Originally a humble fisherman, the first Saint Peter was one of the twelve apostles and, today, is the patron saint of fishermen. This holy connection with the sea follows through in this eponymous Sydney restaurant, renowned for its celebrated seafood.
Saint Peter is owned by Josh and Julie Niland, a culinary team that has taken the Sydney food scene by storm, thanks to the fishy philosophy behind their Paddington restaurant. Josh, as Head Chef, brings a wealth of experience to Saint Peter’s open kitchen. He boasts stints in establishments such as est and the Fat Duck and Café in Nice, however, his years spent at Fish Face under Steve Hodges may have been the most formative when it comes to his own personal style.
Josh’s menu has been described as a food critic’s worst nightmare. His insistence on quality, fresh, sustainable produce means that the menu changes daily depending on what is offered to him by his go-to fishermen from Nicholas Seafood Traders, Australians Oyster Coast, First Farm Organic, Moonlight Oysters and Johnson Farm. Simply, every season, day, dish and plate is never the same at Saint Peter.
Josh’s desire for the best stretches beyond the produce into his cooking. There is no compromise on quality and nothing is left unused. Appropriate fish is dry-aged on-site, creating an intensity of flavour that is very rarely seen in seafood. Josh’s head to tail philosophy means that offal is never out of the question – liver, swim bladder, roe, milt, eyes and even scales are expertly prepared as if they were another cut. The utmost care is taken with every single dish, whether that be a natural Coles Bay Oyster, some Yamba Sardines or a few Salt and Vinegar Onion Rings.
As the menu constantly changes, there can never be a guarantee of what you will encounter at Saint Peter. Perhaps you will begin your evening sharing the Australian Roe Plate served with some blinis, from here you may move on to a 12-day Dry Aged 300g Mooloolaba Broadbill on the Bone served with green sauce and chips. Finish this meal off with one of Julie’s amazing dessert’s, the Lemon Tart is a popular choice.
When it comes to drinks, the choice is simple. The one-page wine list features all Australian selection of whites and a few reds that are on the lighter side of things, all of which work perfectly with the seafood on offer.
The restaurant itself is small, seating only 34 people at a time. The design is minimalist, letting the food do all the talking. Think polished concrete, sandstone and exposed bricks. The trademark Saint Peter black spot is a prominent feature, printed on the side of each plate, a nod to the restaurant’s namesake and the John Dory but also a helpful hint on which end of your fish to begin with.