Newcastle Living Magazine
Located on the edge of Albert Street in Wickham, Flotilla is a forward-thinking restaurant where casual dining is being redefined.
Led by chef Shayne Mansfield and restaurant operator Eduardo Molina, the restaurant is built on a combination of past experiences working in some of the world’s most highly regarded restaurants.
When it comes to setting up shop in Newcastle, Eduardo says creating a place for the community to gather and enjoy a high-quality meal was one of the most important aspects of the business. Second only to creating an environment where sustainability is at the forefront of business decisions.
“We wanted somewhere in the neighborhood that serves food, wine and cocktails but was also a part of the community. Where we’re located is very industrial, but in Newcastle it’s an area that is just changing by the second so we have come in at a good time,” says Eduardo.
“We have always said we want it to be like you are coming to our house for dinner. We both come from food and fine dining backgrounds and we wanted to translate that into something more relatable and more acceptable for the Newcastle crowd.”
The set menu is really the star of the show at Flotilla. A seasonal and carefully curated rotating menu that in many ways is collaborative experience between the restaurant and the producers and suppliers – using only the best ingredients to create their all-star dishes.
Flotilla are refining and redefining casual dining in Newcastle.
“The seasonal menu allows us to design a selection that is eaten in stages, pushing people’s boundaries of trying different flavors and textures they wouldn’t normally be open to. It’s nice to have people trust us, come sit down, and we can just feed them and pair wines with their food,” says Shayne.
“We’re constantly talking in the kitchen about what’s currently coming out, what season we’re in, and talking with our producers and suppliers to see what’s good at the moment… We are always looking at sustainable producers because, yeah we can stay local, but there are people doing really cool things all over the world wine wise.”
Aside from sunday lunches being a massive hit in the area for the last three years, Flotilla is known for some of their more unique dish options. According to Shayne, the dish of the moment is their Coffs Harbour cuttlefish with scallops and pumpkin.
“We had a whole bunch of pumpkin coming in, so we started juicing that and fermenting it. The dish is a celebration of spring so it’s quite in your face. It’s very fresh and the wine we pair it with is fantastic – so it’s really spring on a plate.”
Presentation really is a key element of Flotilla’s dining experience. The crew have spent a considerable amount of time fine tuning the presentation experience, making considerations on everything including creating their own ceramics from scratch.
“You eat with your eyes first. We live in a world where we are so focused on impressions and taking photos of our foods to post on social media, so of course when you put something down in front of someone and it looks amazing it’s going to attract people. The by-product then is that it tastes amazing too,” says Shayne.
When it comes to the Flotilla’s next year of business, Eduardo says they’re looking to push the boundaries as much as they can. This starts with doing even more on the sustainability side of the business.
“Lots of things are in the pipelines, but we really just want to work on still being a sustainable restaurant. That doesn’t just mean the food and the wine, but also our people and how we look after them. We love giving everyone a work life balance, so we’ve moved to a four-day work week this year which has been working really well,” says Eduardo.
Contact The Flotilla
(02) 4965 3885
9 Albert Street Wickham, NSW 2293
Dinner | Thur – Sat 5:30pm – 11pm
Lunch | Sat – Sun 11:30am – 3pm
To see their full menu or book online visit theflotilla.com.au or just give them a buzz on
(02) 4965 3885.