Last year chef Mark Jensen (Red Lantern on Riley) and partners Joe Ward and Joel Katz brought sustainable seafood and craft beer to Zetland with log-cabin themed eatery Salmon and Bear.
Now a second Salmon and Bear has opened in Newtown, offering the same dedication to sustainable fish charcoal grilled on the Mibrasa oven, and a similar Alaskan ambience.
The popular Grizzly Plate ($28) is a piece of fish that you select (Ora King salmon, line-caught tuna, barramundi, Spanish mackerel, or fish of the day) along with a choice of dipping sauce and two salads or sides.
Fish tacos are $6 a pop and come in a soft tortilla with cabbage, salsa verde, pickled pink onions, coriander, sriracha mayo and a choice of three marine proteins: sticky soy-glazed salmon, crisp NZ hoki, and crisp prawn and corn. You can also get a fish burger (or ‘bearger’) – hoki, tuna or salmon.
This is not your average fish-and-chip shop so neither are your carbs: as an alternative to chips you can get sweet potato fries, chive mash or coconut rice.
Another drawcard is the poké. Best described as a Hawaiian-style sashimi salad, it’s cubes of raw salmon served with coconut rice, spring onions, soy, avocado, seaweed and corn salsa, or cubed raw tuna with chilli and lemongrass dressing, kimchi and seaweed salad on coconut rice.
Staying on for dessert? Jensen has enlisted the Gelato Messina crew to invent a couple of Bear Treats for $7 – namely a chocolate gelato cookie sandwich and a strawberry gelato white chocolate paddle pop.
To wash it down they’ve got a neat little wine list and an always-changing coterie of tap and bottled craft beer.
Salmon and Bear Newtown is at 226 King Street, opposite the Coopers Hotel and a couple of minutes' stroll up from the station. They’re open from 5.30pm every day, as well as for lunch Friday to Sunday.