Rozelle’s renowned seafood restaurant love.fish has brought its passion for sustainably-sourced, quality seafood to the discerning diners of Sydney’s hottest dining destination, The Streets of Barangaroo.
Originally launched in the inner-west suburb of Rozelle in 2010 by founders Michelle Grand-Milkovic and executive chef Michael Milkovic, love.fish has been taking Sydney seafood dining to the next level by offering a seasonally-led menu showcasing sustainably and locally caught seafood from clean Australian waters. Their philosophy, pure and simple, is to be as local, seasonal and sustainable as possible.
Applying this same ‘green heart’ philosophy that it is known for, the elegant yet relaxed restaurant offers a wider selection of Australia’s best locally-sourced oysters, raw fish, platters and crustaceans at its beautiful waterfront location overlooking Darling Harbour.
“We wanted to offer the provenance and quality of Australian seafood in a relaxed setting, and we’re passionate about sustainable, local seafood that doesn’t cost the earth, because it doesn’t need to,” Michelle says.
The menu is divided into Raw, featuring the likes of fresh oysters, snapper ceviche and live sea urchin; Small Plates, such as sardines on toast, salmon hash cakes and, prawns; Shell Fish, including spanner crab spaghettini, and mussels; and Sea, which offers a variety of fish. There is also a Daily Specials menu, featuring lesser known fish species.
For the autumn and winter menu, executive chef Michael showcases sustainably-sourced fish including Cone Bay barramundi, Tasmanian salmon, wild Spanish mackerel and local tiger flathead. The fish is served simply, with just house tartare and lemon, allowing its natural flavours to shine, while a range of seasonal side dishes provide the perfect accompaniment.
The NSW hand dived live sea urchin has been a staple on the love.fish menu since it opened, and we’re eager to try it.
“We source the urchin direct from our fisherman – hand-harvested from sea to plate in 12 hours – its as fresh as they come and our guests love the theatre of the experience,” Michael says.
Served open and within its original black spiky shell, theatrical it definitely is. But delicious too – the silky orange flesh has a naturally strong salty, briny flavour, nicely balanced with the bread, fresh lemon, and radish and fennel it comes with.
With so many fish varieties to choose from, making a choice is challenging, but our friendly waiter is highly knowledgeable and suggests the WA Cone Bay barramundi – cooked to perfection, with a salty, crispy skin and melt-in-your-mouth silkiness, it proves to be an excellent recommendation.
The seasonally-driven selection of garden-to-plate inspired side dishes offers a range of choices to accompany the fish, and we opt for crunchy polenta fries (a personal weakness), and flash fried Brussel sprouts, which the waiter tells us are a popular crowd favourite. Caramelised to perfection and served on a sweet, comforting bed of carrot puree, its not hard to see why, and my dining partner and I fight over the last one.
There is also a notable beverage list, which also clearly reflects the commitment to being as simple and sustainable as possible. On offer are freshly crafted cocktails and Australian and New Zealand wines, carefully curated to mostly feature wines that have been created with minimal use of intervention methods.
While we are too full to contemplate dessert, we take a peak just to see what we will be missing out on, and the gin + tonic bombe, passionfruit crème brulee and banoffee pie immediately catch my eye. We decide to plan another “dessert only” visit back asap.