One of the four venues at the newly opened Old Synagogue in Fremantle and its signature restaurant, Tonic and Ginger is stunning in both the look and feel of the place, and the exceptional Asian fusion cuisine.
The building itself, WA’s first synagogue, empty for almost two decades sitting somewhat forlornly across the street from the Norfolk Hotel, has been reimagined and revitalised and is set to be a centrepiece for Fremantle.
Inside Tonic and Ginger -a two level dining space – the eye-catching suspension of hand-blown lights falling from the soaring ceilings is counterpoised by exposed bricks, black metal and modern streamlined furniture, melding into an elegant and impressive room.
The food, likewise, impresses – Southeast Asian, with influences of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian – the menu divided into bites, grazing plates and larger, feasting dishes.
Steamed prawn and ginger dumplings with a house chilli relish were translucently gelatinous, filled with spicy prawn and ginger mix, while the relish had a satisfying chilli zing.
Juicy, lime cured scallops in curry oil, with crisped garlic and coconut yoghurt seems to be perfect cooling companion for any dishes that may spice you up a tad – although nothing we had was of serious chilli spiciness.
Except perhaps for the firecracker cauliflower – florets juiced up with zesty bang bang sauce and chilli peanuts – quite a good chilli hit and a delightful way of serving cauliflower.
Highlight for me was the charred barramundi collar, cooked in a sticky spicy chilli marinade – crisped skin, succulent flesh, smoky, charry aromas and taste – superb dish.
With these we ordered the flaky paratha to mop up the juices – and they came with the addition of creamy butter infused with curry spices.
The wine list, also, shows care and attention to choosing wines to complement the food and our Adelaide Hills rosé from Hahndorf Hill certainly hit all the right notes- made from the quite rare (in Australia) Trollinger grape it is full of cherry and red apple aromas; crisp, dry strawberries and cherries on the palate with a touch of spice to finish.
Tonic and Ginger has arrived with a bang – excellent food in a beautiful space in one of Fremantle’s most historic and important buildings. Get along soon.