Beach, bar and barramundi
By Adeline Teoh
The Strand is Dee Why’s favourite place to eat, drink and relax. Here’s a venue that lets you do all three, all day.
Tua Fatongiatau is dedicated to ensuring that people who step into Corretto Dee Why have a good time. The venue manager for the all-day drinking and dining destination started as its bar manager back when it was called Twenty Four, and has since seen it successfully rebrand as Corretto, becoming its licensee.
The laidback beachside eatery serves everything from morning espressos to evening cocktails with a euro-leaning, seafood-friendly menu. “With a beachfront view of Dee Why, the space reflects its surroundings with a Mediterranean-inspired fit-out, which then creates a chilled atmosphere that the guests love,” describes Fatongiatau. “Together, we have worked to make Corretto one of the go-to places here on the northern beaches.”
He notes that although people now travel “from all around Sydney” to dine there, he’s pleased to see repeat clientele from the Dee Why community too. “I love working here and meeting new people every day, as well as seeing our regular locals on a daily basis.”
Fatongiatau’s foray into hospitality was largely an accident. Although many in his family have hospitality backgrounds, it was a friend of his brother — formerly the bar manager at the Hilton’s Marble Bar — who gave him his first stint as a “fresh-off-the-boat glassy”. Since then, Fatongiatau has accomplished a lot in the space, including as a competitive bartender. With accolades such as Hilton Worldwide’s Culinary Champion APAC and NSW finalist for The Blend’s cocktail competition to his name, he’s used to taking the art of cocktail-making back to basics, building everything from the foundation of flavour up to the flair.
We talk to him about cocktails, Corretto and community.
You've done some competitive bartending in the past. How do you prepare?
Straight to the books I’d go! I would research ingredients that I would like to highlight and would fit the kind of style drink I wanted; back then I was into making tiki-style drinks, going for tropical elements. After coming up with a drink, I would write down what I wanted to say during the presentation, and then reread it daily so that I knew it off by heart.
Personally, overcoming nerves was the most challenging part. If you have that on lock, you can excel in many comps, as confidence is key to a great presentation. On the day of the comp, I’d go through my notes again, just make sure that everything is good to go.
What's your favourite cocktail to make?
A classic daiquiri — you can’t go wrong with it! You only need rum, lime, and sugar, then Bob’s your uncle and bam!
What’s your favourite dish/beverage pairing?
Corretto’s crispy skin barramundi with fire-roasted capsicum, spinach, pumpkin hummus and dried olives, paired with grapefruit negroni.
What do you like most about the northern beaches?
Well, obviously the beautiful beaches. [Dee Why Beach] being as long as it is, there’ll always be a quiet spot somewhere.
But, on top of that, there’s a great sense of community, especially within the hospitality crowd. We have a great crowd of regulars who come in, it really makes the venue come alive.
If someone had a day in Dee Why, what would you recommend they do?
Try out Corretto for sure. 100% go through our cocktail list — many have said it’s the best on the beaches — and try our tuna tacos and house-made mushroom gnocchi. Add a walk around the beach before or after, and you’re onto a winner of a day.
Corretto Dee Why
1/24 The Strand