The XOXO Platter for 2 ($39.95)
Now I’ll just stick true to my principles and not launch into an entirely unneeded spiel of an occasion that needs no further publicity and marketing than already given. Because we all know that.
I will, however, have to admit that the special menu offerings, exclusive set meals, mind-blowing degustation selections, and promotions that restaurants push when it comes to riding the wave of commercialism during times like these really do tempt the passive consumer. You don’t have to believe in such festivities to enjoy an extended menu. Well more’s always good! Just ignore the neon pink kissy kissy stuff. Simple!
About a couple of weeks ago, the folks at Fish & Co. must have gotten wind that I haven’t been there in a while (and also perhaps they heard that I’m like Grinch of Valentine’s Day and they wanted a chance at enlarging my heart and – maybe, just maybe – turning me from green to blinding pink) and so invited me down to sample their new xoxo Valentine’s Day Platter for 2.
Exotic Pineapple Soda. Seafood Chowder.
At $39.95, the platter boasts an impressive array of seafood all heaped into a large pan that really looked like it wasn’t big enough for everything, and that was, of course, accompanied by Sweet Nothings (pineapple soda) and their seafood chowder which was a tad too thick without adequate richness to go with the texture, but the little nuggets of seafood made up for it.
Now this really is quite the platter for 2, considering that you have slabs of salmon in a spicy mango vinaigrette, a row of butterflied peri-peri prawns, crisp fried calamari, blue mussels tossed in tangy tomato and pesto sauce, coleslaw all piled and nestled atop paella rice.
The prawns looked adorable, their bellies blanketed by a dollop of spicy and surprisingly tasty peri-peri sauce. They were fresh with crunch and chew, and that’s what really mattered to me. Seafood shouldn’t be otherwise.
The mussels were drenched in a lovely tangy and flavourful tomato sauce that had a bit of heat and a good flat-leaved parsley kick that cut its richness. I imagine it would be a killer pasta sauce since it was great with the fragrant paella rice (although I wouldn’t call it ‘paella’ since that involves all that Spanish soccarat and a paella pan and – ok, I’ll stop the culture righteousness).
I simply adore calamari. I need them showered in lemon juice and dunked in tartar sauce. I mean, is there any other way to eat calamari? And as long it doesn’t feel like I’m gnawing on rubber, I’m good to go. Excellent crisp batter, although I found an undertone of an odd greasy scent. Perhaps it’s the way it is, and I just hope it wasn’t re-fried.
And who knew that squid would go well with a forkful of coleslaw? They were side by side, so you kind of get a little of each, especially with those at the border, and they just went swimmingly together (pun intended. Har de har har). And that was good, chilled, fresh coleslaw. Been a while since I’ve had one with a nice mix of purple cabbage thrown into the fray.
Salmon with Spicy Mango Vinaigrette
I was a little curious when I saw that there would be a spicy mango vinaigrette for a fish, because vinaigrettes are more commonly used as salad dressings. But hey, they make the occasional appearance coupled with meats and fish, and this was a first for me. It was, well, spicy, coated the battered salmon beautifully and was a winning mix of sweet and sour, which in my opinion can never go wrong. I couldn’t taste much of any mango though. It was a good pairing, the vinaigrette and salmon, and the only gripe I have is that the fish, sans sauce, was actually pretty bland.
Hot Fudge Chocolate Cake
By the time dessert floated to the table, I was pretty much totalled (please refer to picture at top of post).
We I went through a mountain of seafood, my lousy dining partner taking out the white flag and feebly waving it early on. Tsk.
But, you know, 14 inch pan of seafood be damned because what deserved immediate digestive attention was the steaming mound of chocolate positively dripping with chocolate sauce. I would have liked the crust to be crisp, and I was crossing my fingers for a molten centre. This is me with annoyingly sky-high expectations. Shrugs. So the cake had neither, but no one promised me my pot of gold. The cake wasn’t too sweet, which went well with the vanilla ice cream. Great fudgy texture.
The service was excellent too, prompt and friendly, and our plate of prawn and mussel shells were cleared twice without asking. It was very pleasant.
Well, like I said – special menu offerings. You get these smattered over the year, and you don’t even have to be celebrating the reason there even are such exclusive choices, so a big thank you to Fish & Co. for the experience and for putting a crack in the cynic in me for coming to that realisation. XOXO
This xoxo Platter is available across all Fish & Co. outlets from the 11th to the 14th of February.
Also, the first 100 couples who order the xoxo set meal on Valentine’s Day will also get to receive a “Spin the Bottle” raunchy fun game and a limited edition Fish & Co. pouch for free.
Fish & Co. (The Glass House)