Review: Flying Fish

To mark the end of our Foodie Adventure in Sydney, Reena and I decided to splurge and spoil ourselves by having our last meal together at the infamous Flying Fish restaurant, owned by “seafood king”, Peter Kuruvita.

Situated right by the pier at Jones Bay Wharf, it is pretty secluded and quite a ways away from anything else.  I love seafood and so ever since I learned of this restaurant I have been waiting for this day to come!  It was almost a no-go too, since it was completely out of the way from everywhere else we had already decided on going to; lucky we decided to make that special trip out in the end.

So after a pretty long walk from the tram stop, which included walking through pitch black darkness along a mostly deserted pier (the restaurant was right at the end) – we finally made it.  I remember at one point I was almost half expecting that we would have to find some secret passageway in order to get there, ala Platform 9 3/4 (sorry for the Harry reference, I couldn’t resist!).

First impression: the restaurant looks absolutely stunning.  Right by the main entrance is a full bar with a little deck area with comfy seating overlooking the water.  It was pretty dark so unfortunately there wasn’t much of a view to behold, but I can imagine how beautiful it would be during the daytime.  On a hot summer’s day, sat in one of those comfy chairs enjoying a cold cocktail…absolute heaven.  Stepping into the actual restaurant, the first thing I noticed which was a bit of a surprise to me, was that the kitchen was just, well, there.  Now we’ve all seen restaurants with kitchens that are “in the open”, that is in the same place as the dining area but separated by the counter (think Wagamama – well the one here, anyway), but this one was pretty much like an open-plan kitchen, like the sort you would see in some city apartments  – except way fancier, bigger and better equipped, of course!!  To the right there was what looked like a private dining area within this amazing wine cellar – wine bottles were perched on the walls from floor to ceiling.

We were taken into the dining area which was in the adjoining room on the left (there was also seating upstairs).  The dining area was very classy, what you would expect from a fine dining restaurant.  Floor to ceiling windows meant direct views out into the ocean – I can only imagine how incredibly stunning it must be during the day.  Shortly after sitting down at our table I looked around to take in the lovely ambiance.  Then I looked up – and gasped.  The upstairs dining area actually overlooks down to the downstairs dining area (where we were) and so basically both levels shared one very high ceiling (if that makes sense).  Hanging down from this ceiling were a whole bunch of pretty fairy lights – how magical and gorgeous!  Almost like looking into the actual sky on a starry night – and I’m sure that is the intention.  Definitely a very romantic setting, I’m sure the place is packed on Valentine’s!

I did take some photos but obviously they do not do the restaurant any justice.  The website provides a virtual tour of the place though so go check it out!

Everything on the menu sounded so delicious.  Prices are pretty steep but is to be expected considering the caliber of the restaurant and that it was seafood.  I think they did have one or two non-seafood dishes, although who would order steak at a seafood restaurant is beyond me…  The couple next to me, the guy was eating like this MASSIVE lobster – it looked really good.  In the end I decided on the prawn ravioli with poached scampi, shaved abalone, zucchini flower and tomato and coriander vinaigrette for my entree, and pan fried John Dory with king prawn, young summer vegetables, yuzu and seaweed butter for the main.

The ravioli was really good although I think what I enjoyed the most was actually that vinaigrette.  So simple but yet the flavor had so much depth and it was very refreshing too, thanks to the coriander – love coriander!  On the flipside I didn’t care for the abalone at all.  As for the main, WOW.  I’ve never had John Dory before so I was really excited at finally being able to try it after hearing about it all the time on cooking shows.  The fish is a very flat fish and really quite ugly (have a look at his ugly mug here) but boy did it taste delicious!  The fish was cooked perfectly and seasoned so well; skin was crispy and the flesh tender but still with some bite.  Now the fish was definitely the star of the dish but let me tell you, those vegetables sure gave Mr. Dory a run for his money!  I have this weird thing where I only like my vegetables soft – so really, I only eat/enjoy my veges steamed.  The veges that were on this plate were absolutely divine, they were so full of flavor and just melted in your mouth!  And that yuzu and seaweed butter was one of the best things I have ever tasted – just brought the whole dish together.

Following the success of the dessert platter at the Red Lantern, we decided to do the same here and go for the dessert tasting plate.  What a scrumptious ending to a fantastic meal it was – passionfruit souffle with burnt orange ice cream, toasted coconut marshmallow and pineapple, fig carpaccio with creme fraiche sorbet and carrot financier, and lime cheesecake, almond strusel, lime curd, guava sorbet and compressed kiwifruit.  My favorites were the toasted coconut marshmallow (they were like fluffy coconut-ty pillows!) and that guava sorbet – so refreshing.

Here are some photos, again please excuse the poor camera quality!  Additionally because I was trying to be discreet, most of the pictures turned out a wee bit out of focus too, unfortunately.

Overall, an excellent (fine) dining experience.  If I can ever afford to eat there again, I will go there for lunch so I can enjoy the views.  I must mention that the waitress who looked after us was top notch; very friendly, attentive and knew the menu pretty much like the back of her hand – she got a really good tip from us.

One last thing I simply HAVE to mention – as if everything about the place wasn’t already completely amazing, wait ’til you hear about the toilets!  They are magical.  I kid you not!  When you first step in, you will notice that the cubicles are see through.  The whole cubicle is just one giant translucent glass box.  So you start to panic for a moment.  Then you figure, well no one else is in here right now, I’ll just hop in, quickly do my thing and hope that I will be done before anyone walks in.  So you get in and here’s the craziest-but-most-amazing thing – the second you shut the door and lock it – WHOOSH!! – the whole glass box gets all cloudy and is no longer see through!  What is this black magic?!?!  But how cool is that!

Hands down.  Best.  Toilet.  Ever.  (and I’ve been to a lot – curse you, weak bladder!)

So yeah to sum up, if you love seafood, if you want to treat yourself and that special someone, or if there is a special occasion of some sort – consider making a night of it at Flying Fish.  When it comes to food this is my motto: life is too short and pretty crappy most of the time, so every once in awhile treat yourself to the good stuff!

Whimsical Banana rates Flying Fish: 5/5 Bananas!

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