- Travel Topics
Naturally being a food lover one of the things I look forward to most when exploring a new country is wandering through the various markets.
So when my mom’s friend offered that we meet up for brunch at the Sydney Fish Market I was thrilled.
The Sydney Fish Market is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world’s second largest fish market (after the one in Japan).
The market is bustling by 5:30 am and during the early morning hours various restaurants and seafood sellers come down to have their pick. At the market 2,700 crates (52 tonnes) are sold each and every day.
We weren’t there for the daily wholesale auction though. We were there to eat.
Not only is this a working market and fishing port but it also has a retail market, delicatessan, sushi bar, bakery, gift shop, seating for customers, fruit and veggie market, seafood cooking school, etc. You get the idea.
And this place gets packed. We were lucky enough to snag a table and left Dave there to ward off any other interested parties while we went in search of our meal.
We passed by numerous counters with raw fish for sale.
And then of course got to the area where the prepared dishes were for sale.
There is no shortage of options. Just about any type of fish you can imagine, along with various other sea creatures, crabs, shrimp, mussels, abalone, you name it.
I can’t say the price is super low, but eating here is significantly cheaper than dining at any real seafood restaurant in Sydney. So if you’re after fresh seafood on a budget in Sydney, this is probably one of your best options.
And then we moved on over to the oyster counter. If case you don’t know this about my family vacations already, my parents and I are obsessed with oysters. We try to plan out our daily excursions so that we specifically hit up at least one oyster joint.
And then at the end of the trip we like to talk about where the oysters were the best and to rank them.
It’s just what we do.
So of course we got a two platters of a dozen oysters at the market and even purchased a bottle of Tobasco, because we also can’t have our oysters without it.
To continue with the raw extravaganza my mom’s friend led me over to the sashimi counter – yes please. I order a small plate of both the salmon and tuna sashimi. As you can see from the prices above, you won’t be purchasing a whole kilogram’s worth of sashimi, but a little bit goes a long way.
And that fish was perfectly fresh and went down perfectly with a bit of wasabi and soy sauce.
See those pretty little shells? Those are apparently home to abalone (something I had never even heard of before the Sydney fish market. Kind of like mussels or scallops but basically enormous and really meaty.
Can’t say that I loved it, but it was worth a try. Maybe it was the way the abalone was prepared or perhaps it’s just not for me. What are your thoughts? Have you had abalone before?
And when we all finally came together at the table about scurrying about the fish market trying to purchase everything we could get our hands on, we were starved and ready for a seafood feast. The fresh fish was superb. Simple, yet delicious.
But the star of the show for me was the soft shell crab. Seriously, thought soft shell crab is just about the most amazing seafood in the world. Generally I only ever had soft shell crab in a spider roll at a Japanese restaurant and that is one of my favorite rolls, but there simply is not enough soft shell crab in that.
You’ve got to order the whole crab for yourself.
When we were in Thailand I tried a soft shell crab in yellow curry sauce that almost had me crying tears of foodie joy, and this deep fried soft shell crab experience at the Sydney Fish Market was pretty similar.
So crunchy and crispy and brimming with flavors. It really is a crime not to have soft shell crab as often as you can. Five stars on this one.
Now while my main motive for visiting the Sydney Fish Market was to gently glide away into foodie heaven after my seafood overload induced foodie coma, for those who aren’t a fan of fish or seafood it is still worth a visit.
Locals markets are great places to explore and walk through just from a touristy perspective and the atmosphere here is bustling and vibrant.
If you don’t want a full meal here you can simply wander around and then take a seat at the cafe and enjoy a rich coffee instead (which we did also do afterwards).
And then of course there’s a bit of bird watching to be done too.
If you’re looking you’ll spot an eager look pelican ready to get in on some of the action.
I loved our visit to the Sydney Fish Market. Walking through the market is an experience in itself, but then sampling all the delicious and fresh fish/seafood really is out of this world. One of the best meals we had in Sydney by far!