CREST Café, Birubi Beach

fish and chips

The magical view of Birubi Beach makes CREST Café one of the best spots to have a modern interpretation of a perennial Australian favorite – fish and chips!

birubi beach

We had just walked over from the car park when the sound of breaking surf crashing over the beach lured us over. It was a beautiful morning and the rain that accompanied our dolphin watching expedition earlier in the morning had gone away and the sun was starting to shine.

crest cafe

CREST Birubi Beach is located just by the seaside and you can smell the wonderful surf as you walk into the modern café. I heard it has just recently been refurbished for several million dollars and it looks modern, minimalistic and clean.

Fat Yak Pale Ale

It’s a beautiful spot for lunch! I browsed the menu and instantly spotted what I wanted – fish and chips! This isn’t your dad’s fish and chips shop mind, they use Fat Yak beer batter from the artisan brewery in Matilda Bay to coat the fish and they also serve Fat Yak beer on tap!

Minimum Chips Golden Lager

There are two fine craft beers from Matilda Bay Brewing Company on tap – (Hand Cut) Minimum Chips Golden Lager (AUD 6) and Fat Yak Pale Ale (AUD 6). I thought the former was a hilarious name for a beer and would have been the logical choice for fish and chips beer batter coating. We ordered a pint of both to try out.

Fat Yak beer battered flathead, chips, dill aioli and salad (AUD 20)

fat yak beer flathead chips

This is the beautiful craft beer battered fish, which almost everyone ordered. The flathead is a very unusual fish with eyes on the top of its head (like a skate or stringray). CREST Birubi Beach does it beautifully – the fish was local and fresh with a nice coating of Fat Yak craft beer batter. It flaked off nicely and the chips were done to perfection, going very well with the dill aioli.

I found myself wanting more, even though the portions were rather generous. People kept stealing my chips and dill aioli dip too, which goes to show how good this dish is.

fat yak me

It went very well with the Fat Yak Pale Ale that I ordered. I felt it was poetic to have both Fat Yak beer on my food as a batter *and* as a drink. The Minimum Chips Golden Lager is slightly more refreshing but the IPA style Fat Yak runs more towards my tastes.

crest cafe birubi beach

The magical view of Birubi Beach makes CREST Café one of the best spots to have a modern interpretation of a perennial Australian favorite – fish and chips! It was our final lunch before leaving the Port Stephens area for Sydney and I have to say, it was a very memorable one. I even put the picture of me drinking the Fat Yak craft beer as my Facebook profile picture!

Birubi Beach Surf Club
73, James Paterson Street
Anna Bay, New South Wales

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15 thoughts on “CREST Café, Birubi Beach”

    • I loved that beer! 🙂

      I don’t drink much so I like to drink QUALITY when I do – craft beer in this case, made in a small brewery in Matilda Bay.

      Australia has a lot of quality craft beer from small artisan breweries, haven’t had a commercial beer in a long time!

      It’s good to have cider on hand though – nothing wrong with drinking after work, as long as you get the job done! 😀

  1. Gosh!!! The fish and chips!!! Love the ones in NZ, just as awesome in Oz, I’m sure. Sure’s a head above what we can get around here…especially when they use Dory. No, thank you.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean mate! 🙂

      Dory fish fillets that some local restaurants use here are just 50% fish – the rest are filler, so 1/2 of the fillet is something-other-than-fish. It’s not real John Dory fish fillets.

      I like flathead fish too, which is a very nice tasting fish you can get in Australia.

      I agree, I’ve never had better fish and chips than in NZ and Australia (and some places in the UK is pretty good too).

  2. I call it fish & chips, love it. I heard you shouldn’t ask for extra dipping or not dip at all to really taste the fish’s freshness.. But I always ask for more tartar sauce anyways..

    • Hmm…tartare sauce has really gone out of style! 🙂

      The last I had it was when I was 15 – the school sells fish sandwiches with tartare sauce for NZD 2.50 at Riccarton High School and I ate that for lunch almost every day. It was COVERED with tartare sauce and we would ask for more of it coz the quality of the fish isn’t something to write home about. I know local KL/PJ fish and chip restaurants are big on tartate sauce though – it’s so ’90s though.

      There’s a huge food revolution going on in Australia now, you’ll get stuff like infused mayo and aioli – never tartare sauce.

      I use the dill aioli for the chips, not the fish.

    • Yeah, it was raining that day or we can actually get seats facing the beach! 🙂

      It had *just* finished raining so the seats were still stacked up as seen in the last picture, but normally, the seats would be out and you can sit under the sun and OVER the breaking surf – making it an awesome place for lunch and a beer!

    • You can even get seats overlooking the beach! 🙂

      It had just finished raining so all the chairs were stacked up (last photo).

    • Yeah, and the craft beer was lovely too! 🙂

      I hardly drink nowadays so I like to drink quality craft beers when I do, not crappy commercial stuff. I do like my single malt collection though, except for the few you’ll expect to see, I try to stock up on rare ones that we can’t get locally e.g. got a lovely Sullivan’s Cove single malt Scotch whisky from Tasmania.

  3. I may like holidays with historical sites and mountains but your style of taking romantic walks by the beach with yummy fills for the stomach is certainly a heavenly vacation too! What am I waiting for? I should head to NSW too.

    • Yeah, it is a very nice place to go to! 🙂

      I’ve always been partial to Australia, but maybe that’s coz I spent the most time there – more than 4 years, while doing my college and uni. I didn’t spend as much time in NZ while doing high school so I don’t have much of an attachment there, compared to Australia, which is someplace I’ll actually like to live.


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