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Mimi's

  • Restaurants
  • Coogee
  • price 3 of 4
  1. One bite canapes at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  2. Mimi's interior with water views
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  3. A bowl of pipis with chicken garum
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  4. A woman getting a caviar bump at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  5. Chef's working at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  6. Pork belly on the rib at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  7. Caviar at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  8. Wine cellar at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  9. Chickpea panisse at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  10. Chef grilling a steak over flames at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  11. King George whiting at Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
  12. Bright interiors of Mimi's
    Photograph: Daniel Boud
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Time Out says

Sydney has a taste for the luxe life and Mimi’s is here to provide another dose of the finer things

Sydney is blessed with high-end, waterfront dining rooms to spare. You have your pick of places to celebrate anniversaries, graduations and engagements in this city, from the old guard like Pilu at Freshwater, Bathers Pavilion, Ormeggio at the Spit and Catalina, to the next generation of aspirational diners, like Merivale’s Bert’s in Newport and now, Mimi’s in Coogee.

Mimi’s, like it’s northern sibling, is a thing of beauty. It takes up the majority of the second floor in the new era Coogee Pavilion and you will not look out of place if you get your hair done just to eat dinner here. Repurpose a wad of cash from your future travel funds and use it to treat yourself here instead. You won’t be the only one ordering from the live seafood menu that includes market price mud crab and sea urchin. Forget disco biscuits, here the bumps are caviar that’s delivered to your table on a dedicated cart, with accompanying frozen vodka so that you feel like you own a private jet, even if you can’t take it anywhere. 

This is a menu that moves through extremes, starting with an opening list of teeny one-bite snacks that will make you forget every disappointing canape you’ve ever had. What executive chef Jordan Toft’s tiny snacks lack in surface area they more than make up for in flavour. There’s a creamy chickpea panisse (imagine a solitary polenta chip with a flower crown) with nasturtium petals and a thicket of wild garlic threads; one perfect scallop is an elegant imposter for the other white meat, wearing chicken skin and chicken sauce better than the original owner. Gird your tastebuds for the intensity of flavours in a single skewer threaded with slices of octopus tentacle in fermented chilli and black garlic. And because it wouldn’t be a Toft menu without a cheeky throwback to retro entertaining, there’s even a smoked eel vol au vent on the menu. The Women’s Weekly would be so proud. 

At the other end of the scale you’ll find a whole King George Whiting, enveloped in kombu so that it seasons the meat by osmosis, and stuffed with scallops and dressed at the table with a ginger-spiked sauce, echoing the best qualities of a Hainan chicken. A monster cut of pork belly comes grilled on the rib, and the meat along the bone is definitely the part worth fighting your dining partner for. But the dish that we will be coming back for is a bowl of large pipis, once again appropriating the best parts of a chicken in the service of deliciousness. They use smoked, roasted chicken wings to make a broth enriched with butter and curry leaves. The sauce gets soaked up into a toasty, charry sourdough under the molluscs, which may genuinely be better than the seafood stars.

When you have a venue the size of Mimi’s you can pretty much make a wish list and everything on it will fit. Dedicated wine cave? Over on the south wall. Expansive ice bar for fresh seafood? Front and centre. Giant floral displays? Check. $15,000 Pacojet ice cream maker? It’s in the open kitchen along with the Josper charcoal oven where Toft can indulge in his love of cooking with real fire. There’s also a salumi room for curing their own meats and a temperature controlled prep room so your pastry never gets warm while rolling.

Some people go to yoga to relax, but we’d like to make a strong case for sitting in a beautiful, spacious dining room run like a very attentive Swiss military operation by venue manager Martijn de Boer (formerly of the Bentley). Take your hands off the wheel because you will be very well looked after – this is the kind of place that notices if you like the charred ends of the bread and brings you an extra serve of fresh heels.

When Fred’s (another Merivale offspring) first opened and we were all given unrestricted access to the kitchen it was a wholly new experience – those white linen uniforms and muted Hamptons palette was a breath of fresh air. Then Bert’s came along in the same vein and upped the ante with a whole lot more pomp, water views, country club chic, and Veuve bottles. Mimi’s is the third in the bloodline and now that we’re fluent in this particular brand of luxe life, there’s no denying we have developed a taste for it – just ask the full dining room at the second sitting on a weeknight.

Written by
Emily Lloyd-Tait

Details

Address:
Coogee Pavilion
130a Beach St
Coogee
2034
Opening hours:
Wed, Thu noon-3pm, 6-9.30pm; Fri, Sat noon-3pm, 6.30-9.30pm; Sun noon-3.30pm
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