The beach club culture and coastal dining in the Bay of Naples has influenced this season’s summer menu at Sydney’s Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel’s cuisine has always enjoyed an Italian influence and this summer’s menu was drawn from the culinary adventures of executive chef Dave Clarke in southern Italy. Dave said: “I spent time in Capri, Positano and the Amalfi Coast and saw how the Italian ‘beach clubs’ are real eateries on the water – seafood dominates the menus, produce is simple and locally grown and the meals have bold flavours but no fuss. Our new menu follows this mantra, taking each dish back to basics but as good as it can taste.”

Playing on the Beach Club’s popularity with tables of friends, the new menu leads with sharing dishes so groups can try a little of everything. Antipasti sharers include calamari and zucchini fritti, prosciutto and refreshing melon and yellow fin tuna crostini served on sourdough.

Secondi dishes such as king fish and whole barramundi can also be shared amongst friends, and one of Dave’s favourite additions to the main courses is a roasted half chicken with Tuscan rub – inspired by a meal he enjoyed near Capri where chicken was cooked in an outdoor oven with hay to infuse a unique flavour.

The summer menu is a flavour-filled journey through Italy starting in Tuscany with hand-sourced steak and tender meats, the Amalfi coast with its love for citrus and olive oils, down to Calabria and Sicily and their rustic tomato-based dishes – the spaghetti marinara a particular highlight of this region. Dave has complemented his Italian fare with popular Watsons Bay classics including beer battered fish and chips, sushi and sashimi plates and the Wagyu burger in a menu to please all palates and appetites.

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is as passionate about local produce as the Italians are, choosing sustainable options such as Tasmanian and New Zealand salmon in its poke bowls, Crystal Bay prawns, beef sourced from NSW farmers and sustainably fished Barramundi from Cone Bay. In a bid to use Australian produce wherever possible Dave Clarke has even tracked down authentic Italian cheese makers from La Stella in Auburn for the menu’s mozzarella, ricotta and burrata.

The Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel Beach Club menu is served from 11:00am till late, seven days a week. The menu will be refreshed mid-summer with a range of coastal specials championing seasonal fruits and vegetables.

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Georgia Dawes

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