Top spots at the Bay and beyond

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JJ’s fresh-peeled prawns, creamy avocado and bright green wakame salad. Photo: Wendy Johnson

HEADING to the south coast for Easter? If you’re wandering through the Batemans Bay area and slightly beyond to Mosquito Bay, there are two spots on the water worth a visit.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

JJ’s, at The Marina, Beach Road, is a spacious café and bar with pretty specky views of boats moored and crystal-blue waters. You can even stroll alongside the Marina up to the new sculpture called “Pelicant” by Eden artist Jesse Graham.

JJ’s focuses on seafood. A fave dish is the fresh-peeled prawns, creamy avocado and bright green wakame salad ($25.50). It’s great as a main or for sharing. The plating has varied on this dish (we’ve indulged more than once). It’s sometimes a feast for the eyes and sometimes not.

We gave a big thumbs up to a special celebrating local, fresh figs served in a quinoa salad with haloumi and a yum honey mustard dressing ($19).

Fresh figs served in a quinoa salad with haloumi and a honey mustard dressing at JJ’s at the Bay. Photo: Wendy Johnson

Steamed local mussels are menu regulars ($21 to $25) as is white bait coated in Szechuan seasoning and deep fried. Have fun dipping them into fresh lime aioli ($16.50). If you’re a tactile eater, order a big bowl of prawns and peel your own ($27). You can’t go wrong with the good old fish ‘n’ chips, either ($28).

JJ’s also has live music Fridays and Sundays. It hosts happy hour Tuesday to Friday, 3.30pm-5.30pm. The service is friendly but could be more efficient and attentive at times (like the day our entrees were served well before our wine).

BEYOND the Bay, at quaint Mosquito Bay, is Three66 Espresso Bar. It serves great coffee and food and is more on trend with the previous places positioned on this precious spot were. They never seemed to get it quite right. This time we were off for brekky, ordering at the counter and lucky to get a seat in the sun overlooking the water.

Dishes are beautifully plated and the flavours fantastic. The sweetcorn fritter stack ($19.50) was one of the best we’ve had. It arrived with bacon, wild roquette, poached egg, aioli and a chimichurri tomato salsa. The fritters were crunchy on the outside and packed with goodness.

Three66 Espresso Bar’s salmon bruschetta… radish and pickled red cabbage, caper berries, poached eggs, smashed avo and fresh lemon. Photo: Wendy Johnson

The salmon bruschetta ($19.50) also hit the mark. We loved the radish and pickled red cabbage, caper berries, the poached eggs cooked “just so”, the smashed avo and fresh lemon.

Service was painfully slow and we were taken aback by how long it took staff to tidy up a very messy outdoor area – there were dirty dishes everywhere.

JJ’s is open seven days, breakfast through to dinner (hours vary) and Three66 Espresso Bar serves breakfast 8.30am-noon.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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