Garfish, Kirribilli

Garfish Kirribilli

“Good food is not found where restaurants are plentiful.
Good food is where you discover it for yourself. “

~ Chopinand, co-author of ChopinandMysaucepan

~~~~~~~~O~~~~~~~~

I often hear people remark that Sydney’s north shore is not as vibrant as Sydney’s inner west or the eastern suburbs when it comes to hip and trendy restaurants.

Granted trendy suburbs like Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Paddington may be home to some great cafes and restaurants. But what if there’s nothing on their menu that tickles my fancy?

Garfish's fish and chips promotion for October 2012

Garfish's fish and chips promotion for October 2012

Friends often ask for restaurant recommendations. I prefer to counter with another question – “What do you feel like eating?”

Recommending a particular dish at a restaurant makes more sense than recommending the restaurant itself. Try as they do, not all restaurants do all things well that appeal to all diners. We all have different tastes and food in itself is highly subjective.

But every now and then, I come across a dish that tantalizes the taste buds and puts a smile on my face.

And recently, I found that dish in a seared scallops with pork hock, leek terrine and horseradish cream in a restaurant called Garfish.

Since opening for business in 2002 in the lower north shore of Kirribilli, Garfish has been offering local with some of the freshest seafood on this side of the Sydney Harbour bridge. In the last decade, the original location has expanded with the opening of two more branches in Crows Nest and Manly, suburbs which also happen to be in Sydney’s north.

Garfish Kirribilli is celebrating its 10th anniversary this October with their signature beer batter fish and chips at their 2002 price of $17 (normally $25.50). I also did the maths and the $8.50 price difference happens to be an average of exactly 5% increase over the last 10 years.

But inflation is not the subject today because it’s a glorious and sunny Saturday afternoon so Mysaucepan and I are here for an al fresco lunch.

Table setting at Garfish, Kirribilli

Table setting at Garfish, Kirribilli

I like the table setting at Garfish – simple yet stylish and the fold-out menu doubles up as a serviette holder.

Daily blackboard specials

Daily blackboard specials

There are daily blackboard specials that include fresh fish that you can choose from different cooking methods.

James Boags Premium Lager $6.50

James Boags Premium Lager $6.50

The wine list has about 20 whites by the glass to complement the seafood and some good ones from from Margaret river in Western Australia and Central Otago.

Mojito with Bacardi, mint, soda and lime $14

Mojito with Bacardi, mint, soda and lime $14

Oyster plate - fresh with mignonette dressing, Bloody Mary shots and crisp fried with soy, mirin ginger $20

Oyster plate - fresh with mignonette dressing, Bloody Mary shots and crisp fried with soy, mirin & ginger $20

On the menu, there are fresh oysters with a mignonette dressing, oyster shot with Bloody Mary or crisp fried with soy, mirin and ginger ($3.35 each, minimum 4)

The oyster plate comes with two of each of the three options above.

L: Fresh with mignonette dressing R: Crisp fried with soy, mirin and ginger

The tangy mignonette dressing works well with the fresh oyster as how fresh lemon juice would while the crisp fried one with a soy, mirin and ginger lends subtle Asian flavours.

But on a beautiful day like this, I think my favourite is the oyster shots with Bloody Mary.

Seared scallops with pork hock and leek terrine, horseradish cream $20

Seared scallops with pork hock, leek terrine and horseradish cream $20

The seared scallops with pork hock, leek terrine and horseradish cream is an elegant play on the classic combination of seafood and pork.

Two plump scallops sit on top of a slice of  pork hock and leek terrine. The horseradish cream offers just a teasing amount of heat to the sweet and succulent scallops while the terrine is tender with small chunks of salty meat.

This dish is like a beautiful woman with a pair of delectable assets to tempt and subtle flavours to flirt.

I believe this dish would rival the entrees in many hatted restaurants in Sydney. Compliments to the chef who created this elegant and stylish dish because I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Beer batter fish & chips with tartare & lemon $17 (normally $25.50)

Beer batter fish & chips with tartare & lemon $17 (normally $25.50)

The signature beer batter fish and chips come with two golden brown fillets and a thick and chunky tartare. This is what I have been waiting for a long time.

Beer batter fish & chips with tartare & lemon $17 (normally $25.50)

Beer batter fish & chips with tartare & lemon $17 (normally $25.50)

Light and crispy batter? Check. Not overly oily? Check. Tender and succulent fish fillet inside? Check. All the hallmarks of a good fish and chips are ticked.

Any urge to ask for tomato sauce is quashed with the rich, eggy and mayonnaisey tartare which is obviously homemade because no supermarket brand can taste this good.

Perhaps I could have dipped my crispy chips in tomato sauce but they were nice enough to eat on their own.

Al fresco dining at Garfish, Kirribilli

Al fresco dining at Garfish, Kirribilli

There is hardly any diners sitting inside the restaurant because al fresco dining on a glorious day like this is a nice way to soak up some Sydney sun while sipping on your chilled chardonnay.

October fish & chips promotion at Garfish, Kirribilli

October fish & chips promotion at Garfish, Kirribilli

Congratulations Garfish on turning a big 10! Your fish and chips is still one of the best among so many in Sydney. And whoever said there isn’t any good food in Sydney’s north shore?

So, I believe good food is not found where restaurants are plentiful. Good food is where you discover it for yourself.

Garfish, Kirribilli

Garfish, Kirribilli

