Two restaurants sharing the same kitchen might challenge the average restaurateur, but the Fins team at Salt Kingscliff have mastered the ingenious concept with their award-winning flair.
They’ve recently unveiled The Greek Kitchen, a new pop-up restaurant sharing the grill with Fins seafood restaurant, nestled right beside it. This space is periodically transformed giving diners the opportunity to explore new culinary sensations from Fins celebrity chef Steven Snow. Now blue and white hand-painted mosaics and Greek Key designs beautify the bar and walls feature bold Grecian seascapes. Bar stool seating spells casual dining, but it doesn’t escape the highly polished service of Fins fine dining team as water glasses are filled in a flash.
The parade of share plates, invitingly priced from $8 to $26, are delivered with equal efficiency. The menu’s time-honoured Mediterranean fare, sprinkled with Steven’s modern pizzazz, sails around the flavours of the Greek islands.
The trio of dips with bubbly warm bread puts an immediate dint in hunger pangs. Crispy crumbed calamari with dill or char-grilled octopus on waxy potatoes battle it out with the larger fish moussaka with grilled kefalotyri cheese.
Served in a rustic re-purposed bowl with spinach and mash, the beef cheek red wine stew is so tender it could be fought over with a spoon. The elegant ruby coloured ‘Semeli’ Peloponnese wine, $10 per glass, gives the robust dish a warm hug.
Gasps of delight can be overheard as desserts arrive. Venturing beyond the Greek to Fins menu, the rhubarb and coconut bavarois (similar to a delicate mousse in texture) with lemongrass ice-cream form a splendid tower. The cloud of kaffir lime and coconut foam in the middle is as light as fresh alpine snow.
As wine glasses are topped up with precision, maître d’ Flo Elineau explains their service ethos: ‘You should never need to touch the wine bottle yourself.’ He continues, ‘We’ve over 800 bottles in our cellar. I’m so proud of every single bottle.’ Housing wine from the coveted Rockford Basket Press Shiraz to the opulent Penfolds Grange 1976, their extensive wine list consistently wins the highest accolades like ‘3 Glasses’ from Gourmet Traveller’s Wine List of the Year awards.
Further kudos go to Steven whose initiatives, like plating only locally line-caught fish, won Most Sustainable Seafood Restaurant 2015 from Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.
The lasting impression here is a devotion to excellence, a good indicator that the restaurants will continue to enjoy success in the future.