Burleigh Heads on a glorious Queensland days: glassy sea, soft breeze and we’re front row at perfectly located Fish House. Are you smelling the sea air? Admiring the pines? Perhaps even remembering how much Burleigh has changed since you were a kid? Yes there’s more traffic and more people, but Sunday lunches do not get better than this.

The Fish House is cool sophistication with its uncluttered modern lines and pared back décor.

The front of house staff know their stuff-so put yourself in their hands. We took the Chef’s Selection because it had all the menu items we would have ordered.

First to hit the table was a ring of Raw Yellowfin Tuna topped with a Sydney Rock Oyster nestled between a squirt of mayonnaise and dollop of Oscietra Caviar. A bite of the tuna, oyster and caviar produced multiple layers of sea-saltiness while the mayo added a slick creaminess.

Next, a warmish Lemony Soup – the house specialty – was brisk and tart enough to cleanse the palate for the Clearwater Sallops.

 I could’ve eaten a large bowl with lashings of the sourdough bread served with homemade butter.

I’ve noticed recently that scallops seem smaller or am I getting bigger? Not my imagination, these scallops were the size of a fifty-cents piece –a tall stack of 50 cent pieces. A spick of speck on top, and a bed of finely (almost pate consistency) chopped shitake, button and oyster mushrooms underneath.

Our favourite dish of the day – yes, it’s like choosing your favourite colour – was the Whole Baby Calamari. What was that slight dusting – could it be cornflour? Rice flour? The world’s sheerest tempura batter? Nope it was flour. Flash fried. Man, why can’t I do that at home: dust calamari so lightly and fry it so quickly that it isn’t soggy or greasy, just charred enough for maximum crispiness.

Masterchef viewers know a good risotto, like a good man, is hard to find. The scallop risotto was one of the good ones. It was citrusy and fresh with a hint of chives to round up the flavour profile. 

About now we went off Chef’s Selection to sample two ‘ordinary’ dishes: the prawn cocktail and pan fried fish Schnitzel with pickle and chips (fish ‘n chips). The prawns were succulent, was that a touch gherkin in the cocktail sauce? Both oldies updated for the less adventurous.

Our final Chef’s selection was Patagonian Toothfish – a robust fish that easily carries the depth of the miso/sake glaze.

We had eaten too much. We definitely, positively, absolutely couldn’t have one more mouthful. Then those sirens sang their dessert song –Citrus Tart with Mascarpone or Apple Tarte Tartin? Darn you, you tart temptresses. We decided on the apple because it had burnt toffee ice-cream (have they no shame?). Taking the tartin to just beyond toffee weds it to the smokiness of the ice cream – the TWO generous scoops of ice cream.

Be sure to make reservations early enough to nab a window seat.

Read our story on Fish House here.