In a nutshell: Head to the ever-popular Fitzrovia and on the corner of Newman and Goodge street you’ll find Dickie Fitz standing out among its neighbouring restaurants, thanks to its relaxed vibe, distinctive décor and crowd-pleasing Antipodean menu.
Who’s cooking: Sydney-born chef Matt Robinson is the man behind the pass. After relocating to England in 2003 he worked at restaurants including Chelsea’s Bluebird, Southbank’s Skylon and Gordon Ramsey’s Maze before joining the team here to help develop the concept and menu.
Menu know how: On the all-day menu, Matt works his magic, mashing up Aussie and Asian flavours, with the occasional nod to California too.
Dinner features a selection of small plates and starters, and a selection of fish and veggie dishes, and meats from the robata grill for mains.
What’s the room like: Set over two floors, Dickie Fitz has a relaxed vibe. Oversized windows pour light onto the bold interiors – marble tables, yellow leather furnishings and grand dandelion light fittings. A stained-glass stairwell reminds us of a classic Mondrian print.
Must orders and misfires: Tuna tataki saw creamy, cooling avocado squaring up to citrusy ponzu. Truffle ‘macancini’ was a playful take on traditional Italian arancini, with al dente pasta bound by a gooey, cheesy centre (although it could have been cheesier), a hint of truffle and a crisp outer shell. The restaurant’s robata grill made quick work of a pork chop, which was served with charred pineapple and a black pudding purée. But the real hero for us was an incredibly fresh John Dory, plated with seaweed, slippery udon noodles, clams and a light, salty dashi broth.
Sides, too, compete for attention. Green beans with traditional Asian sambal (think tomato sauce with a kick) sit alongside fries with chicken salt. They taste of roast chicken crisps, but better.
Bitter chocolate, cherry and coconut was a cracking combination in the chocolate sorbet and ‘cherry ripe’ – a cheffy take on an Aussie chocolate bar. For us we needed a little more cherry coulis to soak up some of that delicious (if drying) coconut. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, then share the pavlova, with a satisfying crunch and chew from the meringue, and a sharp, citrus burst from lime-dressed tropical fruits (mango, pineapple and passion fruit).
The verdict: Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the relaxed vibe and distinctive features of this modern day brasserie make Dickie Fitz a welcome addition to Fitzrovia.
Address: 48 Newman Street, London. W1T 1QQ.
Words by Nicki Smith, May 2016.
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