Melbourne Restaurant Reviews: The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Fishhouse, The (Burleigh Heads, QLD)

50 Goodwin Terrace
Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
+61 7 5535 7725
http://www.thefishhouse.com.au/

Marty’s last girlfriend broke up with him after five months, presumably because he was too difficult to deal with. I, on the other hand, have been with him for two years. An achievement of this magnitude is surely a cause for celebration so after some nagging, I finally convinced Marty to ‘take me out for seafood’ during my last visit up to the ‘Coast (hmm on that note, maybe I’m the difficult one that he is the person who should be getting kudos and not me?)

I initially chose Omero Bros in Main Beach for this seafood fiesta but after hearing good things about The Fishhouse in Burleigh Heads, I changed my mind. And man, I’m so glad I did.

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Marty booked a table right by the window so we can admire surfers Burleigh Beach in all its sun-drenched beauty. While I appreciated the thought, the afternoon sun glare meant that most of my photos were masked in that ghastly sun glare. Note to partners of food bloggers: DO NOT book tables by the window when the weather is going to be this perfect! (#firstworldfoodbloggerproblems)

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Owned by Simon Gloftis of Hellenika fame, The Fishhouse has only been around since 2012 but it is quietly but swiftly making ripples in Queensland food industry. Gloftis grew up eating heaps of seafood and wanted to show Gold Coastitutes what he could do with seafood at Hellenika – except that people kept ordering lamb there. Nekminit, out comes The Fishhouse. Gloftis’ aim here is to buy the best available seafood and create something delicious while ‘try[ing] not to mess with it too much.’ With head chef Aaron Smith manning the kitchen, the Fishhouse team delivers beautiful food with service that’s as friendly as a seal pup yet quick as a marlin.

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We started off with some freshly baked bread and butter. Because the butter was so good, I initially thought that it was churned in-house. Imagine my surprise, then, when our lovely waiter told us that it was store-bought! Of course, this magically soft and creamy butter came from none other than Pepe Saya, the cultured butter specialists.

I know I was meant to limit my bread and butter intake but I couldn’t help but say ‘yes’ when the waiter asked us if we wanted more butter. It really was THAT good and once my 1kg block of Myrtleford butter is completely devoured, I will going straight to my nearest Pepe Saya stockist.

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Because we were celebrating a special occasion, we decided to splurge on some caviar. Marty’s never had it and he wanted to try it because he wanted to boss it up for the day. Eh, why not? The Fishhouse sells Oscietra caviar from the Russian sturgeon at $140 for 30g. It’s not something that you’d eat every day for morning tea but today, we were all like YOLO, like, whatevs.

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To eat the caviar, we scooped the little eggs up with a mother of pearl spoon and dabbled them onto a piece of blini. After we scooped up some crème fraiche to go with it, we bit into it, groaned in ecstasy and reached for a shot of chilled vodka. We were already having a ball – and we hadn’t even received our starters.

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Marty’s starter was the seared baby calamari with tomato concasse, chilli and parsley ($22). The squid, from South Australia, was cut into beautiful curly ribbons, each of them perfectly cooked. You don’t need to be a chef to know that calamari is hard to get right so we were both impressed at how tender yet chewy the calamari was. Dressed in a light tomato concasse and a little bit of chilli for kicks and giggles, this was a lovely starter.

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I went raw with the Petuna ocean trout from Macquarie Habour in Tasmania ($16). Drizzled with lemon and olive oil and garnished with dill, the trout set a benchmark for WOW. Marty and I have always loved raw fish but this dish was another level altogether. It was amazing and this crappy photo does not do it justice.

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Marty’s main was the King George whiting from Port Lincoln, South Australia ($46). The fillets were lightly crumbed and pan roasted and man, they were delicious even without a squeeze of lemon.

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While the fish was beautiful, I have to say that the homemade tartare sauce was the star of the show. Yes, I know that I sound sacrilegious but it’s true, we couldn’t get enough of that stuff. The sauce was creamy, fresh and punctuated with wonderfully fragrant herbs. If McDonalds ever discovered the recipe for THIS tartare sauce and slopped it on their Filet O’Fish burgers, I’d happily pay $10 a pop for them.

