advertisement

This classy restaurant has no relation to Australia's ubiquitous savory pie chain. Nor is it a fish and chips joint, despite the jokey name. Fishface is, in fact, a seriously ambitious restaurant, albeit one with casual trappings—all of the guests sit at high bar-style tables on stools with backs and watch the chefs in an open kitchen. Yes, its version of fish and chips is likely its best seller. Made with black flathead, expertly crisped and never greasy, it takes the genre to new levels. But what makes Fishface so special, and so worthy of the trek to this suburb (which is just on the edge of downtown Sydney), is the wizardly way the chefs here have of imbuing seafood with a rainbow of tastes. You might start your meal with a sugar-cured trout with creme fraiche, a dish that tastes like a sweeter, silkier version of smoked salmon, topped with a tarter, silkier version of cream cheese. Or New Zealand oysters, with the perfect vinnaigrette and caviar. Mains range from a fiery but flavor-rich yellow fish curry to an ocean trout served in a pastry shell that's so rich, you could imagine it being served, in the day, at Versailles. All of this is supplemented by a full menu of sushi and sashimi, a well-curated wine list, and excellent desserts.