~~~~~~~~O~~~~~~~~

Harbourfront walk, Bradford Park, Kirribilli

Ibis on a park bench at Bradfield Park, Kirribilli, Sydney

Ibis on a park bench at Bradfield Park, Kirribilli, Sydney

It is a glorious Saturday afternoon and the best thing about Garfish’s location is a short stroll down to Bradford Park to get a dose of Sydney harbour and the Opera House.

Sydney Opera House from Bradfield Park

Sydney Opera House from Bradfield Park

The view of the Sydney Opera House is breath-taking and truly a sight to behold.

 L: Sydney Harbour Bridge R: Sydney Opera House

Iconic Sydney Opera House on a sunny spring day

Iconic Sydney Opera House on a sunny spring day

So dear readers, do you normally recommend a restaurant in general or a particular dish that you liked to your friends?

Garfish
2/21 Broughton street, Kirribilli
New South Wales 2061
Tel: +61 29922 4322

Business hours:

Monday  -  Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast and lunch only

Other locations:

6/29 Holterman street, Crows Nest
New South Wales 2065
Tel: +61 2 9966 0445

Business hours:

Open 7 days breakfast, lunch and dinner

1/39 East Esplanade, Manly
New South Wales 2095
Tel: +61 2 99770707

Business hours:

Open 7 days lunch and dinner

Garfish on Urbanspoon

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9 Responses to Garfish, Kirribilli

  1. Oh lovely, I’ve wanted to go to Garfish for awhile. Ten years is quite a testament to their restaurant! The fish and chips look great – yay for discounted prices hehe. I am a big sucker for ordering the same thing again and again if its really good and so I often recommend the dish over the restaurant. One of my fave examples of this is the Lamb Sosaties at Out of Africa in Manly. /sigh deleeeectable!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Christine,

      I think it’s fine to order the same dish time and again as long as you really enjoy it coz I’m the same!

  2. OohLookBel says:

    Gorgeous pictures! Fish and chips is always worth it when they’re done well. The scallops look pretty good, too.

  3. I do recommend restaurants or menus we liked to our friends. I think we always talk about food or restaurants with our friends in general and they enjoy this topic too. And we talk about food blogs a lot especially after blogging. Now that you shared this delicious picture of fish and chips, I have to lure my friends to see if they want to eat my favorite fish and chips place this weekend… :D That seared scallops look good too. Have a great weekend!

  4. Celia says:

    Looks like a cool restaurant, thanks for the review, Chopinand! Love the look of those fish and chips!

  5. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’ve known of Garfish for a long time but haven’t ever been there. I’ll have to change this! I would love to go there on a day like they day you went where you can sit outside and then wander around the foreshore taking in the view xx

  6. Raymund says:

    Look at those scallops, mmmmmm

  7. If I ever visit Sydney, you must take me out for makan (eats)! :)

  8. Kimby says:

    From the understated table setting at the beginning, to the fabulous photos of the Sydney Opera House in conclusion, this was a delight to behold. (And read!) Your descriptions are as vivid as your photos. Great quote, too!

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