Located on Woolloomooloo’s historic Cowper Wharf, Manta is one of Sydney’s best waterside restaurants. Nab a table in the dining room proper with high ceilings, wooden floorboards and tables with starched white linen, or grab a spot outside for exceptional people watching and sweeping Sydney skyline views.
The menu is expansive, and covers not only seafood and steak but also features a good section of vegetarian and vegan dishes. But it’s the fresh seafood that you’re here for – from cured Spanish mackerel served with buttermilk dressing to tropical lobster slider with chipotle mayo.
The choice is mind-boggling, so the Manta Experience – a selection of the restaurant’s eight most popular dishes – is a great option. And at $98 per head, it’s also exceptional value.
Kick off the feast with a selection of oysters, before proceeding to seared scallops served with pickled beetroot and blue swimmer crab lasagne with Moreton Bay bug and crab bisque.
Crumbed King George whiting and lemony, garlicky prawns arrive next, with a heaped bowl of hand-cut truffle and parmesan chips. Yes, it’s a big feast you’re signing up for, so take your time because dessert (a poached quince pav) is next. Thankfully it’s supremely deliciously and light.
The menu is matched with excellent wines – an Eden Valley riesling here, a Geelong chardonnay there. But there’s a tome of drops from Australia and beyond in case you want to pick your own bottle.
Atmosphere: Fine-dining with a good dash of glamour
Best for: Special occasions and intimate dinners
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Standout dish: Crab lasagne
Open: Seven days for lunch and dinner
Address: 6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
Phone number: (02) 9332 3822