|photo supplied by The Digital Marketing Agency|
Luckily the rain held out and the skies stayed clear enough for us to admire the relaxing ocean views from Garfish Manly’s private dining room, where a group of Sydney food bloggers are gathered for a tasting of Garfish’s autumn menu. Glasses of ‘Geppetto’ brut help to warm us up as well as break the ice for those who don’t know each other.
Canapé-sized versions of entrée dishes are served to showcase greater variety alongside the Three Ponds semillon, a variety of wine for which I’m gaining an increased interest in recent years. Cubes of ‘Treacle cured yellowfin tuna’ are a deep maroon hue and are dusted on either side with bonito powder, negating any slippery textures when placed in the mouth. Mistress, my date for the evening, hits the nail on the head when she describes its complex flavours being akin to Chinese master stock. The ‘Atlantic salmon tartare’ contrasts the tuna with its bright shades of orange and coral. Delicate diced salmon is served on ceramic soup spoons, concealing Persian fetta which offers creaminess, with fennel confit, citrus dressing, an orange segment and salmon roe providing refreshing crunch. ‘Crisp fried zucchini flowers’, served with a sumac dipping sauce, hold centres of smoked hiramasa kingfish which are pleasantly meaty and a change from the usual soft, mousse-y fillings. I do miss the crunch of the mini-zucchini stems which are normally attached to the flowers however.
Conversation halts when our entrées of ‘Seared Hervey Bay scallops with fennel remoulade, orange reduction and bacon crumbs’ are presented and paired with ‘The Zeppelin’, a fruity Riesling from South Australia. We are told the fennel remoulade is dressed with lemon juice which seems to temper its aniseed undertones. Its crunchiness contrasts well with the plump and smooth scallops.
Wafts of shellfish aroma fill the dining room and we are completely silent as we tuck into ‘Prawn and scallop cannelloni with white beans, grilled cherry tomatoes, Avruga caviar and shellfish bisque’. The prawn and lobster bisque is fragrant and light, unlike most which are thicker and creamier, lending itself well to the steamed – not braised, nor baked – cannelloni with housemade pasta. This is also where the sourdough on our table becomes a handy tool for mopping up the beautiful bisque.
Our assiette of desserts consist of a slow-baked hazelnut pavlova which is wonderfully chewy in the centre, a smooth nougat and honey semifreddo with passionfruit coulis, and a baby version of Garfish’s signature Belgian waffles served with caramelised banana and rum & raisin ice-cream. Paired with the not-too-sticky dessert wine, Cookoothama botrytis semillon, it is a sweet end to an enjoyable evening.
Earth Hour 2011
This Saturday, apart from the New South Wales state election (don’t forget to vote!), it is also Earth Hour. As per last year, all Garfish restaurants will be participating by offering a dine-by-candlelight experience which adds a romantic touch to the underlying environmental cause.
Mademoiselle Délicieuse and Mistress dined as guests of Garfish Manly and The Digital Marketing Agency. Thank you to the lovely waitstaff and to executive chef Stewart Wallace for taking the time to introduce each of the dishes to us.
1/39 East Esplanade (cnr Wentworth St), Manly NSW
Tel: (02) 9977 0707
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-3pm (lunch)
Sun 12pm-3pm (lunch)