Ok ... thanks to R & W's largesse, we braved a cold wet winter night and trundled off to Fiztroy to celebrate the opening of a new Hooked fish and chippery.
Having garnered favourable reviews in the press, R has decided to head north to the hipster enclave of Brunswick Street for his next gastronomic venture.
I have to admit that unlike M, I have yet to sample a full meal at the Windsor establishment, although I had some of the rosemary infused chips cold and they were spectacular. And really, I never had any doubt, because W told me so ... and I trust her gourmand tastes implicitly.
I made M a little nervous by saying that he was going to be on show ... but thankfully not all the faces were unfamiliar to him.
The interior was fittingly nautical in its theme, polished concrete floor offset by hefty flotsam and jetsam wood. One wall was covered in a painted mural of an old sardine can and facing that was a series of framed seaworthy photos, scoured off the web, printed and lovingly arranged.
The shop has a reasonably large courtyard which housed the seashanty stylings of a nameless band hired for the night, and an upstairs area which was kept closed.
There was free flow wine and beer (vietnamese) but no bubbles ... W!! Or maybe we were too late. Little nibblies were served in noodle boxes by nubile waitresses fetchingly clothed in nautical stripes. Everything tasted wonderfully fresh and paired with accompaniments that didn't take away from the main ingredients they were supporting but maintained a palatable quotient of their own.
There was grilled fish served with a wonderfully piquant hot sauce heavy with ginger and coriander (a highlight for me), battered fish with amazing chips (still rating as one of the best chips I've tasted in a long time), fried calamari with salad, fresh oysters, and maybe a few more platters that we missed out on ... but we didn't go away hungry by any means.
It was great finally meeting some of the rest of the Feds ... and its always a pleasure to chat with D, and of course there's my lesbian-in-crime Mama T ... who I will shortly see less off ... which is so effed up I don't even know where to begin.
Here's to R and Hooked ... we wish you success and longevity.