Garfish (Manly)

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Trip 

Making the trek to Manly must be one of the most beautiful experiences of living in Sydney. On this warm summer’s day I make the voyage across to Manly for a lovely lunch.

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Location

Garfish in Manly is one of Sydney’s premier seafood restaurants with a chilled atmosphere and a view to match! Its exciting…I am here to have a celebration lunch with a couple of dear friends who got engaged last year!

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We discuss the menu and go through what piques our interest and pretty soon we have settled on what we want to order. The only thing more exciting than choosing the food is deciding on the right wine!

Wine – Erin Eyes Riesling (2014), Clare Valley

We discuss the wine pairing and menu and decide on the Riesling on the basis that it would be suitable for the seafood. One of my friends has ordered the steak, however as the designated driver he decides to pair the Riesling with his entrée and not have a pairing with the Main Course.

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This lovely Clare Valley Riesling is a wonderful wine with gentle lemon and floral aromas. On the palate a broad range of intense citrus and tropical fruit flavors are evident. The wine is soft and balances the full fruit flavours with a fresh and firm minerality which is just amazing. A very easy to drink wine with a lovely touch of acidity to pair with the seafood dishes. It’s perfect for the summer afternoon.

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Then we move on to the food…

Entrée

Two of us order the…

Garfish Tasting Platter

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Here are the items on the platter:

(1) Oyster with mignonnette dressing: The oysters are super soft, slimy, succulent and oh so creamy. They just gently slide along my tongue allowing their creamy texture to soothe the tongue and the burst of sea flavours to explode on every taste bud. The sweet tanginess of the mignonnette provides some balance while the crunch of the eschalots adds some texture variety.

(2) Salt & pepper squid with chilli, garlic, coriander and lime: A simple dish executed perfectly. The crispy, succulent squid has the spice hit of the chilli and the tang of the lime to balance the seasoning in the batter.

(3) Crisp fried zucchini flowers filled with king prawns & blue eye trevalla with salsa verde, semi dried tomato and rocket salad: The crunchy texture of the battered zucchini flower is contrasted with the smooth succulent fluffy filling of white fish and prawn filling. The salsa verde and tomato adds a lovely tangy overlay while the rocket provides a peppery finish to the dish.

(4) Salmon Tartare with Bread Crisp: The jelly like salmon is beautiful and full of its natural flavours with a lovely light herby marinade to exude the flavours of the salmon. The softness of the salmon is contrasted with the crunchiness of the bread to round out the experience.

All in all a very nice tasting platter.

One of my friends opts for the….

Salt & pepper squid with chilli, garlic, coriander and lime

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Main Course

For the Main Course, I opt for the…

Sautéed lobster tail linguine with smoked cherry tomatoes, lemon, chilli and tarragon

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The beautiful succulent lobster tail with the tarragon, the tang of the lemon and the lovely spice of the chilli forms the perfect partnership. It’s a dish which has minimal culinary intervention but with fresh produce and simplicity it is one of the most satisfying tasting experiences. The soft pasta holds it together where both the lobster, herbs and spices cling to its wheat tentacles which allow both produce and flavour to mingle effortlessly. Then the cherry tomatoes enter with a plump juicy flavour with a waft of smokiness to round out the dining experience. It’s a star dish!

My friends opt for the following wonderful dishes…

Roasted cape grim sirloin 300g with cafe de paris butter & chips

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Market Fresh Fish from the Specials Board 

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Then it’s onto Dessert to round off the afternoon…

Dessert

Crème brulee martini: Frangelico, vanilla vodka, cointreau, cream vanilla syrup, garnish w/ caramel piece

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This cocktail actually tastes like a creme brulee – the smokiness of the caramel, the rich creme centre with the lovely interaction of the vanilla with the Frangelico. It is such a dream! I love it.

Overall

It was such a chilled and relaxing lunch. The hours drifted by, the conversation continues, other diners leave one by one and pretty soon we realise that lunch time is over.  Fresh seafood, hot summer day, a view, fine company and a chilled atmosphere – I can’t think of a better way to spend the holidays.

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