|Small part of Manly Esplanade|
|Manly Ferry, 30 mins to Sydney CBD|
|coastal walkway to Manly, my neighbourhood in background|
Manly is best known for its' beaches. Manly sits on a beautiful peninsula surrounded on three sides by the waves of the Pacific Ocean and smaller ripples of the Sydney Harbour. Several roads and a shopping corso connect the Harbour to the Pacific Ocean. A long paved walkway or esplanade runs along the beaches and are very popular with walkers, dogs and kids. The esplanade continues around to Fairy Bower rock pools and then another beautiful sandy Shelley Beach. There is great snorkeling in the rock pools and I am always amazed that even in such a densely populated area that is a suburb of a major city, one can snorkel and see so many colourful tropical fish in clear ocean water. There are lifeguards in Manly year round and all the lifesaving clubs run Nippers programs. Nippers teaches kids 5-14 years old about beach safety and there are carnivals where clubs compete with each other in water sports and sand running events. My family is about to start its' 4th season of Nippers and I am looking forward to this Sunday morning ritual starting up again next month.
Why do I love Manly so much? Well, I could bore you with statistics and further info and tourist information but instead I will just say that living on the coast and having Manly so nearby is one of the reasons why I continue to live in Australia. The beach lifestyle and focus on family and sports make life down under so appealing. Everything I like to do is in Manly - walk, play tennis, swim, paddle board, snorkel, shop, watch art house films, and meet up with friends. I also feel very comfortable there as there are many ex-pats living in Manly. But, let's not forget eating. In a small area, there are a variety of bars, cafes and all types of restaurants. The freshest beer is at 4 Pines Brewing Company, brewed on the premises and never more than 2 weeks old. Pastry chef Adriano Zumbo got popular on TV's Masterchef Australia and is known for his macaroons at his tiny bakery. Thai food is excellent in Sydney and I love eating a Mortar & Pestle's $10 lunch. For seafood, Garfish has a small regular menu and another menu that changes daily based on what they bought at the Sydney fish market that day. Australian prices are still a shock 3+ years later. While prices are higher on the menus here, most restaurants are BYO so you can bring in your own bottle of wine from outside and there is no tipping so it is not so bad.
Another favourite restaurant to go to is Hugo's, home of the $30 pizza and the place to be seen. Australian and American movie stars can be seen at Hugo's eating with other mere mortals as they stare out at Sydney Harbour from its' wharf side venue. I love their pizza, salads, desserts, cocktails. While it is expensive to eat there, the view is great and I've never had a bad meal there.
|Manly Wharf building|
|Hugo's Restaurant on Manly Wharf|
One of my favourite pizzas at Hugo's is
Prosciutto Pizza. Besides prosciutto, the other
main ingredient is rocket. Manly? Rocket?
What are these funny names?! Rocket is another name for arugula, that strong, bitter, peppery salad green. Rocket is very popular down under - rocket salad, quiche with rocket, rocket on pizza, etc. My 2 recipes this blog are my interpretation of Hugo's Prosciutto Pizza and a neighbour's rocket salad. I enjoy the pizza as it reminds me of the one I eat at Hugo's, at a fraction of the price. The salad looks gourmet but is easy to make and combines the sharp bitter Rocket with salty crisp Prosciutto, creamy Goat's Cheese, sweet fruit and crunchy walnuts. Enjoy!
Tomato Paste/Pizza Sauce
several slices of Prosciutto, chopped
real Parmesan Reggiano cheese, shredded
Black Pepper, optional
1. Take thin pizza crust and spread thin layer of tomato paste/pizza sauce OR buy thin pre-made pizza base. (Harris Farms sells a great one here in NSW)
2. Placed chopped prosciutto on top of pizza. Add some cheese and toast in toaster oven or bake in oven at 190 C/ 375 F for 5+ minutes until cheese is melted.
3. Top with Rocket, a sprinkle of balsamic vinaigrette, and more shredded cheese. Add some black pepper and serve. That's right - no more cooking. You've got salad and pizza all in one. Who says pizza isn't healthy?!
Sharon's Rocket Salad
4+ sliced of Prosciutto
1 Large Peach or Nectarine, washed and cut into chunks
1/2 small log of Goat's Cheese
handful of Walnuts
1. Wash Rocket and set aside.
3. Add crumbled Prosciutto, nectarine/peach, goat's cheese, walnuts to arugula.
4. Sprinkle salad with vinaigrette and serve.