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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Billingsgate Fish Bistro, Randwick

EDIT July 2006: Matthew Kemp and Lela Radojkovic have closed Billingsgate Fish Bistro and re-opened the premises as Two Rooms, a European-inspired restaurant.

There's little doubt that Matthew Kemp is red hot at the moment. Exploding across our TV screens in the recent SBS doco Heat in the Kitchen, Matthew may be notorious for his fiery temper (threatening to sack his maitre'd if she wasn't his wife!) but he's also enviably talented.

In addition to their recently double-hatted Restaurant Balzac, Matthew and his wife, Lela Radojkovic, also own Billingsgate Fish Bistro--surely a sign of being perennial suckers for punishment.

I headed to Billingsgate last Sunday with Saffron and friends for Billingsgate's first-ever seven-course degustation. Lela was a gracious welcoming host, Matthew was spotted in the kitchen, and the food was intriguing, exciting and plated with finesse.

hors d'oeuvre
Hors d'oeuvre
Sardine-stuffed zucchini flower, oyster deepfried with truffle

and papillote of trout with cucumber and potato

whiting, cucumber and riesling
Merlan Doria
Whiting with cucumber spaghetti on a buerre banc with

school prawns, cucumber boats, chervil and a
Riesling cappucino, topped with Iranian caviar

Wine: 2004 Lalla Gully Riesling, Tasmania, Australia

rabbit with horseradish and port
Lapin Raifort Et Croseille
Deboned saddle of rabbit rolled with rabbit loin and
served with
a tower of potato with horseradish, rabbit shoulder and port
topped with rabbit kidney and broadbeans

Wine: 2004 Koyong Chardonnay, Victoria, Australia

Escargots fried with garlic then put back in shell, topped
with garlic crumbs and baked for twenty minutes
(Optional course)

mullet with red wine oxtail
Rouget a la Bordelaise
Mullet with red wine jus served with oxtail and discs

of bone marrow

Wine: 2003 George Duboeuf, Beaujolais, France

venison with pear and celeriac
Chevreuil a la Berrichonne
Venison served with Corella pears poached in spiced red wine

and slices of celeriac

Served with chestnut brussel sprouts (not pictured).

Wine: 2003 Roundhouse Pinot, Victoria, Australia

cheese platter
Cheese platter with (clockwise from bottom left)
slices of apple, a French blue Rochebaron,
Tarago washed rind from the Gippsland region,
vintage Tasmanian cheddar, and a
vacherin-style French fougerous brie.
(Optional course)

strawberries in curacao
Fraise Sarah Bernardt
Strawberries mascerated in orange curacao served on

a pineapple granita

Wine: 2003 Plantagenet Chenin Blanc, Western Australia, Australia

peach Melba
Peche Melba
Poached peaches on a disc of vanilla bean ice cream

with raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries

My favourite dishes were definitely the venison which practically melted in the mouth, and the deep-fried oyster which was divine as well.

The bone marrow was fascinatingly pale with pink streaks, obviously removed from the bone whilst still raw. Pure cholesterol at its finest, this was artery-cloggingly rich, even for me the marrow-lovin' gal.

I enjoyed the rabbit which surprised me, as I tend to find rabbit a little too gamey. But this was light and delicate and the rabbit kidneys were delicious too, in spite of their morbidly cute appearance (especially with its synchronicity of shape with the broadbeans).

A bonanza of flavours, textures and pairings, it's taken me a few days to mentally digest our meal. I'm still thinking about it. Isn't that always a good sign of a successful degustation?

Billingsgate Fish Bistro (CLOSED)
38-40 Pauls St, Randwick, Sydney
Tel: 02 9398 1011

This was Billingsgate's first-ever degustation for what is likely to be regular monthly event (third Sunday of every month).

7 course degustation $65, or $90 with matching wines.
Snail option: $6
Cheese plate option: $10

Degustation dinners can also be arranged for private groups upon request.
6 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 10/22/2005 05:22:00 pm


  • At 10/23/2005 12:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Absolutely gorgeous food..!!

  • At 10/23/2005 12:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow looks fantastic and so inexpensive.

    Putting on our to do list!

    cheers Belinda T.

  • At 10/23/2005 12:58 pm, Blogger 2-minute Noodle Cook said…

    What a meal! I can't believe the price for that many courses. The styling and colours of the whiting and rabbit look particularly impressive. Thanks for the wonderful job of photographing the food :).

  • At 10/24/2005 2:38 pm, Blogger deborah said…

    Definitely a memorable meal!

  • At 10/24/2005 11:12 pm, Blogger Cat said…

    i like how there are such different ingredients but in each group of photos they look so similar, with colours and such. yummy AND pretty :)

  • At 10/25/2005 7:18 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    Hi AG,

    yet another wonderful find ! When I read that it was at a fish bistro, I wondered if _all_ the dishes would have fish in them.
    I usually only like my fish either raw or done chinese style deep fried with the soy sauce.
    However, I'm glad there seemed to be lots of variety and flavours. And it makes me a bit more curious as to if done thsoe ays, fish could possibly be less "fishy".

    It seems also relatively inexpensive ! Hope I'll get there one day.


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