FISHERMAN’S SEAFOOD CHOWDER AT THE NEW BLANC HARU IN ELIZABETH BAY – NOT ONE BUT FOUR TUBES OF TENDER BABY CALAMARI! JUST $15I t beggars belief that a Fisherman’s Seafood Chowder can contain fresh prawns, mussels, oysters, and yes four tubes of the most tender baby calamari.
The soup is made from a stock of fresh fish bones, onion, parsley, with white wine, cream and paprika, and is served in a hollowed out, homemade bread roll. A bowl of French fries and a crisp garden salad also come on the tray – for $15.
It’s difficult to believe that for this price, even the bread roll is hand-made on the premises each day using a French baguette base combined with wholemeal and sourdough.C ompetition for the ‘lunch dollar’ in Potts Point is so keen, but Yomoda san, the new chef/owner at Blanc Haru in the ‘Encore’ Building is ‘upping the stakes’. For $11.50 lead-in price, ‘Yomo’ offers Pork Katsu (pork schnitzel) with pickles, olives, homemade corn soup and a garden salad. This is what ‘got me in.
The next day, I splurged $12.50, and had this same delicious ‘schnitzel’ and accompaniments served with Japanese style curry. There was an appetising sweetness to the curry rather than a chilli bite. Not satisfied that I’d given the menu a true taste test, I went back with friends and enjoyed the biggest hamburger rissole of beef steak with Japanese curry, rice and salad – ‘Nikomi Hamburg Steak’ for $18.‘Y omo’ brings the skills of a serious chef from his years at the Galileo Restaurant in the Observatory Hotel, and combines them with an impish, happy personality and a desire to please.
I left him today breaking eggs into a stainless steel bowl preparing to make the ice cream for the dinner guests.
FRESHLY SCALED RED MULLET CATCHES MY EYE on another day as I walk in for lunch with friends from the Gold Coast, Alan and Yong Bong.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I think “That”s what I”m having!”
“Yomo, how will you cook the fish for me?” I ask the chef, and he suggests with Italian herbs.
I could not have imagined the delicacy put before me with aromas of fresh rosemary and roasted garlic wafting up from the iron skillet. And the fish, as sweet and delicate in its flavour.
After savouring every last morsel of flesh, and eating the cloves of roasted garlic, both Alan and I tore apart the home made bread roll (that served as the bowl for his seafood chowder), and hoed into the oil, moving the branches of rosemary, to scrape the bottom of the skillet clean!
AND YOMO DOES THE SAME ITALIAN HERBS TREATMENT ON AN OCEAN TROUT that he selected on his daily round at the Sydney Fish Market this morning.