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Thursday, September 06, 2018

Fich at Petersham

Fried school prawns at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney

So you thought Petersham was only about Portuguese charcoal chicken? Not so. It's seafood ahoy at the suburb's most recent addition, Fich. Co-owners and chefs Jose Silva (he also co-owns Sweet Belem) and Manny Paraiso (ex-Bibo Winebar) are bringing a new kind of fish and chip shop to the suburbs. Expect the best catches of the day available for dine-in or takeaway. And yep, they have potato scallops too.

Dining room at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney

There's just one A3 page to the menu, broken up into small, large, burgers, salads and sides. Kids get to choose from fish cocktails, calamari rings or a fish burgers ($10-12), each served with chips. And yes, it's all seafood - don't go looking for any other proteins.

The dining room is clean lines and Nordic influences. The main wall is dominated by a giant fish mural. It's the kind of space that is low-key enough for young families but also passes as date night-friendly for couples.

I end up visiting twice in the space of a week: the first with friends, the second time with family. Ready for the onslaught of photos? Scroll on.

Swordfish ceviche at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Ceviche $19

The swordfish ceviche is a good place to start. Chunky slices of swordfish have been cured with coconut vinegar to a barely-cooked softness. A blanket of coconut cream provides decadence, contrasted with the zingy pop of pomelo and the crisp bite of paper-thin cucumber.

Fish taco at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
FICH taco $9

At $9 a pop, the fish taco seems a little exxy at first glance, but there's a fair amount of work in this handheld snack. The battered fish combines puffy crunch with succulent flesh, balanced with a cucumber and tomato salsa and a perfectly cut square of butter lettuce. The highlight is the deep fried fish skin, scattered across the top like confetti.

Potato scallops at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Potato scallops $2 each

Of course we had the potato scallops, much thicker and chunkier than my 20c takeaway shop memories. There's a noticeable creaminess to the potato, encased in a thick armour of crunchy batter.

Fried school prawns at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
School prawns $18

Most addictive dish is awarded to the school prawns, deep-fried so they eat as noisily as potato chips. It's a simple dish that works only with the freshest of ingredients. And there's attention to detail too, with the deliberate scattering of baby radishes, chives and micro herbs to break up the heaviness.

Skate schnitzel at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
NSW eagle ray skate schnitzel $22

There isn't enough skate on Australian restaurant menus, I reckon. Fich widens its appeal by turning it into a schnitzel. Our eagle ray skate schnitzel doesn't feel like it hits the mark this time, tasting a little mealy and without its trademark collagenic texture.

Mussels with sobrasada butter at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Kinkawooka SA mussels $20

The Kinkawooka mussels with sobrasada butter is another story. I order it on both visits. On my second, we get two serves. The mussels are plump and juicy; the toasted bread is seductively charred and smoky, but let's be honest, it's all about the sobrasada butter. It's literally drinkable.

We do just that, breaking open the mussel shells and using one half as a spoon to scoop up every last drop. Its salty sweet butteriness has both the fragrance of seafood and the gently spiced undertones of sobarasada, a pork and paprika cured Spanish sausage.

Bacalhau salad at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
FICH love salad $12

Five choices beckon from the salad menu. We try three of them overall. The love salad promises bacalhau with cos lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olive and croutons. We only manage to find three tiny pieces of cured cod, but otherwise it's a tasty serving of vegetables (and deep-fried bread. Yum).

Roasted beetroot salad at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Beet salad $10

There's much to like about the beet salad, the earthiness of crimson roasted beetroots offset by a labne dressing, bitter rocket and crunchy roasted chickpeas and pumpkin seeds.

Cous cous salad at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Rocco salad $10

The rocco salad is all about celebrating cous cous. It's a fluffy mound, interspersed with roasted zucchini, charred capsicum, toasted almond flakes and the sweetness of raisins.

Polenta chips at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Polenta chips with anchovy mayo $12

Polenta chips aren't presented in usual Jenga block fashion, but in cubes. That makes for a more favourable crunchy outer ratio, made even better with a splodge of anchovy mayo.

Whole grilled trout with grilled tortillas at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Whole grilled trout with grilled tortillas, molhol verde, piri piri and aioli $36

The largest - and most expensive - dish on the menu is the whole fish, either grilled or southern fried as you choose. The fish varies day to day. We were keen to have the flathead but it's not on the menu today. We opt for the whole grilled trout instead. It's cooked with expertise, sporting slightly charred skin.

We demolish it all, alternating mouthfuls with the trio of sauces on the side: a Portuguese green sauce, piri piri chilli sauce and aioli. A grilled tortilla and pickled turnips and gherkins round out this substantial main.

Grilled garfish with grilled tortillas at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Grilled garfish with grilled tortillas, molhol verde, piri piri and aioli $36

On our next visit, we're again denied the flathead so choose the snapper instead. This causes some confusion when grilled garfish arrives at the table. There's an awkward moment when the waitress asks us if we're happy with the garfish or if we'd prefer the snapper. We acquiesce but then suffer regret as we battle with the minefield of tiny bones. The fish is tasty, if hard work though.

Grilled Cone Bay barramundi at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Grilled Cone Bay barramundi with roasted Jerusalem artichokes and broccoli $36

Much easier to eat is the grilled Cone Bay barramundi. It's another testament to the expertise in the kitchen, cooked so the crisp is crisp without compromising the flesh. Roasted Jerusalem artichokes and broccoli on the side would make this an ideal main course for one.

Beer battered ling fish and chips at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Fich n chips $18

The classic fish and chips is one of the real highlights though. The beer battered New Zealand ling fillet is masterfully done. Is there anything more beautiful than deep-fried perfection? A massive serve of chips means you'd probably want to share this.

Chai tea custard at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Fich bowl chai tea custard $10

We end up trying all three desserts available. The Fich bowl chai tea custard is probably the most disappointing, only because the taste of chai is barely discernible. Warm quince and the scattered crumble of oats, pumpkin seeds and almonds make this feel like I'm eating breakfast. If there's been more of the chai flavour this could have been so comforting.

Belem tart at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
When Fich meets Belem $7

Fich meets Belem is a cute tribute to the famed custard tart sold around the corner. The pasteis de nata is blinged up with blowtorched Swiss meringue and an assembly of finely sliced fruit. Few things can beat flaky pastry and eggy custard. It doesn't need all the garnishing to be honest, but it does mean you get to feel a little better about eating more fruit?

Looking for a night out or a night in? Go Fich. And get those mussels.

Caramel ice cream sandwich at Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney
Fich ice cream sandwich $8

Surprised dish of the day? The ice cream sandwich. It's more than that. It's swoonworthy. The discs of incredibly flaky pastry make my eyebrows arch, but it's the salted caramel too, a thick and dense sauce that has been pushed to the edge of sweet and salty bitterness.

Fich seafood restaurant in Petersham Sydney


Fich at Petersham Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fich at Petersham
Shop 3, 98-106 Audley Street, Petersham, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9572 7887

Opening hours
Wednesday to Sunday 12pm-9pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/06/2018 04:35:00 pm


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