Monday, September 26, 2011

It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s Flying Fish and Chips

The opening of The Star, formerly known as Star City, has been flying a little low on some radars. Despite colourful banners throughout the CBD (perhaps somewhat overshadowed by Art & About’s ‘What If’ banners), a few people were on the lookout for a new tabloid newspaper rather than the multi-million dollar renovated Sydney casino.

Curiosity gets the better on me on a Friday night after a cocktail or two. The cab ride from the city is a possible deterrent for rat racers, but if the weather was nicer – but not too hot either – the walk over Pyrmont Bridge could be quite pleasant.

The new casino layout is decidedly different – it’s best to go in as if it’s a completely new place, otherwise there could be confusion. The main entrance, now facing the water, is glitzier and shows off new restaurants Balla by Stefano Manifredi and Black by Teage Ezard, as well as a line of designer store fronts.

Natural oysters from Flying Fish and Chips, The Star, Pyrmont
Turning a corner past Balla leads to the food court section; and now that Westfield Sydney has essentially redefined food court eating, expect nothing lesser. There’s still work going on and some empty shopfronts, but on the whole – no-one seems to know about the place on this empty Friday night.

Which means placing an order at Flying Fish and Chips requires no waiting beyond our making selections from the pretty good looking menu. Cold and hot seafood options are available, as well as wines by the glass and bottle.

Post some minor technology teething problems, we grab a dozen natural oysters to share. The Sydney rock oysters are served on a bed of rock salt with lemon wedges and seafood sauce. They’re passable, though by no means the freshest in the suburb.

Classic fish and chips
It’s hard to go past good ol’ fish and chips here. It’s the first on the hot menu, and should probably be the signature and/or best seller given the store’s name. The white fish fillet is unidentified and we forget to ask, and is served with thick cut chips and a side salad – the latter quite a pleasant, balsamic-dressed surprise.

The batter on the fish is top notch, if not a smidgen thick and oil retentive, but well-seasoned and audibly crunchy. The fish is a good-sized fillet, still moist within while the uniquely seasoned chips are mostly good, with just a few looking in need of a solarium or further cooking.

Seared Petuna ocean trout with jasmine rice and curry sauce
An intriguing main-like dish, and one possibly familiar to Flying Fish diners, is a seared fillet of ocean trout, served with seasoned rice and oddly enough, a side salad as well. It’s also a generous serve and looks beautifully cooked, with just a hint of golden brown on the flesh.

Though sadly, looks can be deceiving as the fish was desperately underseasoned, even with extra curry sauce (which comes from a squeeze bottle), while the rice had a gluggy feel which one might also put down to kitchen teething issues.

Prawn cutlets with chips
I came out victor of the night with my choice of prawn cutlets from the hot menu. When I ordered, I already had heightened expectations for something far superior to the frozen, crumbed ones you can get at many a takeaway food store that are more bread than prawn. My expectations, and rather unhealthy choice, were justly rewarded.

The little bowl could barely contain the huge battered specimens of my prawns, beside my well-coloured thick chips and side salad. The prawns, instead of being butterflied, were completely split down the centre and remained joint at the tail – a nice structural divergence from their frozen cousins.

As such, there was probably more batter per prawn, which wasn’t an issue given the incredibly tasty (potentially beer) batter, which still held more oil than I would have liked. A touch of tartare sauce completed my winning meal, as too the very crunchy and filling chips, washed down with a glass of Italian pinot grigio.

Sadly, I think the chips took away my opportunity to have dessert at Messina Gelato, though we still managed to detour by the gaming floor – which is the whole point. If The Star can just get every diner to drop just a few dollars on the tables or at the pokies, they’ll probably soon be recouping renovation costs and flying high.

Flying Fish and Chips on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

JasmyneTea said...

LOL, solarium! :) I've been meaning to take a look at The Star, but never got around to it - looks like it's worth a visit though.

rockahenry said...

i hope you came out from the casino a winner too!

overall does the foodcourt look promising?? food venues at the 'old' star city were always pretty dissapointing

Richard Elliot said...

I've only eaten at Sean's Kitchen in Star before (now closed I think) and it was decidedly average. Considering I live so close I should give the new Star a go.

A cheap way to get a taster of Flying Fish before trying out the mothership.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I had some of the gelato at Messina and it was wonderful! Hopefully next time there will be room for it :)

mashi said...

Sounds delish, thanks for the review. I'm visiting this friday with some friends, so will prob get the prawn cutlets with chips too :)

Corinne @ Gourmantic said...

It'd be hard getting me to a casino even to eat! It's not for everyone and I guess that's why it flies low on some radars.

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

Definitely somewhere to keep in mind for a visit once more things are open!

Tina said...

Hi JasmyneTea - Yeah, some of the eateries are definitely worth the visit.

Hi rockahenry - It was very quiet when I visited, but I'm sure when Momofuku and Din Tai Fung settle in, it'll amp up.

Hi Richard - Definitely cheaper than the mothership...!

Hi Lorraine - Yes, a couple of scoops at least!

Hi mashi - No probs, hope you enjoy.

Oooh Corinne, there's a tempting cocktail bar in there as well...

Hi Rita - Yep, although I think they're almost there with everything in a month or so.

Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said...

Like a moth to a shiny flame I've been unable to stay away from the star for a sticky beak but yet to dine in any of the new restaurants. Although the one kiosk I couldn't resist resulted in a takeaway cup of Messina!

Tina said...

Hi Gianna - Moths we are... I'm not so sure about Black and Balla, but will be very keen for Sokyo when that opens

Madam Wu said...

It's great to get a preview via your insightful blog and clear photos. I would have ordered the ocean trout but now I'm not so sure. What's with curry sauce from a bottle?

Tina said...

Hi Madam Wu - Thanks, glad to be able to help. Perhaps that's just how they serve it anyway...?

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