I spy with my little eye. Something beginning with ‘A’. Last month I was having a light lunch at Fix St James. Things on Toast, then an entree, a glass or two of wine, when I noticed an Armagnac flight on the wine list. I adore Armagnac and was so excited. So I asked proprietor and sommelier Stuart Knox. Then I told my family. So, Fix St James became my venue of choice for this year’s birthday celebrations. The Armagnac hooked me and it was worth it.
Before we got started on the Armangac flight it was time to eat. And we left that choice up to Stuart Knox when we selected the Fix Me Up – six dishes to share.
All were delicious and the progression set us in the mood. The salad combo started proceedings with an extraordinary natural wine, Prosecco, which Knox told us he’d first found in London. He was excited when he discovered it here, and enthusiastic as he poured. It was crisp, light, beady and the perfect way to start a birthday celebration. Stuart Knox knows his stuff. He was the sommelier at acclaimed Sydney restaurant 41 to Chef Dietmar Sawyere. Now he has his own gig with a marvellous cellar, and food that gets what a wine bar bistro is all about.
And he’s responsive to his customers. On one of my first visits I was after a rose by the glass. There wasn’t one then, but I noticed the wine list had been updated next time I visited.
As we moved through the courses for this birthday celebration, the Southern Fried Livers spiced up our night. Was it inspired by KFC? Who knows? I’ve never had that but know that this crispy batter could become addictive.
When the chicken came out, I knew why I was there, and that it wasn’t just for the Armagnac. It’s not often we see a poached chicken these days. Such as delicious way to cook and serve the bird. Spoonfuls of the broth wet the dish on the shared platter. The flesh was soft, moist, tender as you would expect.
Thankfully no birthday cake, no singing but we did end of a sweet note with a glass of chocolate, raspberries and honeycomb.
After a long happy and leisurely night sharing food from the centre of the table, we finally got to the prize – the Armagnac flight. Applause all round Fix St James – food, atmosphere, friendly service, knowledgable attention, fantastic wine selection, and a bloody good night!
Fix St James
111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
+ 61 2 9232 2767