Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fig & Feast, Clark Rd, Neutral Bay

Fig & Feast, Clark Rd, Neutral Bay
Sunday 25 November, 2007

This site has changed hands again......about 3 months ago it was Vacca Bianca and prior to that it was Lazars. The site occupies a fantastic corner location in Neutral Bay and I've often thought it would be a great site for a mixed business. Recently, the site has had a facelift and has been introduced as Fig & Feast - is a restaurant or a shop - why not both?

The promotion for Fig & Feast states,

"When Katharine Lee Martin opened Fig at Roseville two years ago, the store was rated by Australian House & Garden as “one of Australia’s top ten” new homeware stores. Now Fig & Feast at North Sydney has become a combined ‘urban lounge’ for feast and second showroom for Fig.

Together Katharine and head chef, James, are creating a fresh new example of “glocalisation” – bringing a world of good taste to North Sydney, with the youthful energy and flair of a pair of stylish young entrepreneurs.

Guests arriving at the new-look restaurant are greeted by elegant outdoor couches and rattan armchairs, and a wonderful semi-circular sofa made from water hyacinth. It is clear that Katharine -- who has lived in Italy and has just been to Paris in search of next year’s inspiration -- has a flair for putting diverse and unusual pieces together to create interest and harmony simultaneously."

So, a mixed business has moved in and it's beautifully decked out with comfortable lounges inside and out plus several gifts and homewares on display inside. We arrived without a reservation for lunch today and as all the tables outside were taken we opted to sit on the large rattan armchairs outside under an umbrella. Our waiter was lovely but seemed a little overwhelmed and it took her a while to deliver our menus.

The menus were extensive with plenty of specials on offer. We discovered that James, the chef, was James Richards, who served his apprenticeship with Damien Pignolet and was sous chef to Maggie Beer at the age of 21. There were lounge, restaurant and specials menu to review and it was such a stunning day and incredibly relaxing to sit back in sunken lounges and enjoy the atmosphere.

I opted for the Sardegna pizza - sopressa salami, ham, bacon & prosciutto with chilli & pesto and my lunch buddy ordered the creamy conchiglie with pan-fried chicken breast, pancetta, semi-dried tomatoes & basil plus a side of kumera fries with aioli. The food arrived and looked impressive. My lunch buddy devoured his pasta however the kumera fries were large cut and soggy. My pizza was a little oily and I didn't think the pesto was necessary as it was strong in flavour and took away from the mild saltiness of the prosciutto and salami.

Whilst the food didn't overly impress me today we thoroughly enjoyed sitting outside this afternoon and I think this addition to the Neutral Bay dining scene is long overdue as it provides something different. I'd be happy to return and try their breakfast menu.

Fig & Feast - 62 Clark Rd, Neutral Bay - (02) 9955 9711


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