Our Chefs Reveal Their Favourite Dishes to Order at a Restaurant

What do top chefs order when they eat out at The Star’s award-winning restaurants? We asked Peter Robertson, executive chef at Flying Fish; Chris McLeay, chef de cuisine at Garden Kitchen and Bar and Uday Huja, executive chef at Nineteen at The Star, to name the dishes that always leave them wanting more.

Chris McLeay, chef de cuisine, Garden Kitchen and Bar, The Star Gold Coast

Favourite dish: Miso Kingfish Ceviche with Green Chilli and Crispy Potato and Ocean Trout with Wasabi, both from Kiyomi.

Chris says: “I was first introduced to these two dishes while I was working at Cucina Vivo.

“Our kitchen backed onto Kiyomi’s kitchen, and the chefs would often send over a couple of dishes for us to taste and we would send a few pizzas back in return. You always knew when the Miso Kingfish Ceviche or the Ocean Trout had arrived because there would be an absolute feeding frenzy in our kitchen.

“The kingfish is delicate and well balanced with the green chilli, and the crispy potato hay adds the crunch. It’s just a really well composed dish that leaves you wanting more.

“The ocean trout is similar in the fact it is slightly cured with the condiments, and that little bit of heat from the wasabi is truly superb.

“I have brought my partner in to dine at Kiyomi several times, and these are the first things she will order. It’s always a battle to share them as you are supposed to, because we both enjoy them so much.

“I moved down to Garden Kitchen and Bar a couple of years ago and I still miss that proximity to Kiyomi (and those tasting plates) immensely.”

Uday Huja, executive chef, Nineteen at The Star, The Star Gold Coast

Favourite dish: Chase Toro Toro Sushi at Sokyo, The Star Sydney or Kiyomi, The Star Gold Coast

Uday says: “I’m a huge fan of Chase Kojima [head chef at Sokyo and Kiyomi] and he’s always doing really incredible things with seasonal produce, but the winter truffle menu at Sokyo and Kiyomi is always a standout.

“The Chase Toro Toro sushi of bluefin tuna belly and white sea urchin wrapped with black nori and topped with shavings of black truffle combines some of my favourite flavours in one bite.”

Peter Robertson, executive chef, Flying Fish at The Star Sydney

Favourite dish: Grilled fish head with fermented chickpea hot sauce and a side of busted roti from Momofuku Seiobo, The Star Sydney.

Peter says: “The entire experience at Momofuku is amazing. Whenever I eat there, I am always really struck by hospitality of the staff there who are so good at creating a warm and welcoming environment.

“[Executive chef] Paul Carmichael’s grilled fish head has made a bit of a name for itself on the bar menu and has definitely inspired me in my own cooking. The whole fish head is rubbed with this incredibly aromatic combination of Caribbean flavours, cooked over coals and served it with a hot sauce made from fermented chickpeas. I’d recommend adding the ‘busted roti’ to mop it all up.

“The guy has built a shrine to hot sauce in the middle of the dining room with various versions at different stages of completion. They take it pretty seriously [at Momofuku], which is a good thing.

“I started using fish heads more often [at Flying Fish] off the back of trying Paul’s dish. There’s so much flavour gold in a fish head that would otherwise end up in the bin so it’s a no brainer.”