ST. PETERSBURG — If there’s one dish that perfectly encapsulates the ethos of Lingr, chef Jeffrey Jew’s ambitious new restaurant, it’s probably the salt and pepper fish cakes.
Somewhere in between a Norwegian fiskeboller and the curried fish balls you’d find on a Hong Kong street food cart, the golf ball-sized orbs are plump with Faroe Island salmon and flavored with white pepper and Sichuan peppercorns. They’re delivered in a mustard sauce that’s inspired by a hot Norwegian mustard and a Chinese sauce made with tamari, black vinegar, soy and what Jew calls “that old-school secret Chinese ingredient”: ketchup.
I can’t tell if he’s joking about that last part, but I don’t care: The fish cakes are delicious.
So, this is a fusion restaurant, right? Sort of. Not exactly.
The shtick here is Norwegian and Cantonese, or more broadly, a Nordic-inspired restaurant with Asian influence. It’s an homage to Jew’s