Refined Mediterranean in a back alley
Think of Maggie Joan's as a hipper-than-thou secret dining club hiding behind a rusty door marked by an unlit signboard along Gemmill Lane. The restaurant is the sibling of Moosehead Kitchen and Bar and father-and-son team Glen and Daniel Ballis have decided to move head chef
Seumas Smith over to take over Maggie Joan's open kitchen.
The long, dark and cavernous dining room makes this restaurant a sexy spot for a date – only because the seductive dishes match the drapes. The seasonally driven plates are refined yet hearty best exemplified by the likes of burrata paired with peas and preserved lemon ($21) and roasted carrots paired with ricotta, apricot and rosemary ($10). Mains are more than substantial, with options such as thick cuts of pan-seared barramundi ($34) cooked with sustainably farmed mussels and nage as well as spiced lamb with salmorejo, black garlic and salsa verde.
Seafood is Maggie Joan’s strong suit. Thick, robust slices of marinated yellowtail ($23) is arranged in a row among artfully tousled carrot shavings, pickled shallot rings and a mildly salted cod emulsion. A thick fillet of mellow bass ($28) sits in pesto soup with vanilla and balsamic-steeped tomatoes. And although not immediately recommended by the servers, the chunk of tender lamb shoulder ($29) is another good bet – that said, we still miss the base note of smoke that Moosehead has perfected.
Even if we're not in the mood for a full meal, we can see ourselves popping in for a drink, some tapas and maybe even lunch just to soak in the atmosphere. The ‘appetisers’ – they’re snacks, really – make good padding for drinks: try the shiso tempura topped with taramasalata ($3) and the excellent house-baked sourdough with smoked beef fat butter ($4).
|Venue name:||Maggie Joan's|
110 Amoy St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat 6pm-11pm|
|Do you own this business?|