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Published December 13th 2018
Be surprised by the size of this large, bustling bistro
Bay Brasserie is located upstairs at Wests Nelson Bay Club, in the popular Port Stephens region. It is one of the biggest clubs in Nelson Bay with an impressive, modern foyer and touring shows held throughout the year. The club also has a variety of different areas to dine - with the main Bay Brasserie upstairs alongside the Gelato Bar, as well as the Bay Café and Bay Diner downstairs. Due to its location a short distance from Shoal Bay, Little Beach and Nelson Bay, it is popular with visitors and locals all year around.
Our family visited the Bay Brasserie on a Friday evening for the first time and we were surprised by the sheer size of the large bistro, as well as its light and modern decor. On our arrival, we grabbed a couple of menus and found a table to pour through the options - however we soon noticed that almost everyone on the surrounding tables were heartily tucking into the current bistro special. It was the perfect choice for this seafood-loving region!
The Bay Brasserie Special on our visit - Half Lobster Mornay with a glass of wine or soft drink for $20 members and $29 guests
As shown above, a popular feature of this bistro is their lunch and dinner specials throughout the year, so check their website for all the promotions on the date of your visit.
As two people who love seafood but rarely have lobster, we couldn't go past the Half Lobster Mornay offer, especially when we saw so many locals walking back to their tables with multiple plates for the entire table! Our daughter, who sadly hates seafood, was happy to order a chicken nugget meal off the Kids Menu at a cost of $9.90 with a side of garlic bread. Despite waiting for a long time to place the order and the bistro being full of holiday-makers and locals, it didn't take long before our buzzer sounded and we went up to pick up our meals.
Believe me, the smell alone had our mouths watering...
Half Lobster Mornay with chips, salad and glass of sauvignon blanc
Although there wasn't a huge amount of meat in the lobster, the meat was perfectly cooked, the flavour was more-ish and the mornay sauce was a delicious blend of flavours. The house wine sauvignon blanc was also beautifully cold on a hot night, creating an impressive first meal at Wests Nelson Bay. My husband, however, who generally eats larger serves, left a little hungry but was also impressed with the flavour.
Although we didn't linger over dessert on this occasion, there is a gelato bar at the end of the roast area of the bistro, if the kids (or yourself!) want to cap the meal off with a sweet ending. From looking around at the empty cups and colourful mouths of the children around the dining area, it was clear that the gelato bar was a highlight for many kids in the bistro. Most children left with an artistic range of red tomato sauce and brightly-coloured gelato drips down the front of their tops - which is always a sign of a meal enjoyed!
Finish your meal with a colourful gelato. Image: Wests Facebook
Our family had an enjoyable first visit to Wests Nelson Bay, however we were little surprised that there wasn't anything for the kids to do, such as a play area or activity book (like at Soldiers Point Bowling Club or Nelson Bay Golf Club nearby). Despite this, all the families that we saw there were happy and enjoying themselves at this large, friendly venue. The bubbly, noisy atmosphere makes you feel like you're on holidays - even if you aren't!
On our next visit, we will check out the food options downstairs, with the pizza looking particularly delicious from the Bay Diner, with stringy cheese and topped with tasty, tangy goodness. Why don't you give it a try for yourself this weekend? We may see you there...