Shivani Shrestha and Kyle McLean with The Cove restaurant owners Danny and Mala Singh at the site of their new venue on River Street in Ballina.
Shivani Shrestha and Kyle McLean with The Cove restaurant owners Danny and Mala Singh at the site of their new venue on River Street in Ballina. Marc Stapelberg

Popular evening restaurant grows menu and opens for daytime

RESTAURATEURS Danny and Marah Singh don't have customers - they have friends.

The couple has spent more than seven years running their own restaurants in Ballina and for them being part of the community is second only to great service.

Now they have moved their latest restaurant The Cove to a spacious new venue so they can expand on their offerings, seat more people and possibly hold functions.

Previously located under The Ramada Hotel the team opened in their new space at 234 River Street last weekend to spice up the other end of town.

 

The Cove owner Danny Singh with chefs Rohain Singh and Lee Tobin at their new venue on River Street.
The Cove owner Danny Singh with chefs Rohain Singh and Lee Tobin at their new venue on River Street. Marc Stapelberg

"It's a bigger premises here, previously we could only seat 70, here we can seat 100," Mr Singh said.

"We have been in Ballina for more than seven years, we had an Italian restaurant, we had a Chinese bar and grill, and the Spicy Kitchen on Cherry St."

The Cove offers a fusion menu with plenty of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Mr Singh said he sources as many ingredients as he can locally.

For the caffeine lovers, they also use a premium blend of beans from Nat's Coffee, based in Alstonville.

 

A popular dish at The Cove is grilled Haloumi and avocado on sourdough bread drizzled with aged balsamic.
A popular dish at The Cove is grilled Haloumi and avocado on sourdough bread drizzled with aged balsamic. Marc Stapelberg

"We've got Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, a touch of Indian and Italian on the menu. Customers come here and they get a choice of everything," he said.

"When we were at the Ramada we only really had the option of dinner for a 2.5 hour window.

"At our new location we can do much more. On Friday and Saturday night we want to do cocktail and tapas."

 

One of the popular meals is Mexican Baked Eggs which is house made beans with fried eggs and crispy Proscuitto, spinach and tortilla bread.
One of the popular meals is Mexican Baked Eggs which is house made beans with fried eggs and crispy Proscuitto, spinach and tortilla bread. Marc Stapelberg

Prior to moving to Ballina in 2012 they owned five cafes in Sydney, but Mr Singh said he found hospitality on the coast "more personal" compared to the city.

"The customers want to know you, and it's more like friends and family here," he said.

"The biggest thing going for us is our service. We know a lot of people and look after our customers very well.

"We opened last weekend and both days we had more than 100 people for breakfast."

 

The Cove restaurant has seen a stunning opening at their new site on River Street in large part due to their loyal customer base.
The Cove restaurant has seen a stunning opening at their new site on River Street in large part due to their loyal customer base. Marc Stapelberg

The menu boasts a range of affordable dishes with light, main and vegan options.

According to Mr Singh their Greek-style Mexican baked eggs is very popular.

"For lunch it's all around the $15 mark. Once we settle down we will do $10 pastas.

"For dinner, all our mains will be around $26-$28 and $20 for pastas."

The team is also heavily involved in the fundraising scene for businesses and locals, including having raised thousands for the region after the 2017 floods.

Dinner starts this Friday.