Beach restaurant

Henley Beach restaurant’s sunny new lease

Stacks of pancakes and breakfast classics meet boozy cocktails at Sunnyside, an intimate and casual new brunch in Henley Beach from the family behind Malobo, Seamore’s and Swedish Tarts.

Anyone who has tried to approach Henley Square on a sunny weekend recently knows how popular the center of the beach has become for every man, woman and their dog (literally).

People are drawn in the hundreds to the square for walking, brunch, caffeine and even yoga classes.

Part of ‘The Square”s modern popularity has been helped by the Vanzati family, who first introduced Swedish pies to Seaview Road in 2009.

They then launched the Malobo and Hermanos Cubanos sandwich shop in 2016, followed by the popular Seamore’s restaurant in December 2019.

Now chef Liam Vanzati, 24, and his older brother Mattis Vanzati have created a new brunch destination, Sunnyside, in a boutique beachfront house dating back to around 1900 that used to be the Little Shoo restaurant.

Sunnyside at Henley Beach. Photo: Ben Kelly.

Little Shoo closed last year and the property was sold in October.

The new owners approached the Malobo Group directly to rent the beachfront space.

“For my brother Liam, this is his first place as a chef-owner,” says Mattis.

“He is the one who expresses himself and takes the reins of a room.

“Liam is the executive chef for our entire group and currently runs seven different kitchens.

“He’s a very talented chef, and I think you’ll be hearing his name a lot on the food scene over the next few years.”

Open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except Tuesdays, Sunnyside offers an affordable and casual brunch experience with a few twists. There are stacks of pancakes, healthy bowls, breakfast platters and brunch cocktails.

Lunch options include burgers, fried spaghetti bolognese, pasta, fish tacos, and fish and chips.

There is also the classic steak frites: 250g steak with fries, Béarnaise sauce and sunny side up egg.

“You don’t mess with breakfast – you give people what they want, you make it really good and better than they could make themselves at home,” says Mattis.

“For us, it’s about getting the brunch basics right with quality ingredients and that’s supposed to be fun.”

There will be a rotation of local wines, while any of the juices on the menu can be made into a cocktail.

Groups can also opt for a bottomless mimosa package for $35 per person.

The layout has been designed to reflect the relaxed nature of the restaurant, with warm pastel shades of green and yellow and a mural by artist Ella Germein.

The previous owners brought in Georgie Shepherd Interior Design to create the Little Shoo fit-out in 2018, and the current location continues to inherit the characterful charm of the building.

“Georgie Shepherd has done a really fantastic job with this space,” says Mattis.

“We didn’t want to tear anything down, we just wanted to build on what already existed.

“It’s going to sound very familiar to people who’ve been here before, but we’ve made the space our own.

“The restaurant used to be a more upscale offering, but having run businesses here and knowing the area well, we felt doing something more casual was more appropriate and more us.”

Mattis says there are “big plans” for the future of the restaurant, including the evening business and the development of a reception hall.

The timing is right, given that the vibrancy of Henley Square will get another boost as it undergoes a $14.2 million transformation, which the city of Charles Sturt has planned to complete by the end of 2022.

“For now, Sunnyside is really going to take the itch out of people coming to the beach, walking or swimming, having brunch and coffee,” says Mattis.

“People know what they want, you just have to give it to them.”

Local news matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it, and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Donate today

Powered by
Press Patron