No one would have believed when Fishbowl opened its first outlet in Bondi in 2016 that the Japanese-inspired salad-bowl eatery would grow to an empire of 18 (including a couple outlets in Melbourne). Yet with the launch of its Potts Point diner, it’s reached that impressive milestone.
And while its trademark healthy and ingredient-packed bowls are available at this newbie, there are a couple of important differences. Firstly, Fishbowl Potts Point feels a bit more like a restaurant than its counterparts. Secondly, alcohol is available for the first time.
“We wanted to curate the Potts Point Fishbowl specifically to the needs of residents,” says co-founder Nic Pestalozzi. “Having spent a lot of time in the area and talking to locals, I’ve found that, while it’s historically been a world-class dining precinct, there’s always been a lack of affordable, healthy options.”
Fishbowl aims to fill the gap, in its fun, neon-splashed way. The new venue is located in the Rex building, a couple of doors from French favourite Bistro Rex and near the El Alamein fountain. Most of its design elements will be familiar to Fishbowl fans, such as the handcrafted timber furniture and design by Kurrajong-based Telegraph Road and black-and-white wall art by Brett Chan. But giving the 30-seater space a more luxurious, restaurant feel is the sleek bar (made with Italian Carrara marble) and flowers by Poho, a florist across the road.
In keeping with Fishbowl’s commitment to fast but healthy food, the wine list has a natural, minimum-intervention bent. There’s a white, a light red, a rosé and a skin-contact orange wine, but to keep things interesting, the selection will change frequently. “Like the food, we wanted to keep the wines as simple and ‘healthy’ as possible, and affordable – at less than $10 per glass,” says Pestalozzi, adding that there’s also one beer, Kirin.
Like all Fishbowls, the bowls are made with fresh Australian tuna and salmon (cooked and raw), but there are also beef, chicken and vegetarian options. Think tuna sashimi with wasabi peas, tofu and cucumber with tamari almonds and shallots, and braised beef with lemon shoyu dressing. You can go with one of their creations or build your own.
Pestalozzi says he’s watched the inner-city suburb change significantly following the introduction of the Kings Cross lockout laws. He reckons the fact it’s no longer a thriving late-night destination doesn’t mean it can’t go on to live its best life.
“The last few years have been really tough on retail and restaurants in the area —and we wanted to be a part of the Potts Point resurgence,” he says. “We were really sad to see our favourite restaurant Billy Kwong close, but we’re looking forward and think the area has a really positive future, thanks to the supportive, tight-knit community and new operators opening, such as ourselves and Chaco Bar.”
Fishbowl Potts Point
4/50 MacLeay Street, Potts Point