Cod's Gift, Dural
Cod's Gift is a restaurant focused on sustainable sourced seafood in Dural in Sydney's north west. The interior is beautiful and lush, with velvet, brass and marble featuring heavily among the blue and green tones.
The menu is definitely not your standard fish and chips fare. We started off with half dozen of the Sydney Rock oysters from Merimbula in NSW. They were dressed with a Caramelised cabarnet vinegar with escallot and native pepper; and house ponzu with finger lime. The oysters were plump and creamy and I would have been perfectly happy to eat them with just a squeeze of lemon, but the dressings added an extra dimension to them.
The Kingfish sashimi looked like a beautiful summery dish when it hit our table. It was dazzling with flavour from the watermelon, blood orange, pistachio and jalapeno combination.
Straying from the seafood theme temporarily, the Portobello mushroom was a bit milder in flavour compared to some of the other dishes. The buckwheat and crisp lotus were some interesting textural additions.
The Lobster donuts caught my eye when looking through the menu. The mini donuts were filled with rock lobster, tom yum mayonnaise, sweet corn and lemongrass salt. It was the perfect sweet and salty combo.
The Snapper with sage crumb was beautifully cooked with a crispy coating and still flakey on the inside. The shaved fennel added a touch of freshness and it was a very satisfying dish to eat.
For dessert, we couldn't go past the Figs with mango, sticky rice ice cream and black sesame tuille. It was quite a sweet dessert and I wished there was more of the delicious, locally sourced figs.
Cod's Gift is well worth the drive to Sydney's north west, with the seafood dishes definitely playing the starring role,
O Crab, Chatswood
I love House of Crabs in Redfern so I was excited to hear O Crab opening in Chatswood, serving crab in a bag. My bf and I ventured there on its second day of trading for lunch. It was a little tricky to find as the restaurant is tucked underneath a residential block, away from the hustle and bustle of the shops and train station.
The restaurant is interestingly decked out with nets adorning the ceiling and ropes acting as a room divider. We started with the O Crab seafood chowder which came served in a bread bowl. The chowder was flavoursome and creamy and they didn't skimp on the ingredients - loads of mussels, prawns and salmon were hidden inside the bread bowl. At $10 including a non-alcoholic beverage, this lunch special is great value.
Now for the crab in a bag! You basically pick your type of crab (they had prawns too) and the sauce you want. We opted for the snow crab in garlic butter sauce ($25 per cluster i.e. 2 legs) as I tend to find it a bit meatier than the blue swimmers ($25/crab) and we weren't disappointed! Opening the bag, the aroma of the garlic butter is immediately evident and we couldn't wait to dig in.
Equipped with our mallet (branded with the name of the restaurant), we proceeded to bash the crab senseless! The plastic aprons definitely came in handy at this point! It was a lot of fun trying to extract the entire piece of crab meat intact, although the legs were pretty spiky to deal with! The crab meat was sweet and together with the sauce, was absolutely delicious. I was glad I had some of the bread bowl from the chowder leftover to mop up the sauce.
We also tried the Spiced O Crabby Patty Burger with lettuce, grilled pineapple and chili mayo. The crab patty was very juicy and tasty. With the pineapple and tomato, the brioche bun got a bit soggy. The chips on the other hand were super crunchy - another element for me to dip into that garlic butter sauce!
Once it gets its marketing going, I am sure O Crab will be packed. I am keen to come back for dinner to try some more of the crabs, or even some cocktails!
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