Fancy a bowl of seafood linguine before rolling a few balls on the greens? No, this is not a fever dream. The South Coogee Bowling Club has just reopened with a leafy new restaurant for spring.
Bistro on the Greens is exactly that, a fresh new take for the beachside bowls club, and they’re going hard on the crowd-pleasing Italian favourites. It has that spacious and sun-drenched feel you want for summer sessions, with tropical wallpaper, draping vines and hanging wicker lampshades.
South Coogee joins a growing list of bowling clubs-come-trendy eateries that are transforming the humble bowlo from oldies hangout spot/rowdy office Christmas party venue to somewhere you’d go for a date or family dinner. First it was Bondi Bowls with its craft beer and local produce-driven menu, then the Greens in North Sydney started putting on yoga classes every Monday – now it’s South Coogee’s turn to get a hipster revival. If that means more places where you can Instagram yourself eating an antipasto board with banana leaf print wallpaper as the backdrop, we’re all for it.
Filomena and Gary Di Paola have headed to the waterline from Bankstown’s La Piazza to create a menu that’s full of homestyle Italian staples – think wood-fired pizzas that go from essential (Margherita) to fusion (peri-peri chicken with feta and roasted capsicum) to contentious (ham and pineapple, sorry not sorry). They’ve also got classic comfort carbs like tortellini boscaiola, arancini and chilli mussels. For those feeling nostalgic, there’s old-school staples from burgers and bangers to chicken parmis – it’s still a club, after all.
Suddenly a Sunday session at the local bowlo has ramped things up a notch. Order a prosciutto, artichoke, rocket, tomato and mushrooms pizza with not one but three cheeses (bocconcini, ricotta and mozzarella) and round it off with a slice of house-made tiramisu or a cannoli before rolling yourself over to the greens for a very, very gentle game of lawn bowls. We are so ready for summer.
Bistro on the Greens opens for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday and dinner only on Mondays, Henning Ave and Moverly Road, South Coogee 2034.
Got a spare afternoon in Coogee? Explore our Coogee area guide for the suburb’s best restaurants, bars, shops and events.