Salmon and Bear is a a casual eatery in Zetland, Sydney, across the road from the East Village shopping precinct. You can park in the shopping centre for 2 hours for free and head to the restaurant care free.
It is a fish eatery which cooks the fish over charcoal in a Spanish Mimbrasa oven which gives the seafood a nice smokey flavour. This also gives you the sense of having your dinner at a campfire, and with the restaurant decor feeling like a log cabin, so it is very fitting.
As we sit to peruse the menu, we are pleased to find they have a drink list with red and white wine by the glass or bottle, bubbles, beers and cocktails including aperol spritzers and a few Gins with home made tea and lemonade. We ordered the gin cocktails, perfect on a hot summer evening and helped take the edge of the working day.
The menu listing Burgers and few classics. We begin with the trio of tacos; the sticky glazed salmon, crispy hoki NZ fish, and salt and pepper calamari, served on a soft corn tortilla with salsa verde, pickled pink onions and sriracha mayo. A good choice if you are after some variety.
We also decided to order something different and went for the salt and pepper tofu as it looked extremely appealing. Nice soft little flavoursome squares with a crisp fried outer crust, flavoured with salt, pepper, shallots and chili, this was also served with a ponzu dipping sauce.
One of their popular menu items is the Grizzly Plate ($27.95) for the original where you select a piece of fish (Ora King salmon, tuna, barramundi, hiramasa kingfish , or catch of the day) along with a choice of dipping sauce (salsa verde, peri peri, yogurt and dill, tartare or oyster and sesame) and any salads or side. For $32.95, you can add two sides. Sides include chips, mashed potato, coconut rice, sweet potato fries, corn salad, summer slaw, Asian greens or the garden salad.
We opted for the Hiramasa Kingfish, cooked beautifully with a Smokey flavour and crispy skin. The salsa verde was the sauce of choice, the charred corn and the roasted veg for sides. Whilst veggies can sometimes be just veggies, the veggies at salmon and bear are on another level. They were boiled, grilled and then finished off again the oven, giving them a beautiful caramelised charred flavour. Topped with a honey mustard dressing and almonds, these a must order as your side dish.
Poke seems to be the dish on everyone’s lips these days and thus we were happy to see this on the menu. For those not in the know, it is a rice and salad dish originating in Hawaii, topped with sashimi. It is a healthy and nourishing option. At Salmon and Bear, they have a few different options. Whether it be cubes of raw salmon, tuna, miso eggplant or the salt and pepper tofu, you can select your favourite . They are served atop salad or coconut rice, spring onions, avocado, seaweed and corn salsa, with a soy and sesame dressing or chilli and lemongrass, depending on your selection.
Finishing off the night, we had to have the dessert. Just as you might have in wood cabin by the fire, comfort food is always good. A soft gooey brownie served with vanilla ice cream is certainly in that category.
Salmon and Bear is fitting for the whole family as it has a casual vibe, reasonable prices and a menu with Cubs (or kids) choices.
The service was brilliant and the manager in particular was excellent, with her personable nature, thorough knowledge and efficient work ethic.
We really enjoyed all the food here and have been here a few times now, and will certainly be back.