Sunday, April 01, 2007

RESTAURANT: Fix St James

Type: Italian / Modern Australian
Location: 111 Elizabeth St, Sydney
Booking Required: Lunch – Yes, Dinner – Rarely

I was so pumped for this place. Calypso had sent me the menu after he got it for a work lunch and I was drooling at my desk as I went through it. And then finding that they offered all of their dishes in a tasting size (think tapas) is what took me over the edge.

I was excited, dear readers.

We arrived to find the place empty but for 2 other diners and took our seats. The menu and wine lists looked great, so we went for it. The waitress was pleasant and helpful with ordering, offering to bring the dishes out in an order she felt appropriate. Although her reaction to our order of a pricey bottle of wine was a tad odd.

I think I’ll go dish by dish for this review. If that’s okay with you.

Duck and pork neck terrine with sourdough is good, if a touch dry.

Fresh figs with jamon is good, although a pretty standard menu item these days.

Seared scallops with cauliflower puree, pork crackling and an apple reduction is an odd combination of flavours which works, but not incredibly well. The entertainment factor is huge for this dish though as half of the pork crackling flies up 1 metre and across 1 metre and directly onto the floor when I try to cut it in half. The judges also enjoy the effort by Calypso to retrieve the half of pork crackling form the floor with no one noticing. A high degree of difficulty but he pulled it off. A real gold medal save.

If the fresh figs with proscuitto/jamon is becoming a restaurant staple then zucchini flowers stuffed with crab meat is as common as a bottle of wine on a table. At Fix, they’re nice enough but a touch oily and they lack a real smack of flavour.

Asparagus with fried cheese and fig jam isn’t bad but I don’t know if it’s the best piece of asparagus that I’m eating.

Duck ragout is tasty but the sauce is a little runny and the dish is lacking punch.

And the ever-preset mozzarella, tomato and basil salad is nice, but the tomato isn’t perfect.

For dessert, raspberry confit with mascarpone and raspberry sorbet is nice and the Bimbadgen Estate Botrytis Semillon is a good compliment.

Our waitress made a few strange comments throughout the night, almost indirectly commenting that we appear to be a bit young to enjoy such a meal. But that could just be us reading into it a bit.

A nice meal in a nice setting with a good wine list, good menu, nice food and an excellent concept (tasting plates) is the easiest way to sum up my Fix experience. There was nothing wrong with the evening, but I think the dishes lacked a wow factor for me to return there. If someone else decided that we should go there then I would be pleased, but I can’t see myself suggesting it.

RATING: Okay, may go back

Fix St. James on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

Sam said...

sounds like a pretty interesting kind of menu.

Re the waitress: That's fucking wack. She must have been an old cunt or a complete retard. I remember going out for a nice meal when I was 18 for a bit of a hot date and we were treated like shit by the waiter. Pretty condescending kind of experience.

Jobe said...

Yeah the menu was very tempting. Out of the 12 or so dishes they have in tasting sizes, I REALLY struggled to narrow it down to 7 to get. They looked so good.

The waitress was hard to pick because she was quite friendly and informal, and I think she tries to keep things light. But some of those comments were just a bit odd. Like when we ordered the wine and she seemed surprised. Then when she came back with the bottle she said "I was surprised before when you ordered that wine because the Billecart Rose is just about my favourite champagne of all time." Hard to pick whether she was sincere or if she was trying to cover up.

And another comment saying "not a bad way to spend a school night... well that's what I call them," which was either her just joking around or a comment at us being young and then her trying to save it.

I dunno. Really weird. Calypso and I both look mid 20s and that's not really THAT young to be dining in such a place.

Sam said...

yeah I agree.

When I was working at Number8 and someone ordered a premium bottle of wine, I'd get excited more than anything else. Sometimes they looked at me like: What the fuck? we're drinking this not you. Other times they appreciated my enthusiasm.

Maybe the chick need a good root.

Sam said...

needed*