Mention the name Clancy's Fish Café and the first thing you think of probably isn't going to be breakfast. It's more likely to be something to do with fish, which is entirely reasonable.
However since moving to its new home overlooking the water at City Beach, Clancy's Fish Café opens daily for breakfast, at the early bird time of 7am, and with those spectacular uninterrupted views, it is easy to see why.
The view from the balcony is nothing but sand and surf
Continuing its no-bookings policy, you have to just show up and hope for the best, but considering its size, you're pretty safe in assuming you will get a seat. The café has an outdoor area, with colourful metal chairs and cute flowerpots that overlook a shaded playground, as well as roofed open-area verandah with non-stop views to Madagascar.
The outdoor area overlooks the play area and beach
Full of quirky decorations and endless greenery, Clancy's does a roaring trade with walkers, swimmers and anyone else with a love for the beach. Sandy feet are welcome, as are dogs.
Kids have access to the playground and are taken care off with a small kids menu: egg and soldiers ($7), ham and cheese toastie ($8) and pancakes ($9), although they may not appreciate the fact that the only bread available is multi-grain. It's worth remembering that the kids menu is not written on the main menu, but on the chalkboard behind the main serving area.
The rest of the menu is varied and there are some pretty interesting options alongside your standard big breakfast ($21), buttermilk pancakes ($16) and eggs on toast ($11). Actually, everything else on the menu is rather unusual and delicious sounding:
Grilled Spanish chorizo, baked herb polenta, spinach, poached egg, spicy creamed corn, fig vincotto sounds spicy and filling at $17.50.
Sticky shredded pork shank, warmed tortilla, sliced stone fruit, semidried grape tomato, roquette, lemon and crumbled fetta is wonderfully non-breakfasty at $17.50.
Smoked salmon with crispy fried wanton strips, shredded lettuce, dill and mango sour cream, grape tomato, cucumber and asparagus is the only seafood on the breakfast menu at $17.50.
I chose the potato, feta and zucchini frittata, with slow poached tomato and kalamata olives, asparagus and roquette ($17.50). Not noticing it said 'frittata' rather than 'fritter' I also ordered a side of scrambled egg, which wasn't entirely necessary in hindsight.
The serving sizes seem a bit variable and some dishes are better value than others. For example I ordered my daughter the full sized pancakes ($16) which was three pancakes, covered in a berry coulis and a small bowl of cream. The kids serve of pancakes – exactly the same type and size of pancake – is two for $9. That makes the kids pancakes at $4.50 each much better value than the adults at $5.30 each. Go figure.
It is a casual beach setting. Find yourself a table, take notice of the number and then head up to the counter to order and pay for your meal. Once ordered, the food comes out pretty quick. It is an interesting menu and, good tasty food. The view is pretty special though.