Behind the Dish: Peter Robertson’s Prawn Toast

Flying Fish is no stranger to serving up fancy dishes, but one of its most popular items is actually a version of a Chinese restaurant staple: prawn toast.

Here, Flying Fish Executive Chef Peter Robertson talks about why this dish is loved by diners.

We’ve all come across the classic prawn toast at a local Chinese restaurant. Equally loved by little ones and adults, it’s a family-friendly dish mainly because its packed-full of flavour and crunch. It is even a go-to order for Executive Chef of Flying Fish, Peter Robertson.

“I think everyone has come across a version of prawn toast before,” says Peter. “Essentially it’s minced prawn and sesame on bread that is fried, which gives it that crunch factor.”

Prawn toast for Peter is a bit of a guilty pleasure, but he’s never come across a version that is made with the best quality ingredients, which was the inspiration behind Flying Fish’s prawn toast.

“At Flying Fish, we make our version of prawn toast with the best prawns in Australia,” says Peter, who prides himself of always sourcing the freshest, local produce available for Flying Fish. The restaurant specifically uses king prawns from the Spencer Gulf, which are renowned for being rich in flavour. “It’s a great fishery that produces amazing prawns.”

And it’s not just quality prawns that sets Flying Fish’s prawn toast apart from the rest. “We actually make our own steam buns, instead of using store-bought bread,” says Peter. The bread is probably the most technical aspect of the dish, according to Peter. “There’s a few critical points in the bread-making process that we have to get right to pull off this dish, but other than that the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and ability to still deliver on flavour.”

While it might not be the most technical item – and definitely not the priciest – on Flying Fish’s menu it’s no surprise the $12 snack has become a hit among hungry diners. Initially it was on the bar snack menu so many guests requested it especially, even though it was listed on the a la carte menu. This is when the team knew they were on to something. Today, the modern spin on a classic dish sits proudly, and deservedly so, on the a la carte menu. 

When it comes to flavour Peter and his team have added a few elements that enhance the local prawns and sesame profiles of the dish. “There’s some garlic, ginger and chilli dressing – which was inspired by the Szechuan-style of cooking balancing sweet, sour and spicy flavours – that’s thrown into the mix,” says Peter.

“What I love about this dish is that it’s the perfect snack and is a great way to start a meal,” says Peter. “This might be a little controversial, but we all know that champagne, beer and cocktails taste better with fried food, which is why I love starting the meal or having a drink at the bar paired with prawn toast.”