September 15th, 2010

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Finefish

Hidden above a fabulous fresh fish store is a simple, contemporary dining room that subliminally communicates cleanliness and nautical purity. It is the face of Martin’s Seafood, providore to clients including Tetsuya’s and Quay.

Expect stellar produce handled with great respect and even greater creativity by Executive Chef Paul Pereira.

Paul expertly draws from a cultural melting pot of flavours to create sensational Yamba Prawns with Sweet Paprika, Quail Egg and White Anchovy ($20) you smear on grilled sourdough.

Manager Robert Vandenberg readily imparts information about origin, fishing practice and flavour; so you can rest assured the excellent ‘Palmer Island’ Mulloway ($31) with silky Jerusalem artichoke puree, peppernata and confit chook, responsibly supports our local industry. The Mulloway come from the same area as those gorgeous Yamba prawns. While cheaper foreign prawns flood our market, these better tasting beauties spawn close enough to arrive unfrozen!

Sensually smooth white polenta and chestnuts nestle beneath melt-in-the-mouth WA Marron ($19), cooked sous vide style at 42 degrees Celsius.

Heaven though, is the delicately flavoured, omega-3 rich Crispy Patagonian Toothfish ($36). Paul sets it off with texturally perfect rice dumplings, Asian greens two-ways, plumped goji berries and sour plum vinaigrette. Wines are good; fishes sublime.

75 Grosvenor Lane, Neutral Bay
Ph: (02) 9908 4448

Finefish on Urbanspoon
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Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

This Week's Column - Hot Tix About Town

Published in the City Hub and City News.

As well as tempting us with one of the most unusual high tea services in town in the beautiful dockside surrounds of Aki’s; Chef Kumar Mahadevan has generously joined forces with Masterchef finalist Jimmy Seervai for two big nights of Indian hospitality. Lightly tickle your taste for the exotic on Sunday 3rd October with a selection of small savoury plates, dessert and masala chai for $45/head between 2pm-5pm; or dive in head first for your own bite of Masterchef on the 28th or 29th September.

You’ve already heard me rave about Darren Simpson from La Scala on Jersey. I’m heading back there this week to enjoy his new wine and antipasti deal, so it should be no surprise that I highly recommend his 6pm cooking class on Wednesday 29th September. He’s doing it at the Casa Barilla Cooking School in Annandale; and it’s a bargain at $50/head!

For fine food and a bit of culture, take a trip to Turkey with traditional tunes and authentic tastes at Efendy on Thursday 23rd September. You’ll be treated to instruments like the ney, kaval and tulum expertly handled by Kim Sanders and friends. I’ve heard his mate Bobby Singh play with The Bird, so I can personally attest that you’re in for an amazing night of music, mezes and Turkish hospitality for just $35/head.

Not being much of a whisky drinker myself, I’m not really sure what sort of food to team it with. Luckily the folk at Fix St James have all the answers, and an expert by the name of Franz Scheurer lined up for Wednesday 13th October. You’ll be plied with a whisky cocktail and four interesting whiskies, all matched to dishes including Smoked Eel Welsh Rarebit. It’ll set you back $114/head, but be quick, I hear their dinners sell out fast!

Fashion parades, live music and 6000 canapés in three hours from the dumpling-pleating precision kings, Din Tai Fung, will make Wednesday 22nd September a night to remember! Once you’re suitably fueled, you can shop World Square til’ your feet blister. Bargains will abound with one-night-only offers and style gurus on hand at stores like G-Star, Ally, Passion, CK Jeans and Brooksfield (in case you bring your man-bag). The only catch is, VIP status requires you to register!

Dip and Devour
Paradise Beach Purveyors have done it again, and in my house we’re pretty faddish about dips. Somehow though, I don’t think Jalapeno Hommus is ever going to go out of fashion. When I get another tub (this one was slathered on crackers at a rate of knots) I am going to make quesadillas. Their new Caramelised Onion Swirl takes an old-fashioned guilty pleasure - French onion dip - and makes it something you’d be totally proud to serve up at any party. The lightly lemony Roasted Beetroot Dip is also a surprise – it begs for crudités. Now if I could just pull my finger out of it for long enough to cut some up… They’ll be in fine food stores from the first week of October, so keep crackers at the ready.

Meat Market
My final heads up (and it’s a corker) is that Haverick Meats are opening their doors to the public every Saturday from 9am – 2pm, starting the 18th September. If you’ve still got a blank look on your face, this means that you can now buy restaurant quality meat without the heavy prices. You might not be able to cook it quite as well as their esteemed clients at Bilson’s, Chophouse and Sean’s Kitchen; but I have no doubt that if you pick up a loaf from neighbouring gem Brasserie Bread, your future will hold some stellar dry-aged steak sambos.