sauce did have a rather suspicious looking “heft” to it. What a beautiful view this place has.

  33. Such a lovely place and it’s too bad that food is not good, especially some basic menus. I never realized before but it’s true – a stack of pancakes does look much better than spread out. Never thought of that before. Good point!

  34. Gorgeous views though, maybe better for a coffee… or try a meal later. I’ve heard fab things about a hotel, or maybe a resort at Shoal Bay but have yet to get there myself. One day soon…

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