35 South Steyne
In a contemporary designer industrial space across the road from Manly Beach, Whitewater's colour scheme reflects its name. The white ceiling, white floor, white leather chairs and white bar stools prepare you for large white plates on crisp white table cloths. Waiters in jeans and white shirts serve contemporary Australian dishes from Luke Cesare's menu. The roast duck with pancakes, cucumber, spring onions and hoi sin sauce - at A$18 (HK$107) for a small dish and A$32 for a large - would give any top Chinese restaurant a run for its money. Try the Kurobota pork three ways: belly braised in its own juices, slow roast loin and boudin noir served with potato, apple and balsamic vinegar (A$32).
1 Marine Parade, Shelly Beach
With views across the inlet towards Manly Beach, Le Kiosk is the kind of restaurant you choose for a special occasion. The experience begins with a short, picturesque walk from Manly along a promenade that hugs the coastline. After you've worked up an appetite, watch surfers while enjoying a cocktail and Le Kiosk Oyster Shooters (A$3.80 each) on the terrace under the shade of a giant Moreton Bay fig tree. Head chef Corey Costelloe specialises in modern Australian seafood with a multicultural twist. Try the blue-eye trevally, yoghurt and spinach curry served with roti bread (A$35) or the grilled swordfish with capponatta and salsa verde (A$34). The building - which was erected in 1923 and housed a tea room for many years - retains the appeal of its era, with sandstone walls, a stone fireplace, timber floors and wooden shutters.
Will and Toby's
8 South Steyne
In May, popular restaurateurs Will and Toby Osmond packed up their Darlinghurst bistro and migrated across Sydney Harbour to the Sebel Hotel at the south end of Manly Beach. The new location offers ocean views from every seat in the house (right). Chef Greg Haynes serves modern Italian cuisine - everything from breakfast for beach-goers to antipasto platters for cocktail-sipping yuppies - in a hip atmosphere. Chase a pot of mussels cooked with tomato chilli and garlic (A$18) with a lychee and ginger martini, or tuck into a 220g beef fillet with roasted beetroot and bone marrow butter (A$29).
7 Marine Parade
One of the reasons this restaurant is so popular is its location: on the ground floor of a shabby-chic 1940s block of flats, halfway between Manly and Shelly beaches, with only a walkway and a row of tables between diners and the deep blue sea. White walls, white furniture and white-uniformed waiters framed against the blue of the sea and sky create a Mediterranean atmosphere. Tunisian-born owner and head chef Jamil Ben Hassine has created a contemporary Australian menu with a Tunisian twist. Dishes include garfish wrapped in Tunisian brika pastry tomato carpaccio (A$19) and Tunisian fish-ball salad (A$19). And although not Tunisian, the crispy pork belly and seared scallops with lime and coriander dressing (A$21) is particularly delicious.
Bavarian Bier Cafe
2 Manly Wharf
Sip on Bavarian beer and dine in a cheerful atmosphere at Manly Wharf's Bavarian Bier Cafe. You'll find genuine Bavarian brews such as Lowenbrau, Spaten Munchen (the first keg tapped at each Oktoberfest in Munich) and Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Hell (a wheat beer created by Bavarian monks in 1363). The menu features traditional Bavarian schnitzels and sausages, light seafood dishes and salads, with mains costing from A$23.