Guest Post by Chian Kee (locoparentis.com.au)
One of the many perks of being an accessory (aka, husband) to a fashion blogger is being invited to sample wares about which I know very little. It is, however, a rare occasion on which such sampling exposes that what little that I thought I knew was wrong. Radii at the Park Hyatt Melbourne was one such occasion.
Radii (which I assume is pronounced “ray-dee-eye” for those of you reading this out loud to your kids) takes its geometric namesake seriously. The restaurant, bar and lounge are hewn from a multi-tiered expanse of concentric and intersecting circles connected by a series of staircases that no doubt obviate the need for any of the front of house staff to maintain gym memberships.
But back to the story about my enlightenment…
I have eaten fish before, and I’m sure, dear reader, you have too. I had thought I knew pretty much all that was required about fish eating. I have consumed all kinds of fish in all kinds of settings, from posh seafood restaurants that serve it with toppings that I can’t pronounce, to all you can eat sushi places with dubious health and safety records. I have, however, never eaten ninja-assassinated fish. Until. Now.
All of the fish at Radii is caught by one dude by the name of Mark Ethan who fishes uses the ancient Japanese art of ikejime, which literally involves catching and dispatching each fish by hand with a precision-targeted needle to the brain and another needle down the spine. I imagine disappearing into the night with a puff of smoke afterwards is optional. Ikejime is the quickest, most sustainable and most humane method of fishing because each fish is individually caught and both paralysed and killed instantly – before its body even knows it’s dead. This relaxes all of its muscles and prevents the production of things like lactic acid and adrenaline, which are known to cause fish to taste sour or fishy. So there you have it, unless you’re acupuncturing your seafood to death in the medulla oblongata, you’ve been doing it wrong this whole time.
That’s just one amazing backstory to one of the amazing ingredients that Executive Chef Dane Clouston and his team dish up at Radii. It also turns out that I didn’t know what herbs were supposed to taste like until now, and that there’s a way to cook steak that covers it in ash, which somehow tastes good. Don’t even get me started on the fact that it’s all cooked in a woodfired oven on specially picked pieces of wood so that it doesn’t touch metal during the cooking process. Apparently, cooking your meat on metal is just for amateurs like me.
By the next morning (don’t worry, we slept in the middle) I was almost expecting the now-you’re-just-showing-off spread for the breakfast buffet. There were breakfast condiments there that I never knew I needed and the bacon and sausages were also woodfired ovened – BECAUSEWHYNOT?
The cynical among you might be reading all this and thinking what I normally think when I read a daddy blogger guest-posting on a fashion blog about food: you’re probably just saying excessively nice things because you don’t really care and you got to eat for free. To which I say this: shortly after our stay at the Park Hyatt, we booked my father-in-law in for his 60th birthday dinner at Radii. That’s called putting your money where your brain-needled-deliciousness-full mouth is.