Dragon's Door: Cantonese food & daily yum cha
Just ouside Terrigal in the major mall Erina Fair is Dragon's Door, a good size restaurant with a typical Cantonese menu and which at lunchtime is very popular for Yum Cha. Many restaurants which feature Yum Cha only offer it at weekends but Dragon's Door has it every day. At weekends you'll need to book as it gets completely full.
It's the usual Yum Cha system with trolleys loaded with dishes being wheeled around the restaurant for you to choose what you like. You can also order from the kitchen if your particular favourite isn't available on the trolley.
The food is excellent and reasonably priced but one thing we weren't impressed with was the charge of 50cents each for soy sauce and chilli sauce - not the cost but the principle. It's equivalent to a western restaurant charging for salt and pepper!
Favorite Dish: For Yum Cha we particularly like cha sieu pow, yam cakes, carrot cake
Essere/Hungry Wolf's: Italian ristorante
Very casual, relaxed, warm & friendly and very popular. Specialising in pasta, seafood and veal dishes, but as the Italian owner/operator, Dominic, owns the adjoining pizza restaurant he's combined the two. Now there's one seating area and a combined menu.
Fully licensed but also a BYO restaurant, with a small charge of $2 per person if you bring your own wine. Large space inside and pavement tables outside which are across the road from the beach.
Favorite Dish: Mine is Osso Bucco when it's available or Veal Saltimbocca (with leg ham & mozarella), or pasta, usually fetuccini puttanesca or boscaiola. Geina usually has veal with tomato, olives, chilli, Risotto Pollo e Funghi with chilli or spaghetti marinara, which has a large amount of mixed seafood.
Le Chat Noir: Award winning French restaurant
Probably the largest restaurant in town, and one of the most up-market. Family owned and run - a French restaurant with a French owner/chef so the food and style is genuine. Good atmosphere as it's very popular and there's always a buzz about the place.
Food and service are excellent, staff are knowlegeable, the food is served reasonably quickly.
The menu is extensive and there are always two daily specials...things like rabbit and even wild boar on one visit. There's a large wine list with Australian and French wines to choose from, a few by the glass, or you can BYO for a $7 a bottle corkage charge.
Favorite Dish: If I have an entree it's deep fried Camembert with redcurrant sauce. For main courses, either one of the daily specials or one of the house specialities, confit de canard for me and canard a l'orange for Geina. On a cold night the veal paupiettes, veal stuffed with pork farce in a thick sauce, goes down very well.
Vanilla on Church: The best coffee - great food too.
Almost all of Terrigal's coffee shops now offer trendy 'boutique' coffees - and I much prefer the originals such as Illy, Lavazza, Segafredo.
Vanilla has Segafredo, so it's my choice for morning coffee. I have Long Black, which is $3.30 and if you're a regular customer you get a card which gives you a free coffee after buying five.
The owner is a very good chef and the food is well thought out, and more up-market than most of Terrigal's coffee shops. Example; ham, cream cheese, tomato, rocket & pesto bagel. The fillings all work so well together and a warm bagel is the perfect bread to put it in.
There's a good selection of dishes for breakfast, including excellent thick toast with marmalade, croissants, the best eggs and bacon in town, scrambled eggs with chopped chives & smoked salmon on sourdough toast.
Lunchtime there's a good choice of excellent light meals - my favourite is probably the smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato & pesto bagel.
They're also now open during summer as a 'wine bar' from Thursday through Sunday evenings, with a varied Mediterranean style menu and a small but excellent wine list.
There's a very small indoor area and a larger outdoor area half of which is under the permanent awning.
Favorite Dish: Coffee, a Long Black, with thick wholemeal toast and marmalade.
Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on sourdough toast.
Ham, cream cheese, tomato, rocket & pesto bagel.
Snapper Spot: Fish & chips
There are three fish & chip shops on The Esplanade in Terrigal (and another round the beach at The Haven).
Just across the road from the beach they're ideal for ordering a takeaway and going across to sit on the beach or the sea wall to enjoy your meal. All also have tables if you prefer to sit in the shop to eat.
All are good but the general view amongst locals is the best of the three is The Snapper Spot. All the seafood is fresh and cooked (fried or grilled) to order.
Open daily from 9am to about 7pm.
Favorite Dish: The classic meal of course is basic fish & chips. The batter is thin and crisp, the fish fresh and moist. But many other types of seafood are available, including a memorable cajun salmon and beautiful fresh prawns.
Tandoori Zaika: Genuine Indian flavours
A large restaurant by Terrigal standards, with both indoor and terrace dining on the first floor one block back from the beach.
A good choice of dishes from different areas of India, including chicken, beef, lamb, seafood and vegetarian and excellent fresh naan bread.
Relaxed and friendly, fast service and good value for money. Winter Tuesdays the main courses are half price.
BYO for a small corkage charge.
Favorite Dish: If we have a vegetable dish it's either mixed vegetables or Mushroom Mattar and for meat dishes we usually choose from Rogan Josh, Beef Vindaloo, Chicken Madras, Chicken Tikka Masala.
999 Thai: Authentic Thai
There are many Thai restaurants on the Central Coast, five in one block just in Terrigal itself, but this is the best.
