A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at www.creativejuicy.com
Published May 22nd 2011
Their motto is "Always open, always good news". That's the popular City Extra restaurant at Circular Quay. Perfectly located opposite the Manly Ferry Terminal, with up-close views of the harbour Bridge and Opera House, City Extra is a cosy affordable nosh-place that's open 24 hours a day seven days a week.
It has a Sydney-meets-downtown-Manhattan kind of ambience, with comfy booth seating and a mezzanine level on the inside, and a sidewalk chic atmosphere outside. It's a great place to watch the ever hustling, bustling throngs of people boarding and alighting the ferries. You can eat breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner any time of day while you listen to the haunting thrum of indigenous entertainers in full costume playing the didgeridoo.
And the food isn't bad either. The quirky menus have been clerverly designed to look like a newspaper, in keeping with the "journo's dive" type of atmosphere. The breakfast menu promises "this is the best you're going to feel all day."
If you want to eat out at night, or fancy a hearty lunch, I would highly recommend the Baked Lamb Shanks, slowly roasted in tomato and mint sauce, served on creamy mashed potatoes. Prices are quite reasonable, with $35 being the most expensive thing I could find on the menu. They do serve a $20 lunch and dinner special Monday to Friday, with the choice of a gourmet burger, spinach & ricotta ravioli, or a calamari basket with your choice of a glass of wine, beer or soft drink.
City Extra has been open since 1987 and according to the tally so far, they've served almost 7 million cups of coffee, baked nearly 4 million giant bread rolls right there on the premises, served 400,000 bowls of their famous home made pumpkin soup - and over a million pancakes. Not bad, however it certainly does have a lot to do with the premium location and the wonderful aromas wafting out as you get off the Manly Ferry. You simply cannot walk past.
So next time you plan to catch the Ferry at Circular Quay, or arrive there with a little time to kill, drop in to City Extra and have a relaxing meal or even a cup of coffee. You won't be disappointed.