My old stomping ground of Pyrmont has been getting a bit of my attention of late with a visit to Balla and Momofuku at the casino and now a return to Flying Fish down on Jones Bay Wharf. My first visit to Flying Fish was part of a social media gathering and ever since I went home and sang high praises about the food we had I’d been receiving subtle hints from the other half. Hints that someone was yet to dine there themselves.
One thing that grabbed our attention on that particular Sunday was how many families brought their kids to a restaurant of this calibre and how these kids comfortably chose what they wanted from the menu. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fantastic that these kids are being educated this way rather than taken to Mc would-you-like-fries-with-that at the local shopping centre. Man, if I had the chance I would have loved putting on my best duds and going to high end restaurants as a treat. Instead, for me, it was the German Club or an Oz-Chinese joint in Warrawong that did a killer short soup. I reckon that’s where my dumpling infatuation began; way back in the late 70’s.
Lunch at Flying Fish began with the usual bread roll along-side regular and smoked black salt butter. Also a couple of crunchy pastry ‘grissini‘ smeared with smoked salmon paste dusted with nori and crushed wasabi green peas as we decided what to choose this particular muggy Sydney afternoon. One signature at this establishment is the confit of Petuna ocean trout (33) with pea mousse, whey, puffed skin, trout roe, nori and pea crumb. The fish virtually melts to the touch and marries well with the salty roe and crispy fresh snow pea sprigs. My gorgeous white soy torched Crystal Bay prawns (35) with seared scallop are a celebration of two of the seafoods I adore. A small mound of sushi rice supports one torched prawn half while the other half connects the other components of shaved radish, pickled daikon and shallot & ginger dressing. A bubbled crown of (rice?) cracker gives a final crunch to simple yet distinctive flavours. Loved it.
Thanks to being perched above the sushi bar we had a constant peep show of the slicing and plating action but none of it was for us. All that peeping and no reward? Well, not the sushi type anyway. Plate #1 is a slow-cooked blue eye trevalla (48) with smoked eggplant, a wedge of charred cos and chicken jus. The jus is a dark smoky broth that echoes the flavours of the piped eggplant purée decorating the trevalla like icing on a cake and more subtle smoky flavours carry through to the wedge of lightly blackened lettuce propped up against the fish. A few delicate nasturtium leaves and snow pea tendrils complete the delicious story. Wowza. A simple salad of shaved fennel, orange and green olives (12) adds a welcomed crunch to our mains.
Plate #2 is a line caught Sri Lankan snapper curry (48). This interactive dish is delivered as separate components and starts with a skin-on fillet of cooked snapper surrounded by a trio of sweet potato mousse. A side plate of rice topped with coconut sambal, a small decanter of white curry sauce and bowl of parsley maloom stained yellow with turmeric. I really liked where it was all going but the spices I was expecting in the sauce ended up being quite mild. I reckon a bit of chilli bite would have done wonders with the sweetness of the purée, the fresh fish and yellow coconut sambal.
One dessert each was verging into gluttony, not that it had stopped me in the past, but such a clean and fresh meal had to end with the dessert tasting plate (28). A segmented platter features a blackberry soufflé sided by a spoon of violet ice-cream, roasted strawberries with tart raspberry meringues & peach sorbet and mango mousse with pineapple lychee sorbet & pineapple cubes. Very different sugary and icy flavours and textures that totally hit the spot but if I can split hairs I found the soufflé heavy on the egg flavour. Yes, I know it’s made from egg but it superseded the blackberry flavours.
All in all a bloody good lunch.