Meanwhile … Ryan and I go to Oceana in Midtown

7.25pm, Saturday 11th Feb, still on 39th Street, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, NYC

Just ducked out to the local noodle shop “Tabata” on 9th Avenue for some of their house special Wasabi Shumai – that’s steamed pork dumplings laced with a fairly solid shot of fresh wasabi. You get four in a serve and they’re really good. Add some steamed edamame beans, and that’s a very healthy Saturday night out in New York!

I’d like to get our day with Ryan Bowker – another one of the Winebow Fine Wine Team that are now looking after us in New York – written up tonight as well.

Last Thursday was one of the nicest days you could strike in Manhattan – clear blue skies, crispy cold winter day, but we could walk about town without our jackets on! As I said … nice! And I think it rubbed off on our work day because everyone we stopped in to see wanted to take time out and have a proper chat about the wines and what’s going on in the Australian industry.

We had a magic run and found ourselves at Oceana for lunch, on West 49th just around the corner from the Rockefeller Center. If you’re looking for anything fishy, look no further. The big tanks of crab and lobster should be the easiest indicator that this is one of Neptune’s favourite eating spots and watering holes. And the barman here is good … no great, actually. Ask for Joe from Long Island – they’ll know who you’re looking for. He’s your tour guide for what’s good on the menu and in the glass, wine wise. We safely put ourselves in his hands and had the fish tacos (with a fresh tomato salsa) to open, which I chased with the daily fish & chips.

Here are the fish tacos – my first one ever! And we’ve set the bar high. Lashings of cilantro (coriander) with a bit of fresh chilli and lots of lime juice. These would translate so well to South Australia in the warmer months – especially with something like tempura garfish pieces or even fillets in the taco.

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And the fish & chips came out English style – on newspaper. It was cod on the day, and these fillets were crispy thin batter on the outside, and chunky but creamy classic cod on the inside.

As I said, the day just rolled on in the same fashion, call after call.

Ryan had a ringside seat really as I just ran story after story with each wine … and got caught redhanded thinking Valentine’s Day thoughts (let’s leave it at that!) about the lovely restaurant manager at Oceana. You’ll be able to spot him easily: tall, goatee, dark brown eyes almost black … and a devastating smile. OK, I’m just a girl at the end of the day! All I can say at the end of the day is that it’s nice to have our wines at such a top Midtown seafood specialist address!!

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All in all, a great Midtown moment!!

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