Australia NSW Oceania Restaurants Travel

Flanagans Dining Room, Thirroul Beach

A mere hour’s drive south of Sydney lies one of Australia’s best kept secret restaurants.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Flanagans Dining Room, Thirroul Beach

At Flanagans Dining Room, you can almost hear the waves lapping gently at Thirroul Beach.

Occupying a prime spot along the promenade, the venue is in harmony with its seaside surrounds. Inside, the white interior with soft blue accents, sails over the dining area and pendant lights adds a maritime feel reminiscent of an elegant beach house.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Intimate tables

An intimate section with cosy tables and chairs overlooking the sea is ideal for a romantic dinner, a first date or date night.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach

Flanagans derives its name from Flanagans Creek, a location where owners John and Clare Connolly operated Flanagans Fish Cafe on the main road in Thirroul back in 2006.

The focus at Flanagans is on freshly-caught local seafood and seasonal ingredients. The menu changes daily depending on the fish that was caught in the morning and seasonal availability. The wines are sourced from local wineries, with many produced directly on the south coast. Local beers and ciders also feature on the drinks list, such as Pigs Fly Pilsner and Pigs Fly Apple and Pear Cider from Bowral.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Table setting

Chef Arman Uz heads the kitchen. Born in Turkey, he moved to Australia and oversaw the kitchen at Kiama Cargo’s Wharf Restaurant before he was head chef at Efendy in Balmain in 2007, working with owner and executive chef, Somer Sivrioglu. At Flanagans, he has introduced contemporary Middle Eastern and Mediterranean touches to a menu that prides itself on locally sourced produce.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Taren Point Oysters

The oysters come from Taren Point, fresh and briny, served white balsamic and pink shallots.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Kingfish Sashimi

The Kingfish Sashimi with fennel, pizzo and blood orange segments bursts with flavour and freshness. The citrus adds a little zing to the palate. The fish was caught locally the day before and the herbs are grown in the chef’s garden. A light and delicate dish, this is one to savour and you’ll wish for it not to end. The sashimi pairs well with Crooked River Estate White, a blend of Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc Blend from Gerringong.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Squid with chorizo, chilli beans and ink

The squid with chorizo, chilli beans and ink is beautifully presented with alternating pieces of squid and chorizo. The squid is, light, tender and fresh while the hot chorizo imported from Spain adds a contrast in flavour. Unike locally made chorizo, this one is markedly different in flavour and texture, almost melting in the mouth and releasing a lingering taste packed with heat. This is a sensational dish, one that is paired with a pleasant drinking Cuttaway Hill Chardonnay from the Southern Highlands.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
John Dory, scallops, parsnip puree, carrot

John Dory fillets with perfectly cooked scallops are in harmony with the creamy parsnip puree and carrot, both in flavour and aesthetics,

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Soft chocolate with clotted cream, raspberries and finger lime

and the delectable soft chocolate with clotted cream, raspberries and finger lime puts a sweet and decadent finish to the meal. Matched with 2009 Crooked River Black Top Shiraz, this lighter style of Shiraz with its mild and fruity character is a little sweet on the palate and makes a good accompaniment to the chocolate dessert.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Pendant lights

Flanagans offers a well-priced 7 course degustation dinner for $69 pp or $109 pp with matched wines on Saturdays. The menu changes frequently depending on the availability of locally caught fish and produce in season. The dishes are beautifully presented and very course shows respect for the ingredients and flavour.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Outdoor seating

Flanagans also opens for breakfast on weekends and public holidays from 8am and offers a range of dishes such as Eggs Benedict on Turkish bread, pancake with fresh fig, mascarpone cream and maple syrup and ground lamb with Moroccan spices and baked eggs.

The lunch menu runs from Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm and includes spiced beef cheek with smoked eggplant puree and pickled cabbage, cubed octopus kokorech with oregano and chilli, and Imam Bayildi, made with eggplant, baby truss and goat’s feta.

Flanagans, Thirroul Beach
Flanagans, Thirroul Beach 

Whether you’re a Sydneysider, a south coast local, a passing visitor or a traveller from abroad, put Flanagans on your itinerary. The restaurant is within easy reach along a scenic drive and offers a dining experience you will long remember. It’s relatively unknown at the moment but it won’t remain a best kept secret for long.

Flanagans Dining Room
Thirroul Beach Promenade
The Esplanade Thirroul
Thirroul, NSW 2515

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.