A signature dish
Photo Courtesy of: Google
ONE OF THE FEW impediments, in the first 365 of my new 1600 days since a liver transplant, was the doctor’s ban on sashimi and sushi. My favourite food.
No raw tuna, no kingfish and all prawns had to be super well-cooked. A sort of pregnant women’s diet.
And all left-overs had to be discarded, even from the fridge, after 24 hours. The biggest no-no was cold chicken. The risk of listeria lurked in those roasted bird carcasses and I discovered that refrigeration actually increased the risk.
Listeria is one of those deadly lurgies that has its growth stimulated by cold temperatures.
Four and a half years post-transplant, I am now, again, a regular passenger on the sushi train a couple of times a week.
This week, I was reminded that you don’t have to go to a Japanese restaurant to have some of the best raw fish in the world. And that reminder came at Luke Mangan’s Glass Brasserie in Sydney’s Hilton Hotel.
shadow of Mt. Fuji
He calls his kingfish sashimi one of his signature dishes and rightly so. It is so good he could have been born in the shadow of Mt. Fuji.
It is not cheap at $30, but it is a gem. Perfect, absolutely perfect, slivers of tender kingfish, with tiny pieces of eschallots, ginger and tiny crumbles of Persian feta cheese – which shouldn’t marry with raw fish but they do. There’s some other subtle secret sauce taste in there I couldn’t identify and didn’t need to know.
Mangan's other signature dish almost swayed me if I hadn’t been such a sashimi freak:
A free range egg omelette of snow crab, enoki mushroom & herb salad in a miso mustard broth with a herb salad.
It had been a few months since I’d dined at Glass and this was a solo Xmas treat. I turned up without a booking on a week crowded with Yuletide parties and was lucky to get squeezed in. [Thanks, Jude].
I looked around and thought: This place shouldn’t work. It’s too big. Should be impersonal. It's in a hotel for crissake! But even with office tables of 16 and 20 it didn’t seem crowded.
The staff were great, the atmosphere was warm and the meal terrific. I was joined for dessert by a business colleague and we shared a citrus cheesecake which made the traditional New York version look shabby.
It was a great start to my culinary Christmas celebrations for 2015. Thanks, Mr. Mangan. Thanks again, Jude.