Champions of Australian sustainably sourced seafood, Saint Peter changes the menu daily to showcase only the best. Well-lit and slender, the Paddington restaurant is fitted out with only a small open kitchen. The food is great for sharing, although the tables are a tad small and there’s a bit of plate Tetris going on once all the dishes arrive.
The Coffs Harbour mahi-mahi is seared gently, leaving the middle rare, then served with elegant stems of late season fennel on a bed of yoghurt. With flavors so bold and beautiful (yeah, I went there – I don’t watch soap operas, but it felt appropriate), this was already an incredible start to our meal.
So, I wasn’t expecting the fig leaf roast pearl perch with saltbush and macadamia to wow me even more. But instead of bold and punchy (which is what I normally gravitate towards), the fish is flaky and delicate with a hint of coconut. I don’t know if I’m imagining the coconut, but I’m picking up coconut oil on this plate. While there’s saltiness from saltbush and nuttiness from macadamia, the hero is the pearl perch in all of its pure, graceful glory.
Hand-cut chips and charcoal grilled asparagus with icicle radish are excellent side dishes. I especially love the crunchy crumb on top of the asparagus and radish.
As for dessert… I had heard about the lemon tart when chef Josh Niland was still over at Cafe Nice, but it was never on the menu somehow when I dropped in for a meal. Needless to say, I’m eager to try it. Tonight it’s served with tiny peaks of torched meringue. The lemon curd itself is velvety smooth and absolutely lives up to the hype for me. I’m not a fan of meringue in general, so I would have preferred it without.
While the thin slice of Berry’s Creek buffalo milk blue cheese pairs well with the mound of mulberries, I’m not making sense of the chocolate wheat biscuits when I eat them with the cheese. I nibble on them happily on their own, but the chocolate with blue cheese combination is lost on me.
Anyway, the food at Saint Peter gets two thumbs up from me. I’m sure I’ll be back.
Wed & Thu 5.30pm to late
Fri 12pm-2pm, 5.30pm to late
Sat & Sun 10am to 3pm, 5.30pm to late