Shop 2/ 16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads, 6685 1363, With stunning local ingredients, mind-blowing techniques and service that’s world- class without being fussy, Fleet is small in size but has a huge heart, thanks to the passion of Josh Lewis, Astrid McCormack and their devoted team.
A concrete counter dominates the space, leading your eyes straight to the kitchen. Another piece of ‘art’ is the bar, an undisguised statement that drinks are as important as food here. Suggested food-anddrink pairings are inspired and different – understated Balter beer with crisp-yet- creamy sweetbread schnitty, Spanish
amontillado sherry with roasted pumpkin, and a lightly sparkling sake with a single oyster, sheep’s milk yoghurt and macadamia.
The highly recommended tasting menu is made up of a series of smaller dishes, focusing on a few primary ingredients. You get a lot for the $100 price tag and the menu is crafted for you.
Fleet wins the unspoken restaurant competition for best house-made butter: it’s sweet, savoury and reminiscent of salted caramel. Smoked mullet with potato (“fancy chips and dip”, say staff) is a delight. Plump prawns are grilled over coals and drizzled with tomato and cured pork fat. The result is syrupy, acidic and smoky, and you can’t resist eating the whole prawn, crunchy shell, eyes and all. Meat and seafood work wonderfully together again, with melting beef short rib drenched in squid XO and sugarloaf salad with to- die-for savoury yeast dressing.
With ingredients this incredible, Lewis doesn’t need to do much, but his extraordinary skills and passion result in food that has soul, and it’s impossible not to fall in love. Chef Josh Lewis Price $$$ Open Lunch Sun; late lunch Thu-Sat; dinner Thu-Sat