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Wyndham Street is a curious contrast. At one end is rowdy bars where crowds spill out onto the street drinking, while achingly hip fashion stores line the other. In the middle sits Fish & Meat, and it attracts patrons from both spectrums. Diners enter around the corner on Glenealy Street and ascend a flight of stairs to a low-lit space that looks part country barn, part urban warehouse, with polished concrete floors and columns and rustic timber furniture. You can choose to sit facing the open kitchen, at a long bar counter or individual tables. A few outdoor tables – good for watching the passing parade below – are also available
High-quality, farm-to-table ingredients in simple dishes – that’s the promise of Fish & Meat. Pescatarians and carnivores are especially well catered for, though if the soft duck egg raviolo is any indication, it’s a shame more vegetarian options are not available. The raviolo comes as a single saucer-shaped disc bathed in burnt sage butter, black truffle and pecorino cheese shavings. Cut into it and bright orange yolk oozes out from the ricotta cream centre. It’s rich, silky and sexy, a bit of foreplay for the palate. It’s a hard act to follow and our Hokkaido scallops are a touch overcooked, though the accompanying buttermilk onion puree, roasted beetroot, mustard and candied walnuts adds a lush texture and acid bite. Fresh squid ink linguine with sea urchin, red carabineros prawns, salmon roe, garlic and chilli sounds like a dream combination. Unfortunately, the umami flavours are drowned by the tsunami of a gluggy, creamy sauce and a heavy hand with the chilli, which overwhelms the dish. A 12oz USDA 400-day grain-fed rib eye comes out looking anaemic, but is tender with good depth of flavour, if a little fatty, which is not a problem with the unctuous side of roasted bone marrow with caper gremolata. You can’t go wrong with the dark chocolate fondant with Tahitian vanilla ice-cream, a gooey treat made more sinful with the pouring jug of salted caramel sauce, which makes for a satisfying finish.
The concise two-page wine list is almost exclusively Italian, with a handful of French champagne and wines available. Our glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Colline Teramane, Farnese 2009 was soft and well-rounded with dark fruit flavours. Any wine available by the glass is also available by the carafe, which is commendable, and the list includes helpful tasting notes.
The wait staff are mostly friendly and efficient. Drink and food orders were promptly taken and no major issues arose
Simple food does not mean cheap, and a meal for two with a glass of wine each comes to about $1,800.