Nestled in the shade of the Central Coast’s distinctive Norfolk pines, Pearls on the beach offers chic seaside dining on the secluded golden shores of Pearl Beach.
Found among streets named after precious jewels, Pearl Beach is a place where Sydneysiders come to get away from the chaos of the city.
With its luxury multi-million dollar beachfront properties, views across the bay to Box and Barrenjoey headlands, tranquil bush surroundings and restaurants like Pearls, it’s easy to see the allure of this coastal hamlet.
Situated in a light-filled beachhouse, the restaurant’s laidback charm and simple elegance is just the start of why we love it.
The food is creative and utterly delicious, and the concept of sharing small plates with a plethora of brilliant flavour combinations makes a meal at Pearls much more than a special occasion, it’s a culinary extravaganza.
We’re saving ourselves some anguish by opting for the share plates (there’s no way we could only choose one entrée and one main from this exciting menu), and with a glass of chilled Croser, we settle in for the feast.
The mushroom pate is accompanied by a simple, fresh parsley salad and truffle grilled ciabatta; and the plump scallops, with a zing of lemon curd and a dash of pesto and almonds, are divine.
A chicken and pistachio terrine comes with apricot and caper puree on crispy pistachio biscotti.
And lamb ribs look festive with a smattering of greens and pomegranate seeds.
It all goes down well with a glass of perfectly chilled Frogmore Creek Riesling, which also pairs nicely with the zingy cuttlefish and grapefruit salad.
In between courses, we peer through the pines to the water where locals walk their dogs and fishermen patrol the beach.
The sun is setting, colouring the sky a pink-orange hue and turning the surf-streaked sand into a shimmery pearl.
By the end of the night, we understand why owners Scott and Melissa Fox have had such great success with Pearls.
It’s not only the food that comes together seamlessly, the restaurant has a stellar wine list (which has, unsurprisingly, received the odd accolade); smiling, knowledgable and efficient staff; and an elegant simplicity that lets the million-dollar view speak for itself.
For all these reasons and more, Pearls has once again received a “hat” in this year’s Good Food Guide.
When we finally tear ourselves away from dessert – a vanilla bean ice-cream and Frangelico affogato, and a vanilla cheesecake with peach trimmings – we realise Pearls is abuzz, despite its isolated locale.
Probably because we’re not the only ones who think Pearls is the definition of coastal chic.
Coastal Chic Tip: Keep an eye on the website for mid-week and seasonal deals like two courses and a glass of wine for $45pp for lunch or dinner on Thursday and Friday