Fen Restaurant Port Fairy
Have you ever wondered what modern Australian cuisine looks like? Well Chef Ryan Sessions at Fen in Port Fairy, seems to have conjured it up. Local seafood, native Australian ingredients, seasonal produce and more seafood are thoughtfully woven together to create a menu that is unique, modern and very Australian.
Fen, which is an old norse word for a low-lying, flat, coastal land underwent a rebrand earlier in the year but has been open 18 months prior to that. Owned and operated by husband and wife team Ryan and Kirsten Sessions, Fen features native and locally sourced produce and an all-Australian drinks list. Kirsten and Ryan are both Port Fairy locals with Kirsten having grown up in this beautiful quiet beach town which apparently swells to more than 15000 people over Summer.
I was invited to dine as part of my visit to Port Fairy and having read a number of great reviews, I was excited to be heading out for dinner under the watchful eye of the full moon.
Nestled within the bluestone walls of historic Seacombe house in Port Fairy, Fen is an elegant restaurant serving food that is unique and reminiscent of the locale in which it is set.
We were greeted at the door by Kirsten who manages the front of house. Despite the buildings rather commanding presence outside, inside the restaurant was all lightness and elegant restraint with grey carpet, blonde timber furniture and deep-set windows overlooking the street outside.
We started the evening with a glass of biodynamic sparking wine and a plate of wattleseed bread with native thyme and whipped butter. This was a comforting reminder that the food at Fen is often locally sourced and foraged.
Then we moved on to try two different entrees.
Crab with macadamia and dehydrated Davidson plum.
Abalone with shiitake mushrooms, roasted sea lettuce and smoked eel.
Both dishes were delicious and unique with depth of flour and great back notes of umami punctuated by piquancy and crunch.
For our main meal we ordered the daily special of Pork belly with Boudin noir (black sausage.)
And the Local lamb neck with parsnip, radicchio and thyme
Things got very exciting at dessert time when we decided to order the river mint and Shaw river yoghurt with lemon aspen. This had little bursts of intense citrus studded through a sweet, zingy sorbet and offset by a creamy, smooth base. I loved every mouthful.
Paper bark, muntries and burnt apple.
As with all of the dishes we ordered at Fen some of the ingredients were unfamiliar to us but Session uses texture, temperature and flavour to his advantage to create memorable and exciting dishes. Dessert followed this theme perfectly.
Chef Ryan’s cooking spans the divide of pleasantly reliable to jump off the plate memorable. It is constantly reminiscent of the local landscape and area, and in some ways is Port Fairy on a plate.
Awarded two hats at the recent Age Good Food Awards for 2017, Fen is destination dining at its best. Fen is a good reason to visit Port Fairy and beautiful Port Fairy provides a good reason to visit Fen restaurant.
Fen Restaurant Port Fairy
22 Sackville Street, Port Fairy, 03 5568 3229.
More on Port Fairy
Eat My Street is a website dedicated to good food for a good life in Melbourne and beyond. You can follow along on Facebook or Instagram. Sign up to read about more great dining experiences in Melbourne and beyond.