04 March 2011

Flying Fish: #summermenu Tweetup and Blogging Event, Pyrmont (2 March 2011)

19-21 Pirrama Road, Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont NSW 2009

Flying Fish tweets up a feast

Thanks to Denea Buckingham from Gourmet Rabbi and the team from Flying Fish for inviting me to their #summermenu tweetup event — although I'm a little confused since it's now autumn. The first time I tried dishes from Flying Fish was at the Taste of Sydney 2010 so it's great to have the opportunity to check out the actual restaurant. Commanding two levels of cosy and atmospheric décor with fully open kitchens and partial water views depending on where you sit makes it quite an impressive space. Bar Manager Rob prepared a refershing welcome cocktail called 'Breakfast at Tiffanys' which isn’t on the menu but I think it definitely should be — perhaps ask for it by name. For starters the freshly shucked Claire de Lune Sydney Rock oysters with ocean trout pearls ($4 each) thankfully still contained their briny goodness. The specially prepared canapé of Paleta jamon iberico crostini with espresso mayo worked well and was superbly wafer thin — I could have breathed in a whole plate of them quite easily. The unusual Pop corn prawns with mayo and coriander ($4.50 each) were tasty treats using decently sized king prawns although watch out for any hard unpopped bits.

Sommelier Joe Turnaturi and Head Chef Stephen Seckold talked us through the matching wine selections and dishes. It was clear how passionate and competent they were. Our first dish of Seared yellow fin tuna with ruby red grapefruit ($33) is possibly regarded as one of Flying Fish’s signature dishes — same one they served at Taste of Sydney 2010. I liked the accent of red grapefruit against the ever-so-tender tuna although the sauce was bordering on just a bit too sweet for my palate and a lighter dressing would have better suited me. I enjoyed the Confit of Petuna ocean trout ($32) better delivering the right amount of light crunch from the puffed quinoa. The melt-in-your-mouth ocean trout cooked in olive oil for 8 minutes at 43 degrees reminded me of Tetsuya’s signature dish. The 2008 Vouray Sec Champalou Chenin Blanc was an excellent match which somehow further emphasised the fish’s sea taste on the palate.

My favourite dish was the Prawn ravioli with poached scampi ($35) served in a unique bowl design although it would have been a little easier to eat from a flatter bowl. Good balance of flavours and matched well with the 2009 Vinhos Verdes Quinta do Ameal Loureiro Mihno from Portugal. It’s presentation reminded me of Tetsuya’s Crab ravioli dish. Another tasty dishes was the Pan roasted hapuka with hazelnut ($44) with green grapes that had their skins individually peeled off — the attention to detail is appreciated in the dish. White balsamic potato provided the right about of acidity to compliment the flavoursome and slightly creamy sauce. The Wagyu Mb7+ sirloin ($48) cooked via a sous-vide water bath for around 5 hours produced tender meat still medium rare. I really enjoyed the full flavoured king brown mushroom with its criss cross surface cuts.

To finish the Gingerbread crumble, apple ice cream, roasted almonds & fennel ($18) had nice depth of flavours although I felt it lacked a centerpiece ingredient to pull it altogether like a poached pear, peach or nectarine. For me it was like having the top of an apple crumble without any filling or base. My fairly non-bitter Cappuccino ($6) helped wash down a large assortment of petit fours. The fruit jelly seemed to be one of the table favourites. Our Polish waitress Iwona was professional, friendly and accommodating which I’d expect all service to hopefully be at such a fine dining establishment. All in all the well presented and thought out dishes gave me a good insight into this 1 hatted restaurant and the only major flaw I found was the very scary toilets which can make your privacy feel very exposed. I think the Restaurant Designer, Michael McCann, from Dreamtime Australia Design has certainly gone for the shock factor just like the Pee Pods at The Argyle — you’ve now been pre-warned but I guess there goes the surprise factor.

Other visits to Flying Fish:
2 Sept 2011 - Wine Selector Marriage of Food & Wine Event
2 March 2011 - #summermenu Tweetup and Blogging Event

PROS: Water views and glimpses, Atmospheric decor, Interesting and well presented dishes, Extensive menu options, Quality ingredients, Professional service, Private dining sections available, Outdoor style lounge and bar, Impressive wine selection
CONS: Expensive, Small sized toilets for such a large restaurant which also make you feel very exposed and possibly uncomfortable due to the design of cubicle walls, Located a bit off the beaten track with limited to no free street parking, Some tables for two are positioned in less intimate thoroughfares
MUST TRY: Freshly shucked oysters, Paleta jamon iberico crostini with espresso mayo, Prawn ravioli with poached scampi, Having a cocktail at the outside bar

Pre drinks and canapés
Cocktail 'Breakfast at Tiffanys' Grey Goose L'Orange (30 ml), Lemoncello (20 ml) and Massenez Creme de Peche (10 ml) with muddled fresh strawberry (x3), orange (wedge) and lime juice topped with lemon zest

Claire de Lune Sydney Rock oysters, South Coast NSW with ocean trout pearls ($4 each)

Canapé style: Paleta jamon iberico crostini with espresso mayo

Pop corn prawns with mayo and coriander ($4.50 each)

Just be careful of any hard pop corn bits that might be left

Summer Menu dinner
Summer Menu

Bread roll made on the premises served with plain butter and smoked butter with black salt — although the presentation of the butter could perhaps look a little less like a piece of Playdo

Seared yellow fin tuna with ruby red grapefruit, sweet crackling pork & black pepper caramel ($33), and deconstructed dish to reveal pork that lies underneath. Matched with 2010 Rogers & Rufus Grenache Barossa Valley

