Discover HUNTERhunter’s Autumn dish feature
Unsurprisingly, we’re not ones to shy away from discovering the most creative food and drink experiences available across the Hunter region. We’re proud of all that Newcastle and our surrounding areas have to offer and continue to offer in the hospitality world, so to shine a light on the ever-growing and ever-evolving food and drink scene, HUNTERhunter will be featuring a dish made by one of our local venues each season.
Come each season, we will have the inside goss on the most delectable dish available across Newcastle or beyond. Whether it’s a seasonal special, a tried and tested favourite, or a completely fresh and contemporary approach. Whatever it might be, we will be bringing you a new tantalising dish to explore.
For our third installment of HUNTERhunter’s dish feature, we dropped into the Newcastle East favourite haunt, Scottie’s, to chat with the owners, Jenny and Jack Magin, and Executive Chef, Joel Humphreys, to hear all about their summer sharing favourite, the Whole Baked Fish.
Our East End has been celebrating this absolutely iconic space for more than 16 years. Known for its fresh and sustainable seafood menu, quirky events, and laidback atmosphere, Scottie’s Whole Baked Fish was a no-brainer to shine a light on because it epitomises the venue’s charm, philosophy, and overarching approach to dining.
“The ethos behind this dish is that it encourages people to share in our relaxed dining space. We want people to get in with their hands and pull it apart with the bones,” Joel shared.
The Whole Baked Fish has been served to customers in many different forms and variations over the years; whether it be steamed, whole deep fried, or even baked in baking paper. What remains consistent is the nature in which it's eaten; shared!
“I feel this dish encompasses all that Scottie’s is about. It encourages people to dine in here and have a good time. Pop a bottle of wine on the table and relax and do your thing.”
The dish itself is presented incredibly simply, served with brown butter made with just three ingredients; boasting the expectation of seaside dining; simple, salty, and scrumptious.
“It’s a simple brown butter, which is otherwise known as a beurre noisette. You brown it until it almost tastes like toasted cookies. What that is, is all the milk solids caramelising. When they’re caramelising, they flavour the butter and we just add salt, lemon, freshly cut parsley, and capers over the top and that’s it. Really simple; it’s three ingredients.”
One of the most popular share dishes on the menu over the summer, Joel suggests serving alongside Scottie’s Green Salad which is made utilising produce from Dylan at Newcastle Greens and served with their in-house ponzu dressing.
“He makes that mix especially for us. It really is seasonal and he cuts fresh and delivers directly to here.”
The venue has quite an impressive history with the property dating back to the 1950s. Wearing many hats over the years but continuing to be a pillar to the local community, this corner spot has been a corner store, local general store, and a fish n’ chip shop, to the Scottie’s we all know and love today.
“The natural beauty of the space is just incredible. This concrete slab that we’re on is probably 120 years old and we didn’t know it was under here. It was incredible finding it.”
With Joel having been bringing the kitchen to life for the past four years, and the venue’s refreshed space launching in late 2021, Scottie’s continues to offer a unique dining experience for the people of Newcastle and visitors alike.