When pescatarian fine diner Saint Peter closed under Covid lockdowns in March 2020, it reopened looking very different.
Transformed from a conventional table-and-chair dining room, the updated Saint Peter dining room is now intersected by a striking 12-metre Carrara marble-topped bar – the same pale, speckled stone at Fish Butchery, the fish provedore and takeaway shop located nearby that’s also run by co-owner and innovative chef Josh Niland. With the kitchen on one side of the bench and diners on the other, the switch gives Niland and his fellow chefs more cooking space, while also giving diners an opportunity to watch the action from their comfortable, brown leather stools. The layout means the restaurant can now only seat 22 people.
This set-up creates a kind of performative cooking experience. It allows Niland to further espouse the virtues of his pioneering fin-to-scale philosophy and the quality of the produce he and his chefs work with. That intimacy between diner and chef also transforms the restaurant experience into a quasi-masterclass, offering in-situ demonstrations of oysters being shucked, fillets being pin-boned and perfectly aged fish skin being grilled into pork-like crackling.
The menu’s more casual style for lunch and a la carte for dinner remains aligned with Saint Peter’s original mission – to showcase exceptional quality, sustainably sourced fish and seafood. Think charcoal-grilled rock flathead with a bush tomato harissa; or Murray cod that’s been dry-aged for 14 days and served with a salt-and-vinegar-seasoned head. And on the menu, they will be listed alongside the region they came from and the name of the person who reeled it in.
The wine list emphasises Australian makers, and cocktails use locally made gins and whiskies. There's a bar area to sit at, if you're just looking to stop by for a drink and a snack.