Making eye contact with about 30 African cichlids swimming in a tank as you hoe into super-fresh sashimi is surely disconcerting? Not for a moment.
It is amusing and perhaps a sign of a deeper irony. Who knows? The fish tank is a point of difference in this pared-back restaurant with a terrace that forms part of its prominent cellar-door facilities.
The restaurant’s drool-worthy Japanese-Korean mash-up and its central light-and-bright tasting area are refreshing departures from the rusticity of charcuterie platters and musty cellars that dominate the region. Simplicity is key here; in artfully-plated food which is simpatico with its setting.
Start with a pre-lunch Fishbone wine tasting, then chopstick your way through serious eye-candy dishes, courtesy of Korean head chef Julie Jang. Her Korean heritage surfaces in kimchi, bulgogi bowls and beef galbi (ribs), but she’s equally credible with gyoza salmon and tuna sashimi, perkily fresh and interesting sushi rolls, and comforting miso soup.
Fishbone is not what you’d expect in Margaret River, but it is both welcome and exciting.