The Fish Café Balgowlah
Article by Mike Coles
August 30, 2015
I have eaten at the Fish Café Balgowlah many times. We’re a small group of grumpy old men that get together for lunch three or four times per year and it’s almost always at this fish café. Why? Quality of food, great service and a good location.
Opening back in July 2010, The Fish Café has been voted “Best Seafood Restaurant in Sydney, People’s Choice Award” for three years in a row. The most recent win was on August 27th 2015. Clearly, their regular clientele love this place. They are a friendly but professional bunch that run the place. The service is quick and the staff are knowledgeable, but it’s the quality of the product coming from the kitchen that everyone is here to experience.
The fish and chips produced, is not tricky. Generally, it’s a grilled piece of good quality fish, some good chips and simple garden salad. But it’s the consistency and quality of the product that lifts this place above the rest.
I have had the “fish and chips” many times, enjoying the grilled Barramundi ($21.80), Snapper ($27.80) and Salmon ($22.80) at various times. The lightly fried calamari is possibly the best you will experience anywhere; light, thin and a beautiful combination of crispy coating and succulent calamari served with a garlic aioli.
Today I was after their Snapper and Prawn Pie ($24.80). This is a real treat. The pie looks more like a pasty with the fish, prawns and sauce wrapped up in a puff pastry crust. Cutting in to the pie, the sauce oozes out. The sauce is Thyme, Fennel and Oregano with a cream and a hint of lemon zest. This goes perfectly with the tiger prawns, snapper and smattering of diced vegetables within. The sauce has a good flavour, but not too strong to overpower the fish and prawns. The seafood within is well cooked, but not overdone. Perfection!
Today we were a group of five (grumpy old men) and all meals arrived at the same time, beautifully presented, each with a garden salad and some chips to accompany the main event. Portion sizes are on the large side, but who’s complaining when the quality is this good?
It’s worth calling ahead to book a table, particularly on Fridays when the place can fill-up quite early. I have seen lots of couples eating here and also many large groups. No group seems too small or too big for the restaurant to cope. This really is a great, suburban restaurant.
Long may places as good as this exist.