Dickie Fitz, food review: Australia by way of Fitzrovia
- Credit: Archant
They like their flavours big and punchy, and their meat fresh-kill bloody down under.
At Dickie Fitz which occupies a corner spot on a Fitzrovia thoroughfare, Sydney-born chef Matt Robinson has plundered childhood memories and Asian influences to fashion a menu that nods to Aussie tastes while tempering them with subtlety and style.
Eating upstairs we ascended an Art Deco staircase above an open plan dining room that combined both elegance and fun; with vivid yellow seating and funky glass chandeliers. That vibe could be seen in a ying and yang menu that appeals equally to red blooded blokes and gin-sipping Sheilas.
A fellow diner and New Zealander helped with the translations of the small plates and starters (£4-£12.50).
Creamy, tangy salt-baked kumura with blue cheese and walnut miso turned out to be a local sweet potato that made a bonza vegetarian dish. The Lamingtons for dessert are an Antipodean delicacy, a dry-ish cake rolled in dessicated coconut, Robinson’s mum’s own recipe.
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From the starters the lightly seared tuna with avocado and citrussy ponzu was a hit, as were the chicken poppers - lollipops of firm flesh with a soy, garlic and chili dip.
Pork ribs with a sake honey glaze were punchy and a little salty, but the prettily presented crudite of veg with smashed avocado peeping out of their bowl, and a beef tartare were light and delicate.
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Mains (£11-£34 for lobster with wild garlic and chilli) came with good ‘n’ crispy chicken salted fries, but the star performer were the green beans in a spicy red sambal with almonds.
From the Robata grill, the lamb chops with good old mint sauce were a simple presentation of an impeccably sourced and cooked piece of meat.
Ditto the showstopper rib-eye on the bone served with lemony bone-marrow cream, which dramatically wept claret onto the white platter.
Alongside it, the steamed barrmundi in a dashi broth (sea-bass to you) was so yielding and pale it was almost bland but moreish and a welcome contrast to the halloween vibrancy of the meat.
A banana bread sticky toffee pud was a real beaut and the chocolate fondant with salted peanut perfectly judged dessert.
But I’m with the Independent’s food critic in finding the eucalyptus and green apple sorbet somewhat toilet duck-esque.
With its Sunday feasts served family syle with lots of sides including pork belly, and whole Iberico suckling pig, this Pacific Rim eaterie is a heartily welcome addition to the Fitzrovia scene.
48 Newman St, 02036671445.