Don’t get nipped
Photo Courtesy of: rawfish.com.au
Flying Fish The Winery
19-21 Pyrmont Rd 285a Crown St.
Pyrmont Surry Hills
THE FIRST PROBLEM WAS that one of us had come straight from work. She was hungry and wanted an entrée. We were merely peckish and would have settled for mains.
The Flying Fish was her choice. The drinks on the pier, with the Harbour Bridge as a postcard backdrop, had put me in a magnanimous mood, so we compromised on two entrées between three of us.
The second problem was that I was only half-listening as the veteran waiter rolled off the daily specials. So when he mentioned crab and MP (as I’ll protectively call her) mentioned she ‘wouldn’t mind a little crab’ I happily agreed to share some. Especially since I was sure somebody used the words ‘soft-shell’ somewhere along the way and that’s an easy entrée to share.
The other entrée was a gem. On their website FF rightly boasts about ‘the unique mix of seafood and meat dishes on the menu’. And they were right with the yellowfin tuna served with slivers of puffed pork, grapefruit and black pepper caramel. Scrumptious.
I don’t want to have to use pliers and
tongs and nutcrackers to fight for it.
And then came the crab. Not bits of crab, not crab sticks (quel, horreur!) not soft shell. A whole mud crab. The bright red shiny shell sitting on top to be instantly discarded -- even though the weight is included in the 1.3 kilograms they charge you for.
And with it came the whole array of dentistry tools.
At the best of times, I’ll confess I am a lazy eater. I loathe smorgasbords. I want the food to be brought to me and, once on my table, I don’t want to have to use pliers and tongs and nutcrackers to fight for it.
But fight for it we did and the crab was sweet and largely worth the battle.
Now, I may seem old-fashioned, but I think when you are being offered a market price whole crab or lobster or a rare Patagonian toothfish, the waiter should mention the price . Especially if it is a daily special. As this was.
(For a main I actually had the toothfish, which was listed on the menu at $49, and it was faultless.)
Speaking of toothfish and dentistry tools. My wallet felt a painful extraction when the bill came. Our singular mudcrab cost $143.00.
I guess that figure stuck in my mind, or craw, because the following day I lunched, delightfully, at The Winery in Surry Hills. Again there were three of us – not including MP, the Mud Crab Queen.
Among the dishes we shared were chilled yabbies for $25. Probably more meat and definitely less trouble and less mess than Messieur Mudcrab.
Plus baked goat’s cheese with cherry tomatoes, octopus and potatoes and a giant veal and chorizo sausage roll.
All in a comfortable, cheerful, arty atmosphere. Including wine for the girls, the bill was $146.
Not a fair comparison because the Flying Fish is a classy, clever place. Just be a little cautious when crustaceans are on the march. You could get nipped.