THE SUGAR CLUB
It's the highest restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand perched some m up in the sky tower with views to die for. But you don’t come to the Sugar Club for the views, you come for the extraordinary food. It scores a 4.5 out 5 on trip advisor with a menu based around small seasonal plates packed full of flavour. The restaurant sources the finest produce from around New Zealand and then mixes it up a little with flavours from around the world. Chef Peter Gordon calls it 'Fusion Cuisine'.
Peter is possibly NZ's best known chef. A hard man to pin down, he owns, consults and invests in many top restaurants around the world, with multiple commitments in London. So we were very, very lucky to get some time with him on a NZ stopover. His award winning New Zealand restaurant, The Sugar Club, boasts some of the most impressive views in NZ, with a menu to match. Specialising in Asian Fusion, Peter demonstrated his genius by pulling a recipe out of thin air, that left us questioning how on earth he did it
A beautiful soft Kingfish and Tofu Curry that landed perfectly on the plate and palate.
KINGFISH CEVICHE ENTRE
For 4 – 6 as a starter
250g Kingfish diced into small pieces;
1 avocado, flesh diced;
4 tsp lime juice, approximately 1 lime;
2 tbsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce which is great for coeliacs and wheat-free diets – however, use a light soy sauce if you don’t have it);
1 tsp wasabi paste;
1 tbsp sushi ginger, shredded (this pickled ginger is available from Japanese food shops and good delis and supermarkets).
Mix the Kingfish with the avocado and lime juice.
In a separate bowl, mix together the tamari and wasabi, then add the ginger.
Stir the tamari mixture into the Kingfish and avocado.
Mix everything together, taste for seasoning (adding extra tamari or sea salt if needed) and serve. Alternatively, instead of using diced fish, scrape the flesh from the backbone of the Kingfish flesh using a tea spoon and chop this.
1 cup strained yoghurt;
¼ cup fresh grated coconut (or use lightly toasted desiccated coconut if easier);
½ tsp lime zest;
2 tbsp shredded coriander leaves and stalk;
1 tsp wasabi paste (optional).
Mix everything together and season with sea salt to taste.
250g freekeh, rinsed in a sieve for 30 seconds;
1 tbsp olive oil;
1 shallot, thinly sliced;
a pinch of chilli powder;
1 tsp smoked seaweed granules.
Rinse the freekeh briefly in a sieve and leave to drain.
Heat a medium-sized pan over medium–high heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook until caramelised, stirring often. Stir in the chilli powder and seaweed. Pour in the freekeh and 500ml water, bring to the boil, then put the lid on and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the freekeh is almost cooked but still a little al dente, about 10–12 minutes.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool with the lid on unless you want to eat it hot.
KINGFISH AND TOFU CURRY
For 4 main courses
1 tbsp oil;
2 shallots thinly sliced;
2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced;
1 tbsp sliced ginger;
1 green chilli, diced;
400ml coconut cream;
1 x 10cm stick of lemongrass, thinly sliced (discard the outer 2 layers and the bottom 1cm – it’s too woody);
4 coriander roots, washed and finely chopped;
1 tbsp tamarind paste;
300g silken tofu, cut into 2cm cubes;
500g Kingfish, cut into pieces around 2 - 3cm square.
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook until golden, stirring often. Add the chilli and fry until the shallots are caramelised.
Add the coconut cream, lemongrass, coriander and tamarind and bring to a simmer.
Add the tofu and cook 2 minutes.
Add the Kingfish and gently mix everything together and cook 3 – 5 minutes until the fish is ready. It’s best cooked so the middle is a little bit raw.
Serve on freekeh salad with a generous serve of coconut yoghurt on top.