The timber, metal and concrete of Jones Bay Wharf's historic structures evoke the rich industrial past of Pyrmont, conjuring up images of the wool stores, power stations, mills and quarries that the area housed in its heyday. Today, the spirit of industriousness continues in the stunning open kitchens of seafood restaurant Flying Fish.
Inside, deep wooden panels, polished concrete and brushed metal create an attractive modern Australian feel that is luxurious without pretention. The view of the Harbour Bridge from this angle is interesting rather than pretty, providing a unique urban take on the familiar landmark. Also worth a look is the well-stocked 'raw bar' nestled among the tables, where oysters and sashimi from the nearby fish market are shucked and sliced with zeal.
Our appetites are whet by a wonderfully dense house-baked rye smeared with local culture butter. When our entrees arrive, each mouthful offers an interplay of textures and Australian and Asian flavours. A soft Kangaroo Island hen's egg (smoked for an hour outside, and finished in a cool water bath) is married perfectly with crispy shards of elephant ear garlic and a salad of edamame and sweet peas ($29). The restaurant's signature entree makes unusual but ideal bedfellows of seared tuna, rich pork belly, tart grapefruit, crackling and a sweet black pepper caramel dressing ($33).
Our mains continue the narrative of sweet meets savoury and East meets West. A John Dory fillet is placed with intent on a bed of pureed cauliflower with tamarind and brown butter; smoked almond shards provide a satisfying crunch ($42). Our rich Sri Lankan-style fish curry ($44) pays tribute to the roots of former and founding executive chef Peter Kuruvita. Having passed the 750 bottle-strong Wine Wall on our way in, we are not surprised at the impressive array of half- and full-bottles on the wine list, enabling carefully matched sharing and experimentation.
Perhaps the biggest star of the day is head pastry chef Adam Hall, who at the age of 24 commands his elevated and glass-walled pastry kitchen with a clear and nuanced creative vision. We recommend Hall's artistic yuzu and white chocolate creation ($19), which again tantalises with a surprising combination of textures. We complete our meal with an excellent piccolo latte and petit fours, our favourite of which is a house-made hazelnut truffle rolled in toasted quinoa.
We while away the afternoon at Little Fish, the welcoming bar just outside the restaurant and one of Pyrmont's best kept secrets. From the comfort of a cushy couch we watch sunset colours creep over the Balmain shoreline, a chilli and passionfruit mojito in hand ($20). Once the sun is down, we're ready to finish off a perfect day with what we can comfortably call Sydney's best fish taco ($8 each, you heard it here first).