Flanagans Dining Room, Thirroul

19 Nov
November 19, 2013

This is a tale of two visits to Flanagans.  The first was back in June, a family lunch to celebrate both Josh and my birthdays.

Flanagans had been on the ‘to dine’ list for quite a while.  I loved the location right on Thirroul beach.  Plus the smattering of reviews I had read were all positive.  Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide has since listed Flanagans as one of the top three restaurants in the Illawarra Region.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul BeachOur visit to was on the most miserable of winter’s days.  So much for my thoughts of a sunny winters lunch by the beach.  It was raining, the wind was howling, but the historic beach kiosk, that houses the restaurant, proved to be a warm and safe haven for lunch.  Warm, comfy and most enjoyable with the modern fireplaces burning away.

The restaurant has a casual beach shack feel.  Pale blues and white dominate with the odd splash of yellow.  Diners during the day are a mixed bag.  From those just walking in to others that have planned a special lunch.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul BeachIn the kitchen you will find owner and head chef John Connolly.   John established Flanagans Dining Room back in May 2008, then it was known as Flanagans Fish Café.  In June 2012 John decided to make a change to the Flanagans’ dining experience.  He brought on board friend, and ex-Efendy chef, Arman Uz.  Flanagans Dining Room was born, brining a whole new level of dining to the Illawarra region.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachbuttered asparagus, toasted nuts $12

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beach grilled squid, garlic, Szechwan $12

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachclyde river oysters, pink shallots, white balsamic $12

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beach seared scallops, chilli, capsicum, walnut $12

The serve of asparagus was quite generous, the spears plump and tasty.  Squid tender, and scallops well cooked.  I had the oysters, local and most enjoyable.  There was a little confusion to start on how many I should of received.  When initially asking how many to a serve, I was advised four.  Only three arrived.  When pointing this out, it was explained, different chefs and a little confusion.  That being said, out came two more oysters to make up the little mistake, a lovely gesture.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachhand cut fries, paprika aioli $9 (now $10) & mixed cress, soft herbs, pomegranate molasses $9

 Fat hand cut fries, the wanted crunch on biting into them, followed by fluffy innards.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachtempura battered ocean perch, cumin aioli $18

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachwarm humus, grilled chorizo, pinenuts $18

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachmiddle eastern style lamb kofta, minted yoghurt $18

I thoroughly enjoyed my ocean perch.  All mains were enjoyed, but portion sizes were a bit hit and miss.  Where the lamb kofta was quite generous the chorizo was a little on the small side.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul BeachIrish cream custard, rhubarb $9 

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachcaramel rice pudding, raspberries $9

Everyone else was full, but Josh and I decided we had to share some desserts.  It was our birthdays after all!  Both quite different but enjoyed the same.

Please note for the above visit we dined anonymously and paid for our own meal.

The Second Visit

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beach

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul BeachMy second visit was part of a group blogger PR lunch.  A variety of dishes shared amongst us all.  I noted the menu had gone through a change since my last visit back in June.  It was more extensive and included a few higher priced lunch dishes.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachbread, $3/person, as much as you want (same as last visit)

Bread is supplied by Berry Sourdough Company and is served warm from the oven with butter.  There is a selection of rye, spelt, sourdough and white.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachseared scallops with chilli jam $16 

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachoysters, white balsamic, pink shallot $12

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachmonk fish koftas, baba ganoush $12

The oysters are local from the Clyde River, plump and creamy.  The scallops are a decent size, cooked perfectly.  The monkfish koftas are a lovely match to the smokiness of the baba ganoush.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beach Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beach Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beach Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachvarious fish, bream, john dory, rock cod $24 each

The fish is prepared so the diner can enjoy the fish in its entirety.  This means still on the bone.  Most was cooked beautifully, but I have worked out I am not a fan of rock cod, lots of small bones and a little tough.  John dory was my clear winner, but I am a bit of a fan.

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachlamb, sweet parsnip puree $24

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachstuffed figs, walnut, clotted cream $12

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachkadaifi pastry $12

Flanagans Dining Room Thirroul Beachcrème brulee $12

All the desserts were very enjoyable.  The stuffed figs being the winning dish of the trio for me.

Is Flanagans Dining Room worth the drive South?  You bet it is.  Jump in the car and head down the scenic coast road for a lazy weekend lunch.  Don’t drive?  The train also stops at Thirroul.

If you plan to head to Thirroul on a Saturday, do make sure to pop into the local markets before lunch.  I should also mention that Flanagans has a seven course degustation menu Friday and Saturday nights, $80/person or $125/person with matching wines.   I am yet to experience the degustation, but my desire to has kept Flanagans on my ‘to eat’ list.

Do tell Dear Belly Rumbles’ reader, do you like venturing out of town for lazy weekend lunches?

Sara xxx

My second visit to Flanagans was as a guest of the restaurant.

Flanagans Dining Room
The Esplanade, Thirroul NSW
Tel:  +61 2 4268 1598
Flanagans Dining Room on Urbanspoon

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11 replies
  1. john | heneedsfood says:

    Given the location, the prices are still quite reasonable. It looks like such a great setting for a lazy lunch.
    john | heneedsfood recently posted..Coney Island & Brighton Beach

  2. The hungry mum says:

    Looks lovely, I adore that part of the world. Is on the ‘must try’ list.
    The hungry mum recently posted..Chocolate cinnamon cupcakes with salted caramel

  3. Gaby says:

    Awesome looking food, and also very nice crockery and presentation. I would have ordered most of what you had.
    Gaby recently posted..Review: Burgerlicious (Newtown)

  4. Karen | Citrus and Candy says:

    I was incredibly lucky to shoot for them a few months ago and I fell in love with every dish and of course, the location. I can’t wait to go back for real during summer and then hit the beach afterwards. I still dream about their chips and paprika aioli.
    Karen | Citrus and Candy recently posted..No-churn banana ice cream with salted caramel swirl

  5. Helen (Grab Your Fork) says:

    Ha I had to laugh when I noticed there were definitely four scallops in the dish on your second visit :)
    Helen (Grab Your Fork) recently posted..Fix St James, Sydney

  6. Food is our religion says:

    great photos as always Sarah! Shame I couldn’t make this! it looked like an excellent dining experience!
    Food is our religion recently posted..Sydney Food Bloggers Xmas 2013

  7. milkteaxx says:

    the scallops from the first visit look amazing!
    milkteaxx recently posted..Good Food Month- Sydney: Sugar Hit Bonanza 2013

  8. Christina | The Hungry Australian says:

    The food looks great, Sara. And your photos are gorgeous. I wanna steal those teal plates! ;)
    Christina | The Hungry Australian recently posted..Eye of the Tiger

  9. Amanda@ChewTown says:

    Looks like a great location. I’m loving that you reviewed both experiences as a paid guest and as part of a PR group. Looks pretty tasty.
    Amanda@ChewTown recently posted..Chilli Pesto Scrolls


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] When the World Stops Spinning, The Random Foodie, Confessions of a Glutton, The Jugernauts & Belly Rumbles. Clicking on any of these links will direct you to their writeup on the restaurant. Thus, the usual […]

  2. […] When the World Stops Spinning, The Random Foodie, Confessions of a Glutton, The Jugernauts & Belly Rumbles. Clicking on any of these links will direct you to their writeup on the restaurant. Thus, the usual […]

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