Saturday, June 7, 2014

Exploring Sydney day 1, 2 and 3: Sydney fish market

It must have been a while since I last uploaded a picture heavy blog post. But because we somehow managed to squeeze in time to go to the Sydney fish market, I felt it was only appropriate to dedicate an entire post on it with minimal distractions. Yes, I was reluctant to come here everyday but eventually gave in because I couldn't think of anywhere else to go and for a fact that it is fresh seafood after all. Let's be honest. There's less calories in a fresh piece of fish or oyster compared to a slice of cake.

On the first day, we made a mistake of arriving at around 11am where we must have encountered a few truckload of tourists and locals. It was not a pleasant sight at all. Imagine trying to comfortably eat your food but somehow is constantly knocking your back every few minutes and there's just so much noise floating in the warehouse.

We did not eat a lot on the first day as it was way too crowded but we did bought ourselves two trays of oysters and a small serve of salmon sashimi. I am not a big fan of oysters and so, can't really comment much on it but the salmon sashimi made my day. At the sushi restaurants in Adelaide, I would have paid $10 more to have the equivalent amount of salmon sashimi at the fish market. Mental note to self, bring soy sauce and wasabi next time because they do charge an extra $1 per tiny pot of soy sauce infused with wasabi.

We then had more fresh seafood sashimi such as scallop, abalone and scampi sashimi. They were really fresh and did not wreck any fishy scent whatsoever. Although, I would caution you against sitting outdoors because as soon as we left the table that we shared with a few strangers, the hungry seagulls made a quick attempt at grabbing whatever seafood morsels they could lay their beaks on. It was a very frightful moment and we were lucky to not be in that situation :/

On day 2, we had more seafood. But this time round, we made an effort to purchase a mudcrab, lobster and a few kilos of clam that were prepared for us at $10 per seafood. I think it's a bit costly to get them to cook the seafood for you but if you are planning on having a mega feast, then it would be worthwhile.

We had the Singapore chilli crab and it was good albeit not as spicy as I would have liked it to be. The XO clams were not too bad and I actually preferred it. The garlic lobster was alright though, not sure if it was incorrectly prepared due to the rush.

Cheekily enough, we then ventured down the deep fried options with deep fried soft shell crabs, prawns and a lobster mornay. The soft shell crabs were not cleaned well but still tasted alright to me. Lobster mornay was a little too cheesy but still edible. Probably wiser to go with the fresh options in the future. Less calories involved too haha.

On the last day, we handpicked the best things to have at the fish market and arrived very early. Had more salmon sashimi, oysters and squid sashimi. Was too good to resist. Also had my first try at sea urchin roe which tasted very much like the sea, as quoted by the superior foodies. Not something that I can have often but it does have it's own distinct taste.

To end the trip quickly, we had stir fry clams with ginger and shallots and garlic prawns. The food arrived pipping hot on our table and the best part? No crowds to fight for seats. Double win never felt so good.

If I could give you a few pointers, it would be:

1. arrive early aka within 30 minutes of opening. Less crowd = more time browsing
2. do not sit outside unless you have to. Way too windy and crazy seagulls ahoy.
3. if getting seafood prepared by staff, order a bit more. It stretches that extra $10 you pay for preparing it.
4. if possible, best to buy whatever seafood you want and prepare at home. Always the most economic method.
5. prices across all shops are the same. don't waste your time browsing.
6. fresh seafood tastes so much better than deep fried ones. You have been warned.

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