Eating Fish and Saving the Sea with North Bondi Fish

Angharad Rees
28th Feb 2016

In a sensory explosion I can see, smell and taste the ocean at the same time. It’s an exquisite experience. Ahead of me, the iconic Bondi Beach stretches into the horizon, glittering and shimmering under the midday sun. The stunning view, I wrongly assumed, would be impossible to beat at the beach-fronted restaurant. But that was before award winning oysters burst on my tongue with waves of lemon and an undercurrent of sea fret. North Bondi Fish restaurant, situated a stone throw away from the golden sands of the beach, is a real catch and it’s got me hook, line and sinker.

Clichés aside, celebrity chef and owner of North Bondi Fish Matt Moran runs a tight ship, blending beach life culture and Sydney sleek to create a casual dining experience with a touch of finesse.

“These are life changing fish tacos’ the waiter adds with a smile as a plate is presented before me.

Biting into the crisp, light batter the colour of a Bondi sunrise, the Glacier 51 Toothfish feels likes silk upon the tongue, it’s luxurious in texture and uniquely sweet in flavor. And while deliciously decadent, there is something a little more special about this dish, as with other ocean offerings from North Bondi Fish.

Not only is their produce sourced locally, but they also have a passion for seafood sustainability ensuring the fish caught for your plate complies with environmental standards. And it’s more than an ethic – it’s a passion, as John Susman from Fish Tales, who supplies North Bondi Fish, explains. Seafood sustainability is a complex subject, but on a basic level, by choosing to eat at a restaurant that supports this practice and provides environmentally friendly fish, we are actively supporting our marine environments. So while the delicious, mouth watering fish tacos may not have changed my life completely, the method used for fishing certainly changes the ocean’s future and sustainability – which in itself is life changing.

The white shirted waiter replaces my scrapped clean plate, changing it for a selection of mouth-watering fare. And it’s nearly impossible to decide upon which of the dishes I prefer. The Charcoal roasted Skull Island prawns have a savoury and firm texture you would expect from hand-sorted and graded prawns, with a warmth in both flavor and presentation. In contrast, the cured Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is very simple on the plate, leaving the taste to do all the talking. Both dishes are complimented by a delicate rosè blend and dramatic ocean view.

Between courses I have a chance to take in the venue without distraction, which is presented as tastefully as each item on the menu. There is a beachside shabby chic feel to the surroundings with rustic table settings and elegant simplicity. Even without the balcony, which has uninterrupted views of Bondi Beach in all her splendour, the interior is appealing. But the open fronted feature with natural light streaming through the restaurant is the real hero, until a whole baked Barramundi is placed before me, and all thoughts of location are forgotten.

The award winning Humpty Doo Barramundi are farmed in the indigenous heartland of the mighty native fish, between Darwin and Kakadu using best practice farming techniques to ensure high quality culinary standards and sustainability. The quality of the Barra combined with the clear passion and respect North Bondi Fish has for the produce results in a stellar dish, confirmed by the likes of Australia’s movie star Hugh Jackman dining at the seaside restaurant.

My dining experience concludes with a light, refreshing dessert. Succulent poached figs open up to expose pink flesh rich with flavour, and rose water ice cream complimenting them in a way that makes me forget I am already full. And full I am – full of delicious, light food, and more importantly, full of the knowledge that choosing to eat sustainable seafood will help keep the beautiful turquoise waters of Bondi full of fish.

For more information on seafood sustainability >>