Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited to the guest chef takeover at the Fisherman’s Wharf, Woy Woy in association with Ocean Beach Resort. I was pretty excited to be honest, as well as it being a great excuse for a Central Coast weekend away, I couldn’t wait to see what menu the guest chef, Corey Reid of Momofuku Seiōbo, would be serving us (yes, THE Momofuku!)
Situated on an old pier on the Brisbane Water, the Fisherman’s Wharf has been family owned through three generations and has been serving local people for over 40 years. Current owner, Sam Clayton, was given the tough job of bringing the place into the twenty-first century whilst also holding on to all the traditional character of Fisherman’s that his family have built. I really love what he’s done with the place, thoughtfully decorating inside with scavenged furniture and mismatched, nautically themed ornaments.
The restaurant had such a warm and welcoming atmosphere to counter the wintery conditions outside. We were seated by the kitchen, which actually turned out to be the best seats in the house. As well as being next to an indoor heater, we could catch glimpses of Corey and the team whipping up our next meal and we could smell what we coming before we could see it!
After being taken to our table, our waiter took us through the 5 course menu and, on his recommendation, we went for the wine and beer pairing menu to accompany the dishes. I liked this little touch to the evening as it can be difficult to pick a wine that will suit a very varied menu (plus, it’s nice having an expert pick it out for you!)
The first course, or ‘snack’ as it was referred to on the menu, were Sydney rock oysters served with cucumber and walnuts on a bed of rock salt. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of oysters so I had to leave the boy with 4 to himself – a bit more than a ‘snack’ if you ask me! Apparently they were pretty darn tasty and very fresh!
The next two courses definitely stole the show for me. We had yellowfin tuna served in a very hipster-esque jar with crème fraiche and squid ink brioche (yes! That is a thing!). The flavours combined were beautiful and I loved making up little bites between sips of wine.
While the tuna was pretty heavenly, the spanner crab linguini with lemon and a dash of chilli was definitely my favourite. The pasta was delicious, the flavours incredible and it was portioned perfectly so you still had room for the next two courses (kind that!) Plus the wine that was paired with the crab, a crisp Arneis, complemented the crab beautifully.
Unfortunately, the crab was so bloomin’ good that the final two courses didn’t quite hit the spot. The black flathead with breaded mussels and onion was OK but in comparison to the dishes beforehand, it was pretty bland and unimpressive. Even the glass of chardonnay didn’t quite bring it to life. The dessert, an orange and rhubarb puff pastry looked great on the plate (as you can see!) and there was a nice balance of the sharp favours but I think the crumbly pastry let it down slightly.
Overall the dinner was well put together and, from the ever-changing menu release before the event, it was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into it. I mean, what more do you expect from such a learned chef? I just think the meal peaked a little too early. However, the atmosphere was vibrant, the service was fantastic and I loved the wine pairing!
The event is the first of several evenings to be held at the seafood restaurant. Various chefs have been asked to take the reigns for a weekend and create a unique menu based on exciting local & sustainable seafood. A big thank you to Corey Reid, Fisherman’s Wharf and NRMA Ocean Beach Resort for having us.
Until next time my fellow foodies xx