Photography by Steve Painter

Gianluca Tozzi and Jack Booth opened Galleria seafood bar in 2020 during the small gap between lockdowns. Their aim was to support the local fishermen and women by serving up dishes where seasonal fish and veg is the star, as well as showcasing some of the best English and European wines with their relaxed yet intimate space. Gianluca originates from Puglia on the South Coast of Italy, famous for its world class cuisine. With affordable lunch menus and to-die for tasting menus, Galleria showcases local fish and other produce at its very best. Already, since opening, they have been labelled Best Newcomers by The Good Food Guide and I’m sure there’ll be more awards coming their way.


We asked Gianluca if he would kindly supply a recipe for something a bit special for anyone who would like to give turkey a miss this year and he didn’t disappoint.

Open Wed – Sun

to reserve a table

Galleria, 39 Norman Road, St Leonards

Pan fried Halibut supreme,
lemon cauliflower purée,
wilted spinach with a clam
pernod beurre blanc

A delicious treat for the festive season. Halibut has a lovely meaty texture that combines perfectly with the smooth cauliflower purée and the clam pernod beurre blanc. If halibut is unavailable then cod would be a good alternative. Just make sure the fillets are nice and thick.

Serves 4

For the lemon cauliflower purée
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 potato, peeled and finely diced
1 large cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
100g cold Butter plus extra knob for sautéing
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper
Small bunch fresh dill, leaves stripped and chopped (keep the stalks aside for the sauce).

In a medium saucepan, sauté the shallots and potato with a knob of butter. Add the chopped cauliflower and sauté all together for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Cover with the milk and simmer at a low heat until soft. Strain and reserve the milk and put the cauliflower, potato & shallots into a blender. Blitz, adding some of the strained milk until you reach a creamy but firm consistency. Add the lemon zest and chopped dill leaves.

For the wilted spinach

500g fresh spinach, washed and dried
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

Sauté the sliced garlic with olive oil. Add the spinach and 2 tbsp of water to wilt the spinach. Season with salt & pepper. Finish with the lemon juice.

For the clam pernod beurre blanc

24 clams
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Dill stalks (reserved from purée)
50ml or 1 small glass of dry white wine
50g butter
50g flour
50ml Pernod (or Ricard)
100ml double cream
1 egg yolk

Leave the clams in heavily salted water for at least 2 hours in the fridge. Wash them before using and discard any that are open. In a medium saucepan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil garlic cloves and dill stalks in a large pan, add the clams and some freshly ground black pepper. Deglaze with the dry white wine and cover with a lid until the clams open. Remove the clams as soon as they open. Strain the juice and keep to one side. In a small saucepan, heat the butter. When slightly bubbling add the flour and whisk until the roux becomes golden in colour. Add the clam juice (approx 150g) and Pernod to the roux and keep stirring. Separately blitz the double cream with the egg yolk. Add the cream and egg mixture to the roux and keep stirring. Be careful not to overcook.

For the halibut

4 halibut fillets (each about 180-200g)
Sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 190 C (170 C fan).

Heat a frying pan/skillet suitable for cooking in the oven. Season the fish with salt and pepper and massage some sunflower oil on to the fillet. Pan fry on each side and then finish in a preheated oven at 190 C (170 C fan) for 4-5 minutes depending on thickness of the fish.

To serve

Put a portion of the cauliflower puree onto each plate. Add the wilted spinach. Place the halibut fillets on top and place the clams around. And to finish, spoon over the clam pernod beurre blanc.

Buon Appetito!