Seafood isn't the first thing that springs to mind when you think of brunch, but Saint Peter doesn't believe in any rules. It's the first solo venture for chef Josh Niland (ex-head chef of Cafe Nice and Fish Face) and seafood is front and centre of everything. If sea urchin crumpets haven't already flooded your Instagram stream, they will soon.
Saint Peter has been open for less than a fortnight but already it's attracted a steady stream of Sydney chefs through its doors. The narrow 34-seater is already booking out for dinners. The walk-in only brunch service on weekends is far better suited for the less organised.
Angassi oysters $5.50 each
Oysters at 10am? Why not. Today's brunch menu includes oysters from Horse Island and Clair de Lune but it's hard to go past angassi oysters, Australia's native flat oysters that are almost smoky in flavour.
Mooloolabah albacore salad with sorrel, radish and vanilla $18
Mooloolabah albacore salad is a sunny way to start our day. Hunks of tuna are brightened with crunchy breakfast radishes and lemony sorrel.
Sweet and sour Ulladulla blue mackerel on toast $16
Crowd favourite dish of the day is the sweet and sour Ulladulla blue mackerel on toast, a whole fish smothered with a zingy onion relish that gets our tastebuds firing.
Sweet and sour Ulladulla blue mackerel on toast
The presentation is ridiculously cute too.
Eden sea urchin crumpet $22
The sea urchin crumpet is fast becoming a signature dish because really, why hasn't anyone thought of this sooner? It's a visually striking dish, with hands-on interactivity as diners try and transfer the sea urchin petals from shell to crumpet.
Eden sea urchin crumpet
It's beautiful. And it tastes amazing. The crumpet tastes more like deep-fried bread, but it's a fine carriage for the buttery sea urchin petals. I have to admit though, I saved one petal to savour on its own as my final mouthful. Of all savoury dishes. Am I the only person to save the best for last?
John Dory liver and parsley on toast $12
John Dory liver and parsley on toast is more proof that more exciting toast toppings exist than smashed avocado.
John Dory liver and parsley on toast
The liver is cooked to a reassuring pink so it feels almost like a fish-flavoured pate in the mouth. I could have eaten this twice over.
Salt and vinegar onion rings $10
One of the few non-seafood savouries are salt and vinegar onion rings. Get them. The salt and vinegar tang will transport you straight to the salt-tinged spray of waves at the beach. And rather than douse each giant onion ring life buoy with vinegar, the onion rings themselves taste pickled. It means the batter stays super crunchy while you get a burst of vinegar with every bite. Genius.
Black flathead rillettes with witlof and roast almonds $16
Flathead rillettes arrive hidden beneath overlapping radish scales.
Black flathead rillettes with witlof and roast almonds
It's another firm favourite. The rillettes are soft and creamy with a textural crunch provided by the boats of witlof, radish discs and finely chopped roast almonds.
Hand picked Ballina spanner crab omelette $24
We finish up with the hand picked Ballina spanner crab omelette, a substantial serve piled with a generous amount of crab across the top. The puddle of fish broth at the bottom is fantastic too, tying everything together with umami resplendence.
Julie's kouign amman $12
We're still chugging through our Artificer filter coffee ($5) by the time we order desserts. There's no espresso machine onsite but if you ask nicely, they'll give you filter coffee top-ups for free. Win.
We ordered two serves of Julie's kouign amman to share between the six of us. It's not your classic caramelised Breton pastry but more of a sticky syrupy chewiness that your dentist should never see. Anyone with crowns or fillings should approach with care.
Lemon tart $16
The lemon tart is its polar opposite, so soft and wobbly it trembles on the plate.
We manage to nab a slice of the lemon tart while it was still warm from the oven. The flaky pastry and the fragile filling reminds me immediately of daan tart custard tarts at yum cha, only lemon flavoured. The delicate thinness of the pastry base is awe-inspiring too.
The swooning over this tart is unanimous.
Clothbound Maffra cheddar and Belrose honeycomb $16
And because everybody loves cheese, we order the clothbound Maffra cheddar with Belrose honeycomb too. The sharp bitey cheddar is the ideal match for the floral notes of honeycomb. The shavings of toast are impressively crisp.
Simple assembly. Quality ingredients. Saint Peter to a tee.
362 Oxford Street, Paddington, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8937 2530
Brunch/lunch Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm
Dinner Wednesday to Sunday 5.30pm til late (bookings recommended)
Closed Monday and Tuesday
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9/19/2016 12:51:00 am