Walter Ventura is never complacent. The owner of Cliché Exhibition, Tony Tomatoes, Hispanic Mechanic and more knows to flip his restaurants when they’re getting stale. So it was with the former British India, which became Fish Head, a Malaysian-Indonesian restaurant with just a hint of Indian, in 2016.
The man wrangling the multitude of flavours is the indomitable Nu Suandokmai (Nu Thai, Gin Long Canteen, Cliché Exhibition). He’s joined by Rakesh Chandra – previously on the pans at British India – and Concubine’s Kenneth Ting.
The hawker menu offers Otak Otak (grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves) and next-level satay skewers, among plenty of shareable dishes. Of the larger plates, the Fish Head curry with eggplant and okra (available with or without the amphibious noggin’ on top) and grilled spatchcock with sweetcorn and tomato are standouts.
As much as anything, Ventura venues are about atmosphere. To that end, the unremarkable drinks list features easy-drinking cocktails in single and jug serves; James Boag lager next to Prancing Pony Amber Ale; and Crowded House sav blanc alongside Mitchell’s Watervale Riesling.
Local artist Dan Withey created the striking design and branding features to adorn the building inside and out, with the exception of the starker private dining room and bar, which accommodates up to 24.