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132 Darlinghurst Road
Darlinghurst New South Wales 2010, Australia
w www.fishfaceaustralia.com.au
t +61 2 9332 4803
OPEN Monday to Saturday 6.00pm till 10.00pm; Sunday 6.00pm till 9.00pm
Reservations 6.00 pm til 7.00 pm

last updated 21 September 2011

FOOD Often friends don’t share my passion for trying new restaurants, eating something a bit weird, or a lot weird and frequently little compassion is show for their lack of adventure. It is no coincidence that chef and writer Anthony Bourdain spent and entire chapter in Kitchen Confidential explaining why a diner should’t order fish on a Monday or well–done on any day. fish in a restaurant can be a tricky thing. So there was some unusual compassion for the opinions of my fellow diners when my fisherman friend didn’t want to eat at Fish Face. “They’ll mess with the fish! It won’t be fresh! It will be crap!” Nothing that he said was easy to disagree with. A fisherman’s granddaughter, from a family that both fished and hunted I could only think of about the very few restaurants that were sufficiently trusted where I would order fish. No amount of sauce will hide and old fish, the texture changes and deep sea fish that often spends five or six days at sea buried in a bloody ice slurry is of such poor quality when it comes to market it is not the type of fish we buy for ourselves or cook for our customers. The shortage of really excellent suburban fish mongers has made buying and eating fish at home a challenge. We have seen home cooks buying fish at fishmongers that would go into our bin. The shortage of really good fresh product and chefs who know how to cook it properly is part of the success of Fish Face.

Our only complaint the prawn salad from the specials board was a bit on the ordinary side, but otherwise everything was really terrific. The fish came simply and perfectly cooked, it was fresh, properly seasoned and not swimming in a totally incompatible sauce. Only an idiot thinks that salt can be added at the table, seasoning to get it utterly right, must be done during the preparation and cooking stage and chef owner Stephen Hodges understands this and much more.

Returning to talk to Hodges next day it was even easier to understand why Fish Face is such a local favourite. Hodges is buying quality whole fish and the filleting skills of Hodges and his team are those of the chef who does this on a daily basis. Nothing is wasted as they fillet beautifully fresh translucent fish with the artistry and skill of a surgeon carrying out the most delicate and life threatening work. Chefs should also note that Hodges stores his fish in a separate fridge at just the right temperature and without a fan that blasts drying cold air over the fillets. He also doesn’t wrap in plastic, a practice which is totally abhorrent and we think makes fish take on a smell quicker than any other storage method. When it comes to images we have concentrated on the reassuring reality of fresh fish handled perfectly. To see more of their food visit their web site www.fishfaceaustralia.com.au
What can you do to improve a really wonderful fresh fish? Probably only salt, pepper, butter, maybe your best olive oil and a lemon, unless of course you’re serving sashimi and then it would have to be wasabi and japanese seasoning soy.

The casual nature of this restaurant will not be for everyone, and seating is pretty jammed packed during the height of their service, but if you are longing for some beautiful simply cooked fresh fish we thoroughly recommend Fish Face.

WINE BYO or fully licensed Fish Face has a small but interesting selection of well–priced wines that pretty much negate the point of using the BYO option unless you’re planning on bringing a special bottle.

Chef and Owner — Stephen Hodges
Restaurant Manager — Meredith Dunford 

the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
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Kaaren Palmer


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Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

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