Sydney has netted a host of hot seafood joints where quality and sustainability are equally paramount. Leading the trend is North Bondi Fish and Cranky Fin’s Holidae Inn up at Palm Beach, all showing that punters expect more from their seafood today than mass-farmed Vietnamese basa fish in a greasy joint with poor lighting.
Neil Perry recommends sourcing the best and freshest seafood available, then being sure to not overcook it. The flavours should speak for themselves, but a quick little marinade never goes astray. Mix a bit of olive oil, lemon, pepper, chilli, garlic and cumin together, marinate for 10 to 15 minutes and throw it on the barbecue grill (a Weber is ideal), Perry says. Squeeze over a bit of fresh lemon and it is good to go.
Oysters at the Ivanhoe Hotel
Oysters go just as well with champagne as with a thick beer, belonging to that fantastic group of foods you can scoff wearing a black tie or board shorts. At Manly’s No. 1 Hamptons-style pub – The Ivanhoe, the thonged and saronged can knock back a dozen Sydney rock oysters for $32.
Prawns on the beach
Head to the Sydney Fish Market, grab a wheelbarrow load of crustaceans and consume on a beach with gusto.
Seafood guru John Susman suggests looking for prawns with the feelers present, all 14 legs accounted for, bulging eyes, a head firmly attached and the sweet aroma of the sea.
Whole fish at Chiswick
Head chef Richie Dolan roasts a beaut whole rainbow river trout at Matt Moran’s and Peter Sullivan’s ode to the country garden. The 600 to 700-gram trout is boned and stuffed with lyonnaise onions, wrapped in Chiswick garden herbs and then wood-fired en papillote (that’s ”in parchment” for those who don’t work in the French stationery industry) and garnished with more fresh herbs after cooking.
School prawn popcorn at Hartsyard
Hartsyard in Newtown is famous for its fried chicken and eye-popping cakes, but there is also silly deliciousness in a bag of fried prawns with Espelette pepper, sour cream and lemon. The popcorn component comes via a greater union of real-life movie popcorn and salty shrimp. Addictively ridiculous stuff.
There are many more places to eat great seafood in Sydney and Google will lead you to them. Eat well and have one for us (prawn that is) – Dave and Nicki Lee.