Starfish, Avalon, NSW

Twice-cooked duck with caramelised figs $37.00

Twice-cooked duck with caramelised figs $37.00

I like the northern beaches because this area is beautiful and unpretentious. If you know the right places to be, it is a great hideaway from Sydney where you get the same beach and sulf culture without the traffic and congestion of inner city living.

We are in the area on a weekend and after a swim in Dee Why beach, we decide to venture further north to see if we could discover something new. By accident, we stumble upon Starfish, a restaurant located directly opposite Avalon beach on the west side of Barrenjoey road.

Seared scallops with caramelised pork belly and apple slaw $19.50

Seared scallops with caramelised pork belly and apple slaw $19.50

It is Saturday night and as the crowd jostles in, we quickly discover this place is popular with locals clutching wine carry bags and greetings on a first name basis with the waiters. Our waiter is friendly to introduce the menu consisting about half a dozen entrees and mains with a few specials regurgitated like he’s done it a few hundred times.

With an infamous weakness for anything that is remotely connected with scallops, Mysaucepan orders an entree of seared scallops with caramelised pork belly and green apple slaw. Matchstick granny smith and coriander with a tangy balsamic reduction are tucked between three seared scallops sitting on pieces of succulent pork belly. The tangy crunch of the apple complemented the sweet scallops while the pork belly was soft and yielding to the knife. There is a wide grin on Mysaucepan‘s face with each mouthful.

Grilled salt and pepper Balmain bugs $24.00

Grilled salt and pepper Balmain bugs $24.00

The second entree of grilled salt and pepper Balmain bugs is another tempting dish. A squeeze of lemon juice onto the sweet flesh and a light chilli dipping sauce sparks a multitude of flavours on my palate. These two entrees are good enough contenders for best entrees of any neighbourhood restaurant.

Twice-cooked duck with caramelised figs $37.00

Twice-cooked duck with caramelised figs $37.00

Our friendly waiter informs us the twice-cooked duck with caramelised figs is a main which regular customers have requested to remain on the menu. And we soon discover why it is so.  Four very generous pieces of duck gently steamed then deep-fried until crispy golden brown are drizzled with a sweet and tangy fig reduction sauce. Bold hints of cinnamon and star anise rounded off the beautiful flavours of this main.

Wagyu rump with peppercorn sauce and kipfler potatoes $37.00

Wagyu rump with peppercorn sauce and kipfler potatoes $37.00

I order a wagyu rump with peppercorn sauce and kipfler potatoes. This dish arrives in medium rare slices piled over a bed of French beans, kipfler potatoes and topped with a crown of watercress. I usually never order rump steaks at restaurants but I would gladly order the wagyu rump at Starfish again. Although lean, the meat is tender, cooked to my request and the rich aromatic peppercorn sauce makes all the difference.

Warm-centred chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream $13.50

Warm-centred chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream $13.50

The dessert of warm-centred chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream tops off a dinner which ticks all the boxes of savoury and sweet delights.

Warm-centred chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream $13.50

Warm-centred chocolate pudding with pistachio ice-cream $13.50

Before our dinner at Starfish, we took a leisurely stroll along Avalon Parade leading up the hill to Surfside Avenue. Although it was overcast, the views towards the north over Avalon beach was nevertheless spectacular.

Northern view from Surfside Parade

Northern view from Surfside Parade

This elevated position overlooks beautiful Avalon beach below and towards the heads in the north.

Rock pool at Avalon beach

Rock pool at Avalon beach

Like most beaches in Sydney, the rock pool at Avalon beach is a beautiful spot for a swim whilst enjoying breath-taking views of the surf and beyond ~ a great way to work up an appetite for a Starfish dinner just across the road.

Avalon beach, Sydney

Avalon beach, Sydney

Avalon Parade
Avalon, New South Wales 2107
(02) 9918 2077

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24 Responses to Starfish, Avalon, NSW

  1. oh man that gooey innards shot of the chocolate pudding looks so delish!

  2. Great finish to the meal – warm gooey chocolate.

  3. Melissa Loh says:

    Looks like the weather down in Sydney is pretty grey.
    Those seared scallops look so succulent!

  4. I love Avalon beach too, but it’s been years since I’ve visited.

  5. The food looks great! Too bad I could never afford to eat things like that. Boo student existence. :(

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Kath,

      I guess we all went through our student years and looking back, I can say they were also some of the best years of my life :) Also, I long for very simple home-cooked food at times and they can taste better than all the glamour and glitz of restaurant food.

      The meal above cost me less than A$10 to prepare and it serves about 8 standard meals!

      I can hardly complain if each meal costs less that A$2 which is more than the price of canned soup not to mention it taste delicious!

  6. Christy says:

    Did I see the word ‘BUGS’???? Hahaha, but the food really looks good :) For a moment I thought you were there to eat starfish too, what a unique name for a restaurant!;)
    I’d love a walk down the beach before or even after dinner :)

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Christy,

      The nickname is Balmain bugs after a suburb in Sydney. They are really a type of shellfish similar to prawns except they are more ugly :)

  7. How come when I come here there are always nice course meals ready for us to watch and drool…. 😉 Great post. I wish I can eat at a nice restaurant often, but with 2 small kids and no babysitter, we probably can do that once or twice a year… So, I’m enjoying your pictures VERY MUCH. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Manu says:

    Look at that duck!!! And that chocolate pudding… mmmmmm Thanks for all the tips! To let you know how much I appreciate your blog, I have an award for you… you can find it here:
    Have a great day!

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Manu,

      Thanks for your comments. We have only just started blogging and there are so many fantastic bloggers around, yourself included, so thank you for nominating us for the award.

  9. How do they get such perfect scoops of ice cream?!

  10. Chopinand says:

    Hi Maris,

    I do wonder about that myself. Also the warm-centre chocolate pudding requires some deft skill too I think :)

  11. I miss living in the Northern Beaches sometimes. It’s always so laid back and everyone is so friendly…

  12. Juliana says:

    Oh! The pictures of the beach are awesome and the food looks great. I am having my breakfast and yet willing to dig into the computer screen…look the the chocolate cake…yummie. Hope you are having a great week :-)

  13. Beautiful landscapes! And that meal sounds wonderful, the dessert looks to die for!

  14. Christine says:

    Congrats on the award!

    Christine’s Pantry

  15. tigerfish says:

    Are those “bugs” really bugs? or some kind of shell-fish (crayfish?)? :p

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi tigerfish,

      They are called Balmain bugs here in Sydney named after a suburb in the city. They are really a type of shellfish that looks like an ugly lobster and tastes very similar and delicious too!

  16. Wow! Gorgeous landscapes, food to drool over, definitely going there one day! Thanks so much for sharing! Great site =]

  17. Susan says:

    Places by the water always make the food taste much better

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