whole roasted branzino

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La Pentola’s Whole Roasted Branzino

Winter leaves us hollow and empty, and craving something warm and rich to fill the void. In contrast, after a hot summer’s day, our bodies bursting and beaming with sunlight, all we can imagine eating is the lightest possible fare.

On such a blazing day, a month before summer’s official debut, I sat in La Pentola at OPUS Hotel waiting with mouth watering for chef and co-owner Lucais Syme to present me with a succulent Northern Italian dish, the Whole Roasted Branzino, only available at the restaurant between Wednesday and Sunday.

Swimming in a pool of herbs, tomatoes, and lemon, the presentation of the flavourful white fish will cause conversation to pause as mouths slowly drop open and taste buds secrete. The tender meat slips off bones and deliciously moistens the mouth with its juices. Intersperse heavenly mouthfuls with a refreshing sip of white wine - we suggest the Suavia Soave Classico or Vietti Roero Arneis.

Eat slowly and lingeringly to appreciate the sensations, and bustling Yaletown will quickly be replaced by the breezy Mediterranean with each bite consumed.

~ Sandra O’Connell