Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Snapshot: A Fish Called Coogee

Lets face it I like the good things in life and I focus more in this blog on expensive Tuna and Champagne than down home old fashioned food. Sometimes, even a posh girl just wants to have something fried by the seaside and when you get that feeling, head straight to A Fish Called Coogee and do not pass Go!

When we arrive it's around 4pm on a warm public holiday. The crowds are thinning but the tired sandy swimmers are starting to come out of the surf and the early dinner crowd is also starting to come in. This is a place with no airs and graces, half the people ordering have no shirt or shoes on (and still get service!)

There's the usual Traditional Fish and Chips ($11) and some potato scallops ($3) but the real star here is great seafood in delicious marinades. This is no hefty spices to cover dodgy seafood, everything is fresh, delicious and the highest quality. Also it must be mentioned how damn clean the place is all I can smell is the marinades and not the oil or the fish, impressive to say the least. 

What you don't do with Fish and Chips is eat them in the store! We picked this cliff overlooking Coogee Beach, grabbed some soft drinks and some sauce and sat in the fading sunlight chatting and enjoying our haul. 

The fish and chips themselves were just excellent. The Fish was fresh as fresh can be and excellent quality, the batter light and not greasy. The chips the right mix of soft and crisp, the aioli ($3) and home made tartare sauce ($3) just delightful. 

The potato scallops had a similar light but crisp and slightly spiced batter, the potatoes were thinly cut and took on the batter perfectly. Sadly what isn't pictured was the thai fish cake ($3) which was so damn good I ate the damn thing with much eye rolling and thigh thumping before I could get a picture. Worth a drive to Coogee that's for sure! The fish cake was fresh fish pressed together with Thai spices, no milled steamed fish here just pressed sweet delicious seafood. In fact I could really go for one right now... 

Be aware we ordered way too much food, a serve of Fish and Chips without extras would be more than enough. If you want 'sides' then order 1 main meal between 2. 

A Fish Called Coogee

Fish and Chips takeaway and dine in
Super casual, no shirt, no shoes, straight from the Beach OK!
BYO if you eat in (but don't when there are such views to be had!)

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Recipe: Fresh Mexican Salsa

Fresh Mexican Salsa

1 red onion
1 ear of corn
1 red capsicum
1 large avocado
1 tomato
1 handful of coriander (cilantro)
1/2 a lemon
1/2 tspn chilli flakes


  • Dice the onion and capsicum and add to a bowl
  • Cut the avocado roughly into cubes
  • Cut the corn kernels from the cob and add to the bowl
  • Dice the tomato and add to the bowl
  • Dice the cilantro and add to the bowl with the chilli and lemon
  • Mix thoroughly until the lemon juice coats the ingredients
  • Serve with corn tortillas and refried beans for a complete vegan meal
  • Great with my vegan chilli
  • Serves 2

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: The Tea Room, Queen Victoria Building

I belong to a women's professional interest group at work, we have regular off sites and recently went to The Tea Room at the top of the Queen Victoria Building in the Sydney CBD.

Quite frankly this was one of the best work events I've ever been to. It had the right air of elegance without feeling stuffy, the food was delicious and the environment fun... and just a bit girly.

If you're not from the Commonwealth then formal Afternoon Tea may be a bit of a mystery to you but it is generally a very formal affair, finger food and hot tea with elegant place settings.

Small sandwiches usually appear along with sweets and savouries such as hot pastries. Here you can see the tableau in all its glory complete with porcelain crockery and silver tea vessels.

Such a formal affair in a grand setting and with high quality place settings isn't the cheapest of trips out. A traditional afternoon tea is $43 per person, pricier options include alcohol such as cocktails or champagne; perfect for a wedding shower or other family celebration. The cost includes a choice of high quality blended teas brewed in the traditional fashion and 'all you can eat' food. We did not make it through what was served to us however they kept offering additional sandwiches or hot dishes if needed.

This is by no means a full showing of all the food but here's a sampling

Fruit tarts and chocolate opera slice bearing The Tea Room logo printed with edible ink on chocolate discs

Hot scones (with jam and clotted cream) with Spinach and Cheese pastries

Finger sandwiches with cucumber, chicken, tuna or egg salad and egg cream pastries

Custard tarts, macarons, orange almondines and passionfruit creams

Afternoon tea is delicious on its own and this was beautiful food and beautiful tea in a gorgeous setting but what made this so spectacular was how accomodating they were. For a large party (10+) they offered us a discount and pre-arranged preferences for tea and food. More impressively they catered to all the food requirements of a difficult group. With dairy free, gluten free and nut free all at the table they managed to feed all of us to bursting satisfaction. They even provided gluten free bread and pastries rather than just replacing with milk or fruit products as is so often the case. The fact that so many in the group had separate allergies was not so much as commented on, they just ensured that we had well marked well appointed stands that were separate for the allergy sufferers. Bravo.

All in all a fantastic experience and just wonderful for a celebration, particularly for those who are unable or uninterested in drinking alcohol. For a mixed group with so many food issues there are almost no better places to go in Sydney.

The Tea Room, Queen Victoria's Building

Formal morning, afternoon and high teas
Not child friendly
Very accommodating to allergies and food restrictions

Level 3, North End, QVB
455 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: 02 9283 7279
Fax: 02 9283 7276

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