Fish Face – upmarket casual fabulousness

Gosh, it’s been over a month since my last post!  How time flies…  There are several reasons for my absence.

Firstly, I’ve been less inclined to take photos at restaurants these days as I’m aware that some restauranteurs are a bit wary of amateur foodies critiquing their food.  My take on this is that food blogging has been around for awhile and doesn’t seem to be a trend that would go away anytime soon, so restauranteurs better get used to it unless they want to spend a chunk of their time shooing away camera-wielding customers.  Besides, if their restaurant delivers quality meals and excellent service, they shouldn’t have anything to worry about.  However, I also think that they deserve respect and, although you are a paying customer, you are dining in their restaurant so their rules have to be followed.  Even if they don’t have a rule against food photography, sometimes leaving the camera at home is just the polite thing to do.

Secondly, it’s just generally nicer to have a meal without interrupting conversation or making your dining companions hold off on starting their dishes so that you can take snaps of their food!  It’s more relaxed, more polite and more enjoyable.  Oh, and my camera doesn’t fit into one of my favourite little handbags and sometimes making the right handbag selection is more important than documenting my meal!

Thirdly, I was overseas again for a bit.  M and I went to Thailand, the land of the scams smiles scams for a couple of weeks.  I was there 10 years ago and remember really enjoying my time there.  This time, not so much.  As tourists, we felt like massive targets for the money-hungry locals who lurk around all the tourist spots (and yes, I know not all of them are native Thais, but I consider them to be locals if they actually live and work there).  Okay, so that’s no surprise in many countries, but I’ve never been anywhere where there were so many people going out of their way to try to scam you when you’re just minding your own business.  In Bangkok and Phuket, it was just constant.  And they do it with a smile.  Like they’re your friend.  It’s just plain annoying.

Anyway, so it was really nice to be back in Australia where if people were friendly to you, it’s usually because they are just friendly people and where you feel the protection of the rule of law.  While in Sydney recently, M and I made a last minute booking at Fish Face.  We weren’t quite sure what to expect, given that their website isn’t exactly heavy on details, but it had a number of good reviews and was BYO.

The verdict?  Absolutely fantastic.  It’s a small space, set up like an upmarket fish and chip shop – lots of stainless steel, dark wood and white walls.  We were squeezed behind one of the counters facing the street, bumping elbows with our dining neighbours.  But the food was sublime.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so the below should save me a whole lot of typing…

Bonito sashimi with mayo and tempura seaweed.

Please excuse my bad memory, but I think this was kingfish capaccio with ponzu.

Sea urchin sushi.

Smoked ocean trout 'pie'.

Crab meat, enoki and egg noodles in broth.

Everything was fresh, fabulous and beautifully presented.  The least exciting dish was probably the crab meat noodles – it was still tasty, but it didn’t blow us away like a few of the other dishes did.  The bonito sashimi was a favourite, with its balance of creamy mayo, crunchy tempura seaweed and tender fish pieces.  The ocean trout ‘pie’ had a lovely, dainty smoky flavour and was complimented by the taste of the salty sea bursting from the pearls of roe.  The sea urchin sushi, which was wrapped in a thin sliver of daikon, was perfectly delicate and not overly fishy.  It was also very reasonably priced at $10 for 2 pieces.  In fact, the whole meal was very good value for the quality at less than $70 per head (including dessert and corkage).  Yes, it might seem a bit expensive for a ‘fish and chip’ style place, but the food being served up at Fish Face is many notches above your local fish and chip shop.

Strawberry and peach frangipane tart.

We finished our meal with a slice of their strawberry and peach frangipane tart, a perfectly delicious summer dessert that almost seemed healthy (hey, it has fruit!).  Our wine for the night was the beautiful 2007 Bannockburn S.R.H. chardonnay.  Seafood and chardonnay – my favourite food and wine match!

Our meal at Fish Face is so far the best meal we’ve had all year.  Superb produce, expert cooking and attentive, professional service.  The only thing that could’ve made the night more enjoyable would’ve been if we were less squished in where we were sitting.  Other than that, it was fabulous.  Upmarket, casual and fabulous.

P.S.  Apologies for the slightly blurry photos.  I wasn’t planning on blogging about this meal, so I didn’t bring my usual camera.  But the food was so awesome that I had to take some snaps from my phone!

Fishface on Urbanspoon

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One Response to Fish Face – upmarket casual fabulousness

  1. karen says:

    Wow! Food looks amazing! Is this a Jap restaurant?

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