Eat & Drink

Fix St James

The gentleman at the next table is wooing his date with stories of ICAC. He gestures to another table explaining that they’re barristers, working on a three-week case. When the duo finish rushed plates of Coorong Skirt Steak Tagliata ($34) buried under rocket, our narrator wishes them luck on another all-nighter. Hearing ‘all-nighter’ makes me want wine, and to that end, this spot delivers. Owner, and former SMH Good Food Guide Sommelier of the Year, Stuart Knox, commands a 250-strong wine list. No, I didn’t count them, but over the course of two visits I drank two excellent exemplars: the refined 2013 Eldridge Estate Chardonnay ($99) and its polar opposite, the 2014 Punch ‘Saffron’ Chardonnay ($63) – a whole-bunch fermented “amber” wine. What comes from the kitchen is remarkably unpretentious. There’s unaugmented Wapengo Lake Oysters ($4/each) and an unexpectedly delicious 18-Hour Minute Steak ($19) teamed with hazelnuts, a carrot ribbon and pumpkin puree. Warm up with a reassuringly flat Risotto ($28) of cauliflower, nori and cep mushrooms, that’s perfectly al dente with considerable depth of flavour. The standout – Roast Veal Sweetbreads ($18) with fennel and liquorice – are beautifully cooked and nicely balanced. Knowledgeable staff and perfectly ripe Holy Goat ‘La Luna’ in my 3 Cheese ($26) selection ensure my next court date will be soon.

Fix St James
111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9232 2767 fixstjames.com.au
Modern Australian, Bar, Wine $$$$

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