Yo – you a seafood eater? Then you better get yourself on down to the Sydney Fish Market, where coppin' cheap and fresh seafoods is all the rage. If you're going on a weekend, it's best to arrive early. The place will be teeming with eaters by lunch time, all craving a quick salt-water fix. Or freshwater, I guess. To me, it's all about shellfish.There are a few different places in the market and in the parking lot – some serving food, and some solely retail. I didn't Google which was the best to grab some bites, but we ended up at Nicholas Seafood, where oysters come, like, five ways, and other crustaceans and shellfish are seemingly free flowing. I'm not going to pretend that it was the best seafood I've ever had, but when we're dealing with prices like $2 per oyster mornay and $5 for some battered bay bugs, you can't really go too wrong. (I guess cheap shellfish are quite risky, but that's one risk I'm willing to take.)
These fried bay bugs are an Australia thing. They're like little lobster tails, with just a quick hit of meat. If they're fried like these, you can pick off the batter bits and the legs from outside the shell– just eat them whole, trust me. Oysters mornay kind of defeat the purpose of oysters, but are just so rich and indulgent. I mean, cheese goes with anything.
You'll inevitably want more when your plate is empty, and it's never a bad idea. Actually, getting more is the only way to fit in with nearby tables piled with plates of abalone, lobster and crab and surrounded by hungry families. I quite liked the oysters up top, but others thought that the scallion, roe and hot sauce toppings obscured the shellfish's natural brine.
Barbecued octopus tentacles were more tender with size, and sauteed in a light, Asian style sauce. Fried calamari was my favorite of the bunch, however. The batter was impossibly light and crispy, and the squid was meaty, not tough. This plate with a small serve of each cephalopods was $16. But I mean, it's all piled up on there. Pretty decent value, especially for Australia. Apparently the market is known for having super fresh sashimi, which I will be definitely be found downing if I ever go to Sydney again.
Nicholas Seafood: Shop 6, Waterfront Arcade, Sydney Fish Market, Bank St., Pyrmont, New South Wales, Australia