Family owned and run, it's a casual style with genuine Thai food, great service and atmosphere. It's a BYO restaurant with a $2 charge if you bring your own wine. Pavement tables outside across the road from the beach plus seating inside.
Favorite Dish: Caramalised pork with chilli jam - slices of pork fried and caramelised, with chilli jam and a variety of vegetables.
Kraw-Prao Wok Fry - chicken cooked with fresh chilli, garlic, bamboo shoot, vegetables & basil.
Cashew Nut Wok Fry - your choice of meat cooked with chilli jam, vegetables & cashew nuts.
Massaman Beef curry - chunky beef in rich aromatic curry with potatoes.
Basil Chilli Noodles - fat rice noodles with chicken pieces stirred with hot chilli & fresh basil leaves.
Thai Fried Rice - fried rice with your choice of meat plus a variety of vegetables.
'N Thai Sing: Good food, service & setting.
A large and very popular restaurant on the first floor with a good atmosphere, comfortable padded chairs, modern decor and a large covered terrace & balcony for outdoor dining. It recently changed owners and the menu changed radically, now there's a lot of seafood and only a few of the more traditional Thai dishes.
BYO, with a small charge per person if you bring your own wine.
The Cowrie: Great seafood & stunning view.
A well established restaurant on the hilltop overlooking Terrigal, just round the corner from our house, with stunning ocean views. Comfortable indoor or terrace seating.
Winner of many awards, the menu mainly features seafood, but there are also meat and chicken dishes.
Service is friendly and efficient, atmosphere is not too formal, the wine list is excellent.
Favorite Dish: The signature dishes are Seafood Bounty a huge platter of fresh blue swimmer crab, scampi, oysters, king prawns, Balmain bugs, smoked salmon, fish, calamari, beer battered fries and seasonal fruit. Seafood Platter for Two which is a three-tiered selection of market fresh seafood including blue swimmer crab, fresh king prawns, Balmain bugs, WA scampi, natural oysters, Tasmanian smoked salmon,fresh water yabbies & either deep fried or char-grilled fish & tiger prawns.
There are smaller seafood platters also available.
The price guide I've given is for three courses.
Sapa Modern Vietnamese: Vietnamese in Terrigal
A slightly different choice with some of the dishes from the standard Asian fare...Asian food isn't all that different from country to country, with the possible exception of Thai.
Sapa has meat and seafood with somewhat unusual flavours such as tamarind and tumeric, they have sugar cane prawns, and a sauce called Me-Kong, which we haven't tried so don't know exactly what it is.
The owners are Vietnamese so it's authentic, although naturally adapted somewhat to western tastes.
It's a large restaurant for the area, no outside dining, service is quick and good. BYO corkage is only $2.50pp.
Favorite Dish: With Asian food we always have a selection of dishes which we share. At Sapa we like the tamarind chicken, beef with chilli & lemongrass and vegetable fried rice.
Rajdhani: Authentic Indian cuisine
A small restaurant with two rooms between Terrigal & Wamberal. Indian owned and staff, and the food is genuine. Very popular and in busy holiday periods and weekends it's adviseable to book well in advance.
Excellent service from the knowlegeable waiters.
BYO and non-smoking.
Favorite Dish: One of my favourite Indian dishes is rogan josh and it's excellent at Rajdhani, as is Geina's favourite chicken biriani
Aromas: Seafront cafe
On the open air section of Crowne Plaza hotel across the road from the beach, a stunning location. They sell Lavazza coffee, my favourite, have an excellent breakfast and lunch menu and are open for dinner on Friday & Saturday evenings.
Favorite Dish: I go for the coffee in the morning and sometimes have thick toast with it.
Woy Woy Fishermans Co-Op: Dining At The Fishermans Co-Op
The fishermans co-op operates a nice restaurant on the Woy Woy waterfront and also has a Take Away Fish & Chip shop on the streetfront. We were taken to the restaurant by friends who live in the district and dine here regularly, our table was on the deck overlooking the waterway enabling us to view the activity on the water, including a large number of Pelicans.
We had a pleasant Saturday afternoon, the various seafood meals were superb with large servings of fish complimented with chips and local salad.
The restaurant is a 15 to 20 minute drive from Terrigal, and for those people in Gosford it is only a 10 minute drive south in the direction of Sydney. The Woy Woy Hotel is directly opposite.
For those wishing a less expensive meal use the take away shop, the fish and chips will be good quality and there are plenty of grassy sports along the waterfront.
Favorite Dish: All the fish meals were top class, just follow the Chefs recommendations and order locally caught fish.
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The Break Italia Restaurant: Good Italian Restaurant
We chose this restaurant because it was close to our apartment, had an Italian theme and the interior looked nice. It was a great choice, we were seated in the enclosed verandah section which was very comfortable and immediately given the menu and water.
The menu was extensive and included the normal pasta, pizza, fish and meat dishes all at reasonable prices.
To commence we chose a pizza to share, then followed with our main course. The pizza was large, with plenty of fresh (not tinned) toppings and was really enough for the 2 of us. The main course followed and again large serves of quality food. I have no hesitation in recommending this restaurant.
At the rear of the restaurant is a very nice alfresco area for those who prefer dining outdoors.
Favorite Dish: The Pizza was delicious as were the main meals.
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