Dunes By Dish

Jackie McMillan
19th Sep 2023

With the weather busting straight through early spring and directly into mid-summer, Dunes by Dish was the place to be last weekend. The long, white and plainly furnished dining room gives off a cafeteria vibe bar for the magnificent view. Sitting on the level above the surf club, it has a commanding view of Soldiers Beach: a long golden sweep of sand bookended by jutting rock platforms. Being so early in the season, the centrally-placed lifeguard tower was unmanned, but the clean straight sets provided those willing to brave 19 degree water with a gentle welcome to the swimming season.

With three restaurant/function centres in their Central Coast collection, The Dish Group know how to trot out an accessible, please-all menu. This one relied too heavily on fried food for my liking, with salt and pepper prawns ($19) arriving over-cooked and hard to enjoy against muted chilli aioli. From the specials board, the lobster spring rolls ($22) weren’t bad, with actual pieces of fleshy crustacean tucked inside. 

Pork tacos ($25/3) were large and presented nicely on a rack, with their—also fried—pork pieces freshened up with pineapple, pickled jalapeños and red cabbage ’slaw spiked with mild chilli mayonnaise. Buried under ciabatta, the tuna tartare ($22)—also plucked from the specials board—did escape the deep fryer but lacked seasoning and allowed the raw tuna to be dominated by too much wakame tangled through it. Adding to the breezy space’s cafeteria vibe, you order and pay at the counter before staff deliver your meal. Drinks, like a 4 Pines Pacific Ale ($9) are ordered separately at the bar—but hey, how about that view...