Fish at the Rocks
29 Kent Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
There’s no second-guessing what’s on offer at Fish at the Rocks. The unassuming fresh seafood restaurant has been feeding locals and savvy tourists from its space in The Rocks precinct since 1988.
Owner and Executive Chef, Paul Tate, was first employed by the previous owner in 1991 and has never left. Completing his apprenticeship in Sydney, he moved up to the Sunshine Coast, working in a range of restaurants before returning to start his career at Fish at the Rocks. Together with the owner’s son, Paul bought the business in 2000, before taking over fully in 2011.
The menu is almost entirely seafood, with one lone steak the only exception. The focus is on fresh, local produce, so fish is brought in daily from the Sydney Fish Market after the early morning auctions. Salmon is from Tasmania, giant groper is sourced from Queensland, barramundi from Northern Territory and, when in season, award-winning Tathra oysters sell like wildfire.
Start with freshly shucked Sydney Rock oysters by the half dozen, served natural, Kilpatrick or with a pickled ginger, chilli, cucumber, nori, soy and mirin dressing. Share a plate of tempura Moreton Bay bug tails with daikon, cucumber salad and green sweet chilli sauce; or opt for salt and pepper calamari, coated in tapioca flour and served with lime, palm sugar and chilli sauce. Mains showcase the best of Australia’s seafood, with choices such as a tomato and chilli seafood broth with tiger prawns, scallops, mussels, salmon, lingfish and scampi.
Crustaceans are subject to availability, as only the best quality are selected from suppliers. However, if you’re lucky enough to be there when they are, options can include king prawns grilled with braised coconut vegetables, cumin, turmeric, garlic and steamed rice; or a whole rock lobster, served grilled with lemon and eschallot butter, house potato chips, and a rocket, pear and parmesan salad.
The long dessert menu is not for the indecisive. Go all out with homemade profiteroles stuffed with vanilla ice cream and covered in a warm chocolate brandy sauce; or freshen up your palate with a fruity Eton mess, made with fresh strawberries and raspberry coulis.
If you have the perfect pairing in mind, bring your own bottle of wine, or let the in-house sommelier help you choose from the extensive wine list. In line with their local feel, reds and whites are mostly Australian, with a few New Zealand and European blends and varietals added in for good measure.
Housed in a heritage-listed building, the style of Fish at the Rocks remains faithful to its history, complete with an old fashioned sign out front. The inside is cosy with dark timber, deep blue upholstered chairs and pearly white tables. Upstairs you’ll find a more intimate dining room with a private terrace looking out on Kent Street.
Consistently serving up some of Sydney’s freshest fish for decades, Fish at the Rocks is perfect for a long boozy lunch or a fancy evening out. It’s a seafood lover’s dream, forming one part of the perfect Sydney experience.