It’s Friday afternoon at The Fish House. It’s bustling, even for an overcast day – they’re gearing up for the Friday afternoon crowd. I’m greeted by owner Ronnie Tarabay, who I haven’t seen in years. We take a seat and Ronnie brings me up to speed. He’s in property construction, but just like the guy who “loved the shaver so much, he bought the company”, Ronnie loved the Fish House, so he bought it.
My girlfriends Janine and Jodie arrive and we are seated at a front table with a magnificent view of the beach. The restaurant offers fine dining, yet has an unpretentious groove. It feels like I’m sitting in a large Queenslander, with open windows letting plenty of light in and of course that view. “Why have we not been here before?” we ask each other. My answer is easy – my hubby doesn’t eat seafood, so sadly, it hasn’t been on our list (although now I know they do have a Wagyu steak on the menu). I, on the other hand, love seafood and can’t wait to see why The Fish House is one of the most awarded seafood restaurants on the GC.
Head Chef Jon Nurninen and his team has created an enviable menu – it’s the type of menu where every dish sounds mouthwateringly divine, making it difficult to choose just one. Thankfully, the kitchen curates a selection of entrees for us while we scan the menu for our mains. The girls opt for Mahi Mahi Schnitzel and the Blue Eye Trevalla. I’m still stuck so Ronnie comes to the rescue, “Trace, try the Patagonian Tooth Fish, you’ll love it.”
We’re presented with a Simple Lemony Fish Soup to start. “I would come back just for this soup alone”, Janine says. The waiter explains that it is indeed a crowd favourite, having been on the menu since the founding owner, Simon Gloftis. It was his grandmother’s recipe and was so popular, it became a mainstay. Some things you just can’t mess with.
The selection of entrees is sublime – Heirloom tomatoes with Burrata (I don’t know where I’ve been, but I’ve only recently discovered Burrata!), Raw Kingfish with a Squid Ink Cracker and my favourite – Pan Seared Scallops from Abrolhos Island, in WA. The seafood is super fresh (as you would expect), the spices are delicate and don’t overpower the seafood, so you can actually taste it. I grew up eating a lot of raw seafood, (my dad and uncles would go diving for fresh shellfish) so I really like to taste the seafood, not have it smothered with sauces.
And Ronnie’s right – I do love the Patagonian Tooth Fish. It’s marinated in miso and sake – a beautiful combination, yet the fish shines through. Served with sides of roasted potatoes, seasonal greens and cos lettuce, the mains are light and delicious. Crumbed, chargrilled or marinated – each of our fish choices are outstanding.
We opt for a cocktail over dessert – and why not? It’s Friday, I’m with my girls, we’ve enjoyed sensational seafood and it’s been a lovely afternoon catching up. The Fish House has now been added to our list of ‘girl’s lunch’ favourites. And again, Burleigh has shown why its dining reputation is so enviable across the Gold Coast and beyond.
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