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My first proper night out, we went to Garfish for dinner at Manly. Located right next to the wharf, it was a rather chic eatery that specialised in seafood, quite tellingly. The joint in Manly happens to be the third and latest branch, opened in 2006.

The interiors were rather understated; simple but stylish. The really interesting thing were the large flatscreens. Scenes of the Manly wharf were interspersed with the view inside the wood fire oven and you get to watch the chefs prep the food as well. I suppose it takes a certain audacity and confidence to be able to do that so much respect there.

The menu was unfussy and simple but still had an air of sophistication about it. I had a sample of some tartare with chips and some tomato relish with mash. These everyday items actually came off pretty well. The tartare was wonderfully light and the chips were well fried. It actually went really well with my beer or maybe it was the other way around. I thought the relish was a little too sweet for me but the mash was delightfully smooth if a little too simple. We also had some sourdough bread and ciabatta. The sourdough was pretty good. Hard, crispy crust and really soft white. Served with olive oil and zaatar which was quite nice. The ciabatta was nice and fluffy, slightly crispy and went well either with some garlic or tapenade.

Have your fish the way you wish is Garfish’s tagline. You pick your fish, the way its cooked and what to go with it. I had a fillet of Hiramasa Kingfish with an artichoke and mushroom cream. The combination is pretty classic, mushroom cream and fish. The special bits were the whiff of parmesan in the cream, which was a light grey since it had some porcini in it. The fish was fresh, well cooked and tender. The skin exceptionally crispy and everything went together really well.

I feel the restaurant’s concept works well. The simple but delicious food, the relaxed interior and casual dining style was really enjoyable. The TVs made sense as well, an assurance and touch of modernity and technology. It was a total concept with a strong idea to deliver good seafood and in my opinion it works well enough. Price wise, its not exorbitant as well. My meal with a beer was under 40AUD. Overall? 2 thumbs up.

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