First look: Dulcie's Cottage, Merimbula

"Shady Pines goes to the beach" - even if the elevator pitch isn't exactly accurate, the opening of Dulcie's in Merimbula today is going to cause a splash.

Okay, so it's not precisely on the beach, but set, rather, in a 1925 weatherboard cottage on Merimbula Main Street. And the Shady Pines connection is also slightly tangential. Dulcie's are Merimbula-born Kirsty Pongratz and her business partner Mitchell Nadin; Pongratz's husband, Jason Scott, is a co-founder of the Swillhouse Group, which operates such Sydney landmarks of conviviality as Shady Pines, Frankie's and The Baxter Inn, and soon Hubert, their new CBD restaurant. Pongratz and Nadin stumbled across the site after a high school reunion and thought it too good an opportunity to miss.

"We saw it and just thought, we can't let anyone knock this down," she says. "Merimbula is such an amazing town, so we want to make it more of a destination."

Scott is helping out in an unofficial capacity, and has brought on Daniel Pepperell, the former 10 William St talent who will also head the kitchen at Hubert, to advise on the menu. Working with chef Zac Hidding, Pepperell has come up with a short, sharp menu of local oysters and American-style burgers, all cooked in a restored 1950s caravan at the front of the property. There's a classic cheeseburger with smoked speck, and a buttermilk fried-chicken burger with Asian slaw, as well as a roll stuffed with prawns.

"What's nice is that the Merimbula community has contributed to making this happen," says Pepperell. "From the beautiful burger buns made by the bakery to the local Milton grass-fed beef ground by the butcher, everything's been made with love."

"And let's not forget rock oysters from world-class Merimbula Lake only 100 metres away, and Broadwater," says Scott. "Doesn't get more local than that."

On the drinks front, Dulcie's offers a list of five or six cocktail classics, including a Margarita, a Negroni, an Old Fashioned, and a wild card, a Clover Club made with house-made raspberry coulis.

The cottage's walls are hung with op-shop paintings, tapestries and family photographs of Arthur and Dulcie Goodsell, the couple who built the house. A deck has been added to one side of the house overlooking the lake, and there's plenty of space for beers and buns under the jacaranda at the front.

"One of the problems that we face in Merimbula is that the opening hours are really inconsistent," Pongratz says. "If you want a drink at four o'clock in the afternoon, any day of the week, we'll be here, and you'll be able to get something to eat, too."

Dulcie's Cottage, Mon-Sat noon-midnight, Sundays noon-10pm, 60 Main St, Merimbula, NSW



Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Catch Borago chef Rodolfo Guzman in Australia next month
19.10.2017
Firedoor launches Sunday brunch series
18.10.2017
Donovan Cooke opens new restaurant Ryne in Melbourne
10.10.2017
KingFish opens, sampling poke, hip-hop and matcha treats
07.09.2017
Bridge Bon Appetit, the latest addition to Hubert, opens tonight
06.09.2017
Get to know Orana, Australia's Restaurant of the Year 2018
25.08.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Dear Sainte Eloise to open in Potts Point

Sydney’s new wine bar is going back to basics.

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...