Jordan Toft (Coogee Pavilion) talks Coogee Foreshore Festival, March Into Merivale, and more

As March Into Merivale approaches it’s end for another year so too does the big Coogee Foreshore Festival at Coogee. Easily one of the biggest and best events of the comprehensive Merivale food and wine festival, the event brings an afternoon of eating and drinking by the beach as both inside and outside the sprawling Coogee Pavilion lay an epic foodie market put on by some of the best the group has to offer. Ahead of the day, which is this Sunday 20th March from 11am to 3pm, we caught up for a quick Q&A with Jordan Toft, he who has led the kitchen in making Coogee Pavilion the acclaimed hotspot it has remained for the past few years.

It has been a few years now since Coogee Pavilion first opened. How would you say it’s evolved over the years and what are some recent changes you’re most proud of?

I feel we opened with the right ethos in mind, that being to have a community driven space that produced and excelled in our beverage and food offerings while being delivered by a humble and enthusiastic service team. We have evolved by always trying to get better and never resting on past performance.

This year’s March Into Merivale program is huge, and of course the Foreshore Festival is one of the most exciting events in the works. Has anything changed for this year as compared to last year?

We have just aimed at getting bigger and better, while not losing sight of our goal in producing a great community minded event with amazing offerings.

Aside from the food, what can we expect this year?

Canivale! We have some of Merivale’s finest venues coming down to support Coogee, alongside performances for the kids, local acts on stage and a real festival feel for all to enjoy.

And in terms of food, which dishes are you most excited to showcase to people who may or may not usually head out Coogee Pavilion’s way?

We stuck with a few Coogee classics so our regulars can see and taste what they know but given them a little point of difference. We’re also treating our guests to some dumplings from Mr Wong, sushi from Sushi e and also this year we have our Gelato to see out summer.

And what have been your favourite events so far this year?

Our launch party is always a great opportunity for all Merivale’s businesses to come together and put on one of the best food festival there are. It also gives us, the individual restaurants, a sense of community from within.

The festival will take place from 11 am to 3 pm on Sunday the 20th of March at Coogee Pavilion, 169 Dolphin Street.

Tickets are $25 (three tokens) or $45 (six tokens) and can be purchased here.

THE MENU:

PAVILION KITCHEN
Coogee diner burger – with sleazy cheese and bacon
Kingfish – charred in vine leaves, preserved lemon and garlic
Burrata, apple, honey, thyme and almond crumb
VINNIE’S PIZZA
Queen margherita
Mild salami and ricotta salata
Nduja e friarielli
Vegetariana
RAW BAR
Sydney rock oysters – natural with mignonette
COOGEE GELATO
Fior di latte
Chocolate
Fat Tony
Cookies and Cream
Lemon
Strawberry
PAPI CHULO MENU
Pea Guacamole with tortilla chips
Irvin’s charcoal chicken drumsticks, chilli sauce
EL LOCO MENU
El Loco hotdog
Pit bean taco, cabbage, coriander and onion salad, queso fresco
Tomato, buffalo mozzarella and porcini pizza 
SUSHI E
Soft shell crab roll
Tuna ceviche salad
Japanese fried chicken, ginger and shallot sauce
MR WONG
Steamed lobster and scallop dumpling
Fried Sichuan Wagyu beef dumpling

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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