Fix Wine Bar & Restaurant is Sydney’s premier wine bar, nestled between the shopping district and the heart of Sydney’s finance and legal industry. Fix's Head Chef Mark Archer shares his thoughts with us.
Fix has always been about delivering great flavours without complication on the plate at accessible price points. How have you shaped that experience since you took over the role?
I have designed Fix Wine Bar + Restaurant’s lunch menu to cater to the requirements of our diners. We produce main dishes that are no-fuss and quick to the table. We take a little more time with our entrées in plating up more delicate dishes, which are usually ordered by diners who have less time constraints and can hang out a little longer. Our evening menu is an entirely different experience – I’ve designed this menu to be much much more my style! Being a wine bar, I love to serve up food for customers to graze on during the night, with a snack menu throughout the evening.
Stuart runs one of the most boutique and interesting wine programs in Sydney. How do you work with him to achieve a synergy between the food and wine experience?
With 150 wines by the glass it’s hard for us not to find common ground on the day-to-day food and wine pairings. Fix’s Wine Dinners are entirely different, but with almost 50 years’ experience between us, it’s pretty easy. We discuss the flavour profiles and unique characteristics of the wine then discuss our protein options to build out the pairings from there. In our four years working together we’ve yet to have a food-wine match not work.
You lead a small but highly effective team – what aspects of your leadership style gets the best out of your brigade?
My style has definitely changed over time. I was trained in an “old school” way – tougher, highly charged environments where you took the blows and you took them on board. You learned from them and it made you a better chef – you understood your mistakes and you worked your butt off to fix them. This style no longer works in the kitchen – communication is really important and I’ve learned patience (or am still learning). I ask my team to give their best every day. They don’t need to be the most talented chef out there but they do have to have the desire to want to better themselves, the drive to learn and grow each and every day, not just for our team, for our restaurant, but for themselves.
What produce or ingredients are you particularly enjoying working with at the moment?
I know it’s not technically an ingredient, but I love smoking things at the moment. I bought myself a little smoke box recently and have been playing around with it for a few months now. It’s not a new product or technique but god, it’s exciting! Whether it’s it hitting some super fresh Port Lincoln sardines in a little smoke to put on toast; smoking the cabbage for my latest pork dish; or my favourite, smoking kangaroo to order then lightly chargrilling it and serving it with our macadamia satay.
What in your opinion does G&M bring to Australia?
As a well-established and highly regarded international brand, G&M brings a real confidence for Australian diners; their reviews are refreshingly honest and considered. The G&M platform can really help chefs get noticed while giving restaurateurs a true idea of what we do. It’s refreshing to know that G&M takes each restaurant for what it is, its genuine reviews acknowledge all aspects of the dining experience – food, wine, service, atmosphere – and also provided us with some invaluable feedback in the process.
Fix Wine Bar + Restaurant
(02) 9232 2767