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Published September 26th 2018
Start your day with a colourful breakfast
Mermaids Cafe is a fresh and vibrant cafe on the lower level of the newly renovated Shoal Bay Country Club in Port Stephens. The whole building recently had a $6 million dollar makeover and re-opened its doors in February 2018, much to the delight of locals and tourists alike. The decor is inviting with indoor palms, large outdoor umbrellas, retro features and vibrant colour punctuating each and every wall. If you look closer at the photos on the walls, they also pay homage to the deep sea fishing history of the region, with black and white photos from years gone by. The result is a relaxing tropical paradise which draws you to its doors and makes you slow down and feel like you're on holiday - all year around.
Look for Mermaids Cafe, at the Shoal Bay Country Club...
When you walk into the café, it is more spacious than how it appears from the outside, with plenty of tables to choose from and different areas to sit. Each table has a menu, so you just take a seat and peruse the variety of fresh and appetising options. Our family visited Mermaids Café for breakfast whilst on a trip to the area, staying at Mantra Aqua in Nelson Bay a short distance away. Although we were impressed with the range of flavours, we decided on the old favourites - Smashed Avocado and a Bacon and Egg Brekkie Roll - whilst our young daughter chose a raspberry and coconut muffin from the front counter. We also ordered coffees and a Triple Berry Smoothie, for a fruit hit to start the day. See here for the full menu.
To order, you take note of your table number and walk up to the counter to place your order. On our visit, we got there early, so we ordered at the barista counter at the front of the café - however by the time we left, all orders were taken at the bar at the back of the café.
Order your meal at the front of the café (top photo), or at the back bar (lower right)
Although we had a timing issue with our meals (the coffees and muffin came out after we had finished our meals), the meals were particularly more-ish. The Bacon and Egg Brekkie Roll had two runny eggs inside which hit the spot and the Smashed Avocado was a tasty combination of flavours - particularly the red beet lebneh which I had never tried before. The mixture of the lebneh and egg yolk on the plate was delicious and runny, which contrast to the crunch of the pepitas and seed toast. The meal was over too soon!
Smashed Avocado - Poached eggs, avocado, roasted tomato, goats cheese, red beet lebneh, pepitas, roasted soy and linseed ($20)
Breakfast at Mermaids Cafe is just one part of this modern venue, with an extensive lunch and dinner menu, cocktails, views from the top level and musicians playing live on stage. At the time of writing, the line-up for the next few months includes Dragon, Shannon Noll, The Animals, The Angels and The Screaming Jets. The venue doesn't stop - it opens each day with breakfast at Mermaids at 7am and then closes at 2am, 7 days a week. See the Shoal Bay Country Club events page here.
Relax in various sections around the Club - have cocktails by the palms, pizza by the stage, or enjoy a hot coffee by the fire in the cooler months
Breakfast at Mermaids Cafe is an enjoyable way to start the day, in the stunningly beautiful Shoal Bay. After your visit, why not walk across the road and fish from the jetty, snorkel in the clear waters or go for a walk and dip your toes into the aqua-marine hues along the shoreline.
It is a memory of your holiday that will be treasured for many years to come.