While the light, airy, glass-fronted architectural bones remain the same, the outdoor furniture has had a spruce up since my last visit to The Nuns’ Pool.
Square ottomans have given way to white wire chairs that suit the indoor-outdoor vibe of the popular terrace.
With the sun beating down and blue skies for days, we kick off with craft brews plucked from the local area. Sunday Road Brewing’s Enigma Ale ($10) is a pale ale brewing using Tasmanian hops less than ten clicks up the road in Kirrawee. I find it light, crisp and refreshing.
By comparison, Hairy Man Brewery’s Lawsons Legend Pale Ale ($10) from Caringbah (just five kilometres away) has more malt and bitterness, making it a less attractive proposition on a hot day. The strong locavore game here allows us to complete all our drinking without leaving the state by moving onto an enjoyable Southern Highlands 2017 Dawning Day Chardonnay ($12/glass) with grapefruit and vanilla notes from the wine list, and an eye-catching Ink Gin ($12) from the short cocktail selection. The latter is based upon a Northern Rivers gin by the same name, which it earns through a clever colour-change from blue to dusky mauve that occurs when it’s combined with tonic (or any drink with a low pH).
Two little bowls of beetroot and feta, and avocado and dukkah, are positioned at either end of three pita pockets on the Hummus Plate ($12). Having spent the morning swimming at the nearby Oak Park rock pool, we arrive hungry, so find the dish tasty but a bit on the stingy side for sharing.
After specifying clearly that I wanted my Swordfish ($30) to arrive rare in the centre, I was disappointed to receive a small, thin and overcooked piece of game fish.
Perched on an under-seasoned blend of charred corn, black beans and red rice, it's crowned with a mango salsa topper that isn’t quite moist enough to save the stringy, dry fish.
The Nuns’ Reuben ($15) fares better with pastrami, gruyere, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing cushioned between slices of rye bread, with a fan of house-made cucumber pickles. While it wins on flavour, this American-inspired sandwich is a fair bit smaller than similarly priced city cousins I’ve eaten.
Not willing to outlay any more cash, we head over the road to enjoy the real advantage of this venue: the Shelly Beach ocean pool. It’s located in the spot where the Sisters of Mercy nuns used to bathe, which provided this restaurant with its name.
NOTE: You can see a previous review for this venue back HERE.
The Nuns' Pool
103 Ewos Parade, Cronulla
Ph: (02) 9523 3395