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My coral trout from Cairns ($42) was beautiful but I have to say that it paled slightly in comparison to Marty’s whiting. Ugh, food envy much? Regardless, it was beautifully steamed in a fennel, lemon and olive oil emulsion. Given The Fishhouse’s focus on simplicity, I did think that the sauce was very flavoursome yet not enough that it overpowered the delicate flavour of the fish.

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We were also given some sides. We were impressed with the baked potato gratin that looked very much like a potato lasagne, crispy edges and all.

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Also decent were the green beans and heirloom carrots but the green salad (not pictured) was pedestrian.

We were full but Marty, being Marty, couldn’t leave without trying dessert. All I wanted was a scoop of ‘smoked ice cream’ (it was the only thing on the dessert menu that caught my eye) but Marty wanted to go all out. In the end, we decided to compromise: go the apple tarte tatin ($28) but instead of its default vanilla bean ice cream, we would ask for the smoked ice cream (offering to pay extra, of course). The waiter went one better – he’d give us the apple tarte tatin as it is but give us a scoop of smoked ice cream for free. Talk about brilliant service.

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The apple tarte tatin was designed to feed two people (hence the price). I might have initially whinged about over-ordering but as soon as I sunk my chompers into the crispy, flaky pastry in all its sticky syrup drizzle, I thanked Marty profusely (in my head, of course – I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction). The pastry may have done it for me, but I also liked the Moorish apple filling which paired well with the smooth and silky vanilla bean ice cream.

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And here is the house made smoked ice cream (normally $3.50). A previous customer told the restaurant that the flavour reminded them of roasted marshmallows and we had to agree – it was sweet but the slightly smoky flavour just added a whole new dimension to it. It reminded me of summer school camps, even though Total Fire Bans prevented us from having camp fires 95% of the time. Oh and how did they get the smoky flavour? Pu-erh tea, of course.

Our experience at The Fishhouse was borderline perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary lunch than one with friendly laidback staff and some of the best food I’ve had on the Gold Coast accompanied by an unrivalled view of Burleigh Beach. As of now, The Fishhouse is officially my favourite restaurant on the Gold Coast.

The Fish House on Urbanspoon

12 Comments on Fishhouse, The (Burleigh Heads, QLD)

  1. msihua (@msihua)
    June 3, 2013 at 22:15 (11 months ago)

    Good job on the nagging! 2 years needs a reward :) Well done and congrats :)

    Reply
  2. talktothehann
    June 3, 2013 at 22:42 (11 months ago)

    Happy anniversary. Fishhouse sounds like great service and food looks clean and simple. Mo’ butter? And free ‘smoked’ ice cream to try, its these Lil things that complete and great outing. Congrats

    Reply
    • libishski
      June 5, 2013 at 19:43 (11 months ago)

      I agree. Those gestures might be little but they are always appreciated and make all the difference.

      Reply
  3. Choc Chip Uru
    June 4, 2013 at 06:38 (11 months ago)

    What a special occasion :)
    Happy Anniversary!
    I love the way you have reviewed, everything looks so fresh and delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  4. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    June 4, 2013 at 15:19 (11 months ago)

    Happy Anniversary dearie :) 2 years yay! *Cocktail* heres to many more years to come!

    LOL I loved that comment to food bloggers partner not to book a table near the window, but your photos are still great so don’t worry!

    I’d loveeeeee to try the caviar and the smoked ice-cream never heard of that before!

    Reply
  5. Agnes
    June 4, 2013 at 20:47 (11 months ago)

    WOW that sounds like *such* a good meal. Good choice! And congrats on two years. :)

    Reply
  6. Ames
    June 4, 2013 at 23:51 (11 months ago)

    WOW! Two years already?? I remember when you started to mention Matty on blog… seems like yesterday :P Congrats you two!

    Reply
    • libishski
      June 5, 2013 at 19:41 (11 months ago)

      Yep, time certainly flies. Thanks Amy!

      Reply
  7. Julie
    June 5, 2013 at 11:40 (11 months ago)

    Happy 2 years babe :D yay!!

    Reply
  8. Sharky
    June 6, 2013 at 15:07 (11 months ago)

    Nice review – I have been hankering to go but heard it was pretty exy. will wait for a special occasion.

    Sharky

    Reply
    • libishski
      June 8, 2013 at 18:06 (11 months ago)

      Fishhouse isn’t cheap but it’s definitely worth spending money for a meal there!

      Reply

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