2010 Rogers & Rufus Grenache Barossa Valley

Confit of Petuna ocean trout with pea & black sesame mousse, puffed quinoa & tangerine oil ($32) matched with 2008 Vouray Sec Champalou Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France

2008 Vouray Sec Champalou Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France

Prawn ravioli with poached scampi, shaved abalone, zucchini flower & tomato & coriander vinaigrette ($35) matched with 2009 Vinhos Verdes Quinta do Ameal Loureiro Mihno, Portugal

2009 Vinhos Verdes Quinta do Ameal Loureiro Mihno, Portugal

HAPUKA Pan roasted hapuka with hazelnut, white balsamic potato, green grape, Pantelleria capers & beurre noisette ($44) matched with 2009 Gabo do Xil, Godello Valdeorras, Spain

2009 Gabo do Xil, Godello Valdeorras, Spain

Wagyu Mb7+ sirloin & braised short rib with smoked leek, king brown mushrooms, beetroot & horseradish ($48) matched with 2006 J. Bouchon 'La Mercedes' Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Malbec Maule Valley, Chile

2006 J. Bouchon 'La Mercedes' Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Malbec Maule Valley, Chile

Gingerbread crumble, apple ice cream, roasted almonds & fennel ($18) matched with 2006 Coteaux du Layon Domaine Beaumard 'Cote d'Or' Chenin Blanc Loire Valley, France

2006 Coteaux du Layon Domaine Beaumard 'Cote d'Or' Chenin Blanc Loire Valley, France

Cappuccino ($6)

Individually wrapped brown and white sugar — first time I've seen these but it's a shame about the extra packaging for the environment

Petit fours

Trying to cut a macaron in half — unsuccessfully

Extra fruit jellies

Dinner guests and staff
Pre drinks and canapés

Photographing the canapés

Twittering about Flying Fish #summermenu

Tweeting and sitting down for Flying Fish #summermenu

Everything is photographed including the butter

More twittering about Flying Fish #summermenu

Sommelier Joe Turnaturi and Head Chef Stephen Seckold explaining the matching wine selection and dishes prepared

Photographing the dishes

Iggy Pintado twittering with ipad and iphone

Bar Manager Rob discussing cocktails with Helen Loves Food and Gourmet Rabbit

The unstoppable AskTonyFood prepared with camera, laptop and iphone I suspect

More twittering about Flying Fish #summermenu

The restaurant
Outside bar and lounge

Main open kitchen

Raw kitchen

Dessert kitchen

Private dining room

Upstairs dining area

Downstairs dining area

Upstairs private room

Dining for two

Riedel glassware — nice and expensive

Mens toilet has a semi reflective glass urinal wall that's located openly right next to the sink providing very little privacy (if any) which is also fully visible from entry door when open — hello ladies. Also the frosted cubicle glass is semi translucent when look out so creates unfortunate silhouetting — OMG I did not need to see that! So now you've been warned.

Womens toilet uses automatic sensor frosted glass for cubicle walls although you can still see shapes and movement through it. Also if you don't move for a while the sensor will turn off and go clear — OMG watch out if you're inside!

End of the wharf with view of city skyline and harbour bridge in the distance

Located down the end of Pier 19 to 21

View Larger Map
Flying Fish on Urbanspoon


Jasmin said...

I was reading teknetia's tweets with pure envy and the photos just make it worse.
I think it's a must visit for me now.
I heard the popcorn prawns were a must.

john@heneedsfood said...

You actually photographed the guy peeing! I thought you were joking!

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Cool - new camera....?

Miss Piggy said...

Perhaps it was a farewell to the summer menu event? The food looks great, but I have to admit I was more intrigued by the tweets about the men's loos! I think I'd be scared to go to the loo there.

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Gorgeous looking prawn ravioli! Still haven't been here yet but one day. :)

Tony Hollingsworth said...

Outstanding summary of a fantastic night. I loved the extra effort you put in to the photography, even photographing THAT toilet! :-)

Great to meet you "IRL" on the night and hope to catch up at future events.


Rebecca @InsideCuisine.com said...

I SPY a photo of me and my flash. Thanks for good company on the night Simon and for including the link to my post of it too. Becca x

Helen Cameron said...

I'm curious as to how you got that photo from inside the girls toilets...

Flying Fish said...

Hi Simon,

A beautiful post indeed.

It was a pleasure to have you along to #summermenu at Flying Fish, we're so glad you enjoyed the event.

Your blog is excellent, as is your professionalism and demeanour.

You are welcome at Flying Fish anytime.

The team at Flying Fish

Simon Leong said...

hi Jasmin, the prawns are a nice one to have at the bar with a drink for sure

hi john, i never joke hehe

hi Tina, not for this blog but soon for others

hi MelbaToast, you might be right perhaps. be afraid, very afraid

hi joey, hopefully you’ll get to visit one day soon

hi Tony, thanks mate. toilets seem to be my speciality now. i think people will be afraid to go into toilets when they know i’m in the restaurant now

hi Rebecca, no worries about the link

hi Helen, i have contacts in the industry to get me into places i shouldn’t really be in i guess ;-)

hi Flying Fish, thank sof your kind words of support. thanks for having me :-)

Anonymous said...

Don't you know the holy toilet commandment?!


If I was him, I'd feel very violated.

Simon Leong said...

hi Anonymous, i had no intention of wanting to see another man's flow but if you visit the toilet here then there's no way of avoiding it. i think the walls should be solid. i really dislike half see through walls in toilets so wanted to prewarn everyone what to expect.

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