Fabric Café and Bistro is no stranger to most Hobsonville Point locals, and it’s the first foodie contact for visitors stepping off the ferry. This is a historic building, where aircraft were repaired during the area’s heyday in WWII, their wings re-covered in fabric: so yep, hence the name. Owned by Luke Shore, the accomplished kitchen team is led by head chef Dwayne Bannerman. 

Fabric’s open from 7.30am, so locals love it for capping off an early coastal track walk with breakfast or morning tea, and commuters rely on it for that quick takeaway L’Affare coffee before jumping on the ferry (or for a welcome glass of wine on the way home). 

Every day after lunch, a smooth transition around 3pm sees the restaurant transform into an elegant, warm waterside bistro with a delectable dinner menu. There’s also a weekday special for those looking for an early meal – Pasta & Vino Happy Hour. It runs Monday to Friday from 4.30-6.30pm, and features a delicious, house-made fresh pasta that changes weekly. Cosy up at one of the candlelit tables looking out over the water and enjoy a glass of vino with your pasta for just $30.

The Dayboat Fish is one of the firm favourites on a delicious menu, and Dwayne has been persuaded to share those Fabric flavours for you to try at home. 

Panfried Salmon and Pickled Cauliflower Salad, with Horseradish and Chive Crème
Serves 4

4 salmon pieces
½ cauliflower
100gm red radish
60gm red grapes
60gm green grapes
48gm whole peeled almonds 
30 ml olive oil
Flaky sea salt to taste
Pepper ground fresh to taste
Small bunch chopped flat leaf parsley
Small bunch chopped chives

First prepare the pickled cauliflower. 
This is best done the day before to produce a proper pickled salad. 

To prepare the cauliflower, remove any green leaves to expose the florets, slice the cauliflower as thin as you can – 2mm is desirable – either with a sharp knife or a mandolin if you have one. Place into the pickling liquor and leave overnight in the fridge (or for a minimum of 6 hours).

Cauliflower Pickling liquor
400mls white wine vinegar
200gm white sugar

Place the vinegar into a pot and add the sugar, then heat over a medium heat till the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly before adding the finely sliced cauliflower to pickle overnight. Ensure the cauliflower is submerged into the pickling liquor.

Prepare the rest of the salad

  • Toast the almonds – preheat the oven to 150 degrees, place almonds on a tray in the oven for 20 min, then set aside to cool. 
  • Cut the radishes into small batons, or rounds if you prefer, and set aside in a little water till ready to use.
  • Slice the grapes into rounds or just cut in half if small – set aside.
  • Roughly chop the flat leaf parsley and set aside.
  • Finely slice chives and set aside.

Horseradish Cream

1 tsp minced garlic
1 tblsp horseradish
2 tsp Dijon mustard
80gm cream

Whip the cream to soft peaks, set aside in the fridge for later. Finely chop the garlic and place in a bowl. Add horseradish, Dijon mustard and a pinch of salt, and mix well till combined. Fold through the cream and mix till well combined, and set aside in the fridge until serving time.

To Build

30 ml olive oil
Baking paper
Salt and pepper

Heat a pan on a medium heat large enough for the amount of salmon portions you are cooking, place baking paper into the pan with a little olive oil.
Season salmon with flaky sea salt and place into the pan skin side down for 8 minutes or so keeping an eye on the colour of the skin. Reduce heat if needed, allow the skin to get crispy, flip the fish on the flesh side and cook for a further 3 minutes, then do the sides of the salmon 30 seconds each side. If you prefer your salmon fully cooked, cook an extra minute or two longer on each side. Remove from the pan and allow to rest while you prepare your salad. 

Drain the cauliflower from the pickling liquor and place into a bowl large enough to toss all the ingredients, add the sliced grapes, toasted almonds, chopped radish, the parsley and chives, olive oil, flaky sea salt and pepper to taste.

Combine well and portion the salad onto desired plates, place salmon on top of the salad, add a dollop horseradish to the top of the salmon and garnish with any remaining chives and parsley. Enjoy!