Coogee Pavilion, Merivale’s stunning new beachside venue, will open the doors to its beautifully refurbished ground floor this Thursday 24 July. Offering a variety of casual dining experiences in a fun, beachside setting, the ground floor kitchen will be led by a team of dynamic Merivale chefs including Jordan Toft, Zac Sykes, Vincenzo Biondini and Danielle Alvarez.


Catering to a broad range of tastes and budgets, the ground floor will offer a produce-driven seasonal menu, designed with a coastal sensibility. Spearheaded by the talented culinary duo, Jordan Toft (Executive Chef) and Zac Sykes (Head Chef), it will showcase Australia’s bountiful and diverse produce and befit the quintessential Sydney setting.


Local seafood will be aplenty with dishes such as ocean jacket baked in a bag with rustic romesco, lemon and thyme; pippies with bacon, peas, risoni and chilli; and pot roasted mud crab with caramelised garlic and black pepper drawn butter. There will be a dedicated raw bar and oyster counter with a menu that will change daily based on the best catch of the day – think raw tuna with ponzu, salted cucumber and crisp seaweed; raw scampi with lemon oil and chives; and black kingfish poke, chilli radish, winter purslane, avocado and lime. Succulent grilled meats such as crisp golden chicken, Rangers Valley wagyu rump cap and dry aged rib eye will be served alongside fresh and vibrant salads and sides. There will be a range of small dishes and snacks on offer including mini lobster rolls, picked crab with lemon mayo and the Coogee diner burger. The end result is a diverse beachside menu, ideal for sharing and suited to any occasion. A dedicated kids menu will also be available.


Toft and Sykes are a formidable pair who bring with them extensive experience in leading Merivale kitchens. Toft worked closely alongside the revered Peter Doyle for six years, both at Doyle’s own restaurant, Celsius, and as sous chef at Merivale’s renowned est. After spending four years cooking around Europe, he moved to Los Angeles in 2010 where he held the position as Executive Chef of Eveleigh, located in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Brisbane-born seafood specialist, Sykes, has displayed his skills in several Merivale kitchens including Felix and Bistrode CBD. Earning his stripes at Neil Perry’s Bistro Mars and Berardo’s in Noosa, Zac spent nearly three years working under the esteemed guidance of Greg Doyle at Pier. In 2005, Zac made his mark at Fishface, where he fine-tuned his seafood prowess with the dynamic Stephan Hodges.


The Coogee Pavilion breakfast menu has been designed by the hotly tipped Danielle Alvarez who recently joined Merivale after four years in San Francisco’s lauded Chez Panisse. An alum of Napa Valley’s most renowned food destination, The French Laundry, Alvarez has created a range of tasty breakfast dishes including quinoa and coconut bircher with co-yo, bananas and sweetened almond milk; the smoked Ocean Trout board with rye bread and herbed willowbrae goats curd; and blueberry pancakes with warm maple syrup, whipped mascarpone and bacon. The breakfast menu is available from 2 August, SaturdaySunday from 7am.


The ground floor also includes ‘Vinnie’s Pizzeria’, serving wood-fired creations by Merivale’s own pizza maestro, Vincenzo Biondini. With a focus on using only the freshest produce, skilfully hand-kneaded dough and lovingly prepared ingredients, Vincenzo’s pizzas burst with authentic Italian flavour. Vincenzo describes his pizza-making process as a ‘three-day’ love affair – the dough is prepared three days before the pizzas are made to give the yeast time to grow, creating a light and tasty pizza base.


Coogee Pavilion will feature ‘Love Juice’, a fresh fruit juice stand serving coconut water smoothies, cold pressed juice and raw organic chocolates. Sydney coffee roasters, Will & Co, have a cart, offering their locally brewed blend in signature porcelain cups. A flower stall and cocktail bar will also call the ground floor home, alongside a trio of refurbished 1950s ping-pong tables, a library filled with vintage books and nostalgic childhood games and a theatrette. Coogee Pavilion’s in-venue barber will be on hand to trim tresses at ‘Rudy’s Barbershop’.


Overlooking one of Australia’s most iconic beaches, Coogee Pavilion will be a vibrant lifestyle destination in the heart of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. The remaining levels will undergo extensive renovation and re-open in stages over the coming months. During this time, the first floor will be offered as a community space that can be used by locals for meetings, performances and exhibitions. Further details will be announced shortly.


Coogee Pavilion – Ground Floor

Opens Thursday 24 July

MondayFriday: 11am til late

SaturdaySunday: 7am til late

For further information and enquiries, please visit

Instagram: @coogeepavilion #coogeepavilion

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