Friday, 23 July 2010

The Battery, Surry Hills

When there is a newly opened restaurant with only a couple of published reviews online, the place can turn out to be as good as what the reviews says or it is just overrated.
So, we decided to venture out to what the place where the fish and chips are said to be better here, The Battery in Surry Hills.

School of Fishes on The Wall

As you stepped into the restaurant, the smell of fresh paints are noticable, they are after all was just opened this Monday. 
The decor is simplistic with black and white colours dominating the dining room. Not to mention the cute school of fishes on the walls. 
We are indeed in a fish restaurant :)

There are 2 menus to choose from, one with all the regular dishes and one clipboard of various type of fishes, cooked in ways that will bring out the best of that particular fish.

Salt & Vinegar ; The Battery Logo

We ordered 2 entrees to share between the 3 of us :

Crispy School Prawns with Aioli and Lemon

The school of prawns are amazing ! They are deep fried till crisp and it is one moorish dish. A bit dissapointed that there wasn't enough aioli served with the prawns, it was not even filled halfway :(
Luckily they don't really need the aioli, just a squeeze of lemon does the work.

Beer Battered Red Onion Rings with Mayonnaise 

The battered onion rings were unfortunately very greasy, crispy but way too much oil.

Witlof with Apple Aioli
We ordered the witlof salad to go with our mains as we were intrigued by the sound of apple aioli.
It turns out to be a very salty aioli with visible cubes of apples which you can't taste. The generous sprinkle of sea salt doesn't help the saltiness either. At least the witlof is bitter as it should be so the saltiness was a little bit bearable.

Roasted Blue Eye Cod

When the mains come, more dissapointment on my part. For what is described as hand cut chips , I was expecting thick slices of fluffy and "meaty" chips. What we got were soggy and sad looking chips :(
The blue eye cod was nice and fresh but there was nothing wow about it.
Compared to the fishes my friends had ordered, my portion of cod is probably half of theirs.

Battered Flathead

My friend who ordered this dish described it as just like any other battered fish, nothing special about it either.

Grilled Salmon

My other friend who had the salmon was the luckiest, the salmon fillet came in a generous portion, the skin was crispy and it is still slightly pink in the middle. 

Lemon half wrapped in muslin ; Sauces

All the fish mains comes with half of lemon covered with muslin cloth so stops the pits falling onto your food, which was a lovely touch :)
Also ordered 3 sauces to go with our mains Yuzu Chili, Aioli and Beurre Blanc. The yuzu chili sauce was tangy and salty, goes well with the fish. The aioli is creamy and the beurre blanc has nice buttery flavour.

Fried Custard with Orange & (Honey ?) Cardamom Ice Cream

I don't know why we still ordered the dessert, curiosity won over common sense this round.
Tossing between the beignets and the fried custard, we ordered the later as we have never eaten one before.
What we got is something like a very set and firm milk pudding, cut into rectangles, lightly battered and deep fried. It tasted bland :(
The ice cream on the side is one tiny scoop of ice cream, half of what the normal scoop portion would be. The orange flavour is there but overpowered by what we thought was honey, but it's cardamom if the  menu on the website is correct.
When the waiter walked over to ask how is the dessert, I just smiled, I don't know what to say :P

The service is friendly and warm which makes the dining experience a little better as the foods were not as what we had expected - except the moorish crispy school of prawns that was the only highlight of the meal.
There is no doubt on the freshness of the fish and prawns that we had tonight, but we didn't found them any more special than other places.
Needless to say we were shocked when the bill at the end of the night comes to $125 for 2 entrees, 1 salad, 3 mains, 1 dessert and 1 glass of wine ($7.00) -  $42/pp !!

I'm in no way a food critic and no intention of pretending to be one, but in my opinion that is way too much to pay for what we get.

The Battery
Shop 15, 425 Bourke Street
Surry Hills
(02) 9357 3000


  1. aww. It definitely is overpriced for a lucklustre experience. It just sounds like a wannabe place :(

  2. The school prawns look so good yet the onion rings are soaked in way too much oil. Looks like a glorified fish 'n chip place. Hope they pick up their game

  3. amy : it was a great idea though, perhaps I had high expectations hehehehe :P

    john : i do hope that these were just opening week flukes :)