Every now and then an occasion calls for something a little bit fancy.  The beauty of this fancy is that it is so easy to prepare but looks and tastes so divine that no one really puts any thought into the effort (or lack thereof) that you have put into the dish.  Fantastically fresh, gorgeous, buttery slivers of Kingfish doused in a little good quality extra virgin olive oil and a lot of citrusy lemon goodness were highlighted with the occasional crunch on a fennel seed and a hint of chilli.  Topped with the fresh and subtle aniseed flavour of  fennel and watercress, this was a very sophisticated dish indeed.

As with all dishes of this calibre, it may border on the expensive.  A little goes a very long way and when you divide the cost per person, as a starter it is a whole lot cheaper than eating out!  This would be equally good with sashimi grade salmon or tuna.


Prep time:  20  Minutes               $$-$$$  Medium – High Budget


Serves 4


300gm of sashimi grade Yellowtail Kingfish*

1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced or shaved on a mandolin

1 cup of watercress sprigs

1/2 tsp of fennel seeds

1/2 tsp of chilli flakes

Juice of 1 lemon (I prefer Meyer if available, they are not quite as tart)

Good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Fennel fronds, finely sliced for garnish


Place the fennel and watercress in a small bowl and drizzle with a little lemon and EV olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.


Use a very sharp knife to finely slice the Kingfish at 2mm intervals.  Divide the kingfish between 4 small serving plates in a single layer.  Drizzle the olive oil over the top and squeeze a good amount of lemon onto each plate.  Evenly sprinkle over the chilli flakes and fennel seeds and season with a little salt and pepper.


Top each plate with an equal portion of the fennel & cress salad and sprinkle over the fennel fronds.  Enjoy with a lovely white wine……


*  Kingfish can be difficult to acquire unless you live near the Sydney Fish Markets.  Ask you local fishmonger to order some in for you.