Without local knowledge, you would probably head down to Wato’s Fish and Burger Bar in Yamba for fish and chips. But with local knowledge , between Tuesday and Saturday night, you can walk into Wato’s and say the magic words ‘the chef’s special, please’ and a whole different world opens up for you.
Chef Tony Young offers three courses for $35 and what is on offer remains a deep mystery until the courses come out. He does check for food allergies and beyond that you are in his hands. The food is based around locally caught fish, cleanly prepared with French techniques. So what was on offer on a quiet Tuesday night?
The first dish was a big pan of prawns cooked in a burnt butter sauce to be shared with the table. The sauce was bread dippingly good with subtle garlic and lemon flavours. While these delicacies are being brought to our table, the fish and chippery is firing away. Somehow the chef fills the takeaway orders while keeping an eye on the bistro diners.
The main course is Luderick, local black bream caught in the Clarence River. The fish is served on homemade pasta with a cream caper sauce. The Luderick fillets were quickly fried and moist and the sauce, though cream based, was light.
At Wato’s the service is friendly and swift and the staff are enthusiastic about their food and keen for you to enjoy what is on offer. In a way it is the perfect business model with the fish and chips keeping the cash flow going, while being able to make the most of the local seafood with the chef’s special bistro meals. The bottle shop is across the road and they don’t charge corkage. So next time you are in Yamba stop by to see what’s on at Wato’s
Wato's Fish and Burger Bar
Cnr Yamba and Coldstream Sts, Yamba
Open seven days, Bistro from Weds to Sat nights