There are only a few weeks left of summer, and Saint Crispin head chef Stuart McVeigh plans to make the most of them.
Dolan was the first of four talented chefs taking up residency in the Broadsheet Kitchen, under McVeigh’s guidance, for three months each.
Since the next resident isn’t moving in until March 6, and with Scott Pickett’s acclaimed fine diner not returning to the site until the end of this year, McVeigh can serve something special in the meantime: a taste of Saint Crispin that “exploits the best end of summer”. It also means McVeigh can give diners the chance to experience one of the city’s best restaurants again, but with a twist.
With the exception of sides and one meat and one vegetarian main, every dish on McVeigh’s menu features seafood.
“It's approachable; you can really eat as little or as much as you like. And there's something for everyone,” McVeigh says. “Supposing, you know, you like seafood.”
It’s “fun and relaxed and completely delicious”.
Saint Crispin has always been devoted to using seasonal, mainly local produce. McVeigh’s seafood takeover adheres to the same ethos – each morning he chats with his fishmonger to choose the freshest produce possible.
So one day you might find Lakes Entrance baby octopus. Or two kinds of oysters from Bateman’s Bay in New South Wales. Other snacks include salt-cod churros and a crumbed-fish sanga.
The focus is on shareable plates, so you don’t need to choose between the Hiramasa kingfish and yellowfin tuna, or the Spanish mackerel with mussels and saffron and the John Dory with sardine vinaigrette – you can try them all.
Menu tweaks can be made to accommodate vegetarians and vegans – “we've got things up our sleeves we can organise,” McVeigh says.
The Saint Crispin seafood takeover runs until March 3, with a five-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu on February 14.
From March 6, McVeigh will be channelling his two decades of industry experience into mentoring Broadsheet Kitchen’s second resident.
Saint Crispin will be back, ready to begin a new chapter, by the end of the year.
The Broadsheet Kitchen at Saint Crispin is open Tuesday to Thursday from 6pm till late, and Friday to Sunday from midday till late.