After 14 years at Pyrmont’s restored heritage Jones Bay Wharf on Sydney’s foreshore since opening its doors, the iconic Flying Fish has relocated to its new home just around the corner – The Star casino, with glittering views of the harbour to match the decadent array of fresh seafood.
Executive Chef Peter Robertson, formerly of Rockpool, has created an impressive menu; an array of fresh delicacies with an Asian fusion twist to tantalise the tastebuds. From Black Pearl Beluga and Tsar Nicoulai White Sturgeon caviar to fresh oysters splashed with ginger vinaigrette, the restaurant boasts a fine selection of premium seafood that moves beyond simplicity.
It’s a tough decision to make – the grilled southern calamari with squid butter or the Moreton Bay bug busiate with mandarin koshu? While the choice of market seafood by the kilo covers the favourites: fresh mud crab wok-flashed with black pepper and curry leaves, Eastern Rock lobster finished with tarragon and cider butter, and sweet West Australian marron with a hint of XO sauce. And if you simply can’t decide, the chef has added a seductive seafood platter to the selection.
All sourced from Australian and New Zealand waters, the seafood is catch-of-the-day fresh. The Kingfish, kissed with charcoal, kombu dressing and finger lime, was fresh and light, while the carefully constructed ocean trout with roe and buttery-soft crème fraiche was rich in taste and texture. The impeccable service comes with a smile, and my glass of Moët was regularly topped up before it was empty.
If it’s not seafood you’re after, or if someone in your party prefers food from the land, there are other options. Try the Vannella burrata with roast tomato, fennel and sprinkles of pangrattato or the glazed pork belly with cherry radish for entrée. Move on to Rangers Valley Wagyu laced with Dutch cream and accompanied by melted leeks, or the vegan option of ‘vegetarian eels’ – silky shitake mushrooms with garlic stem.
From the bar menu, the snapper patty in the fish burger has the chef’s minimal wastage philosophy in mind. Slathered in a creamy sauce gribiche with capers and fresh herbs, it’s bedded with thinly sliced pickled cucumbers on the softest brioche I’ve ever sunk my teeth into. South Australian Spencer Gulf king prawns marinaded in thick, lip-smacking black pepper sauce, topped with crisp, fried basil leaf, kept me going back for more.
The seafood menu is perfectly paired with a cool glass of French champagne – take your pick from Moët & Chandon Brut, Brut Rosé or Dom Pérignon – or a sparkling from the Yarra Valley. With my main course, I chose the pinot noir from the well-thought-out wine list curated by sommelier Addy Lam, which married well with the spiced tuna with sesame.
It’s hard to look past one of the bar’s speciality cocktails, aptly named after Australia’s iconic shores. The Flight to Byron, with Byron dry gin, maraschino umeshu and shiso, will take you to the northern shores with a few sips, and the Bondi Hipsters, with hip quinoa sochu, sweet pumpkin, Australian dry vermouth and citron verbena is definitely a tipple to remember.
A Valrhona chocolate mousse with malted barley and rich miso caramel for dessert was a taste sensation. The gluten-free option was a fresh end to the meal, a taste of charred lemon parfait with salted butter crumb and toasted meringue, or you can opt to finish your experience on a simple note with strawberries, cultured cream and Moscato.
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