Hiramasa Kingfish with jalapeno at Umii Modern Izakaya.
As the sun sinks over a glittering ocean and thoughts turn
to an evening meal, chances are somewhere in this land girt by sea, Australians
are tucking into sensational, fresh seafood.
With a coastline measuring more than 25,000 km, our love
affair with the ocean is well documented, from the infamous Paul Hogan line
‘slip an extra shrimp on the barbie’ to Sunday morning nipper sessions at the
local surf club.
In 2015-16, Aussies ate an average of 19 kg of seafood per
person, making it a significant part of the national diet and growing appetite.
Salmon tops the list as a firm family favourite, followed by prawns, oysters,
tuna, shark, crab and barramundi.
Australia is considered the place that does a casual seafood
meal best in the world – from classics like a whole bucket of prawns, to salt
and pepper squid and fresh or cooked oysters. Diners can’t get enough of
grilled, battered or crumbed fish, luscious lobster and succulent scallops, so
fresh they could still be swimming on the plate.
As Summer approaches and thoughts turn to long, leisurely
nights sipping wine on an alfresco with balmy breezes ruffling the hair, we
also salivate over seafood platters to share and sun kissed memories of childhoods
at the beach.
Let’s take a surf safari around the country and look at
what’s on offer at some of Australia’s best seafood restaurants:
Buckwheat tart, smoked creme fraiche and salmon roe at Quoi Dining.
Sydneysiders experience seafood delights at Quoi
Dining on Century Circuit in Baulkham Hills, where this quaint destination
offers views over Norwest Lake and an intimate ambiance for dining with that
special someone. A modern French and Australian inspired menu offers dynamic
dishes such as pan
roasted barramundi fillet with mussels and mussel beurre blanc, lobster
with tomato, cucumber and sea herbs, or wild barramundi with caper berry,
potato and fennel.
Combining maritime elements with Oriental panache, Umii
Modern Izakaya on Lyons Road in Drummoyne is gaining popularity with
Sydney’s suave and savvy diners. A luring décor of thick naval ropes and deep-sea
crab pots, entices guests to sample morsels from a rotating sashimi bar - such
as New Zealand snapper carpaccio with white soy and truffle oil, or steamed
oysters with scallion, ginger and ponzu sauce.
Cruisy waterfront surrounds overlooking the docks draw
guests to Lavana
Restaurant on Hickson Road in Walsh Bay. A modern open plan dining area is
decked with splashes of worn iron and timber, creating a rustic nautical vibe,
matched by a well-crafted menu highlighting locally caught seafood. Twirl the
fork around linguine with scampi, King prawns, garlic, chilli and cherry
tomatoes, or delve into a grilled seafood platter for two with crab, prawns,
fish, oysters, mussels and scallops.
Cold smoked cured salmon with capers, blood orange, sauce vierge and creme fraiche at Lure.
Transporting guests to a charming Greek fishing village, Lure on Hobart Road in New Lambton serves sophisticated seafood in a vintage blue
and white themed décor, with thick ropes suspending exposed drop globes,
casting a relaxing golden glow. Choose a fish from the window upon entering and
have it cooked to order, or perhaps start with an aromatic seafood bisque,
before a main such as grilled silver dory fillet with Lyonnaise potato and
Plating up stunning day and night views over Wollongong’s
Restaurant on Endeavour Drive offers sophisticated dining over three
levels. Breezy outdoor decks and floor to ceiling windows bring the outside in
on each floor, as diners indulge with a glass of wine and peruse a menu
brimming with seafood choices such as West Australian scampi with angel hair
pasta, wakame, red miso beurre blanc, black sesame and salmon pearls.
Warm shellfish with parsley, chilli, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice at Rick Stein at Bannisters.
When it comes to seafood, few do it as well as Rick
Stein at Bannisters on Mitchell Parade at Mollymook. Every diner experiences an ocean panorama,
and this restaurant’s chic beach setting is comfortable, classy and
understated, ideally matched with a menu of exquisitely prepared fare. Look out
for dishes such as marinated tuna with passionfruit, lime and coriander, or
send the senses into overload with Bombay masala salmon curry with coconut
spice paste, tomatoes and tamarind.
Prawn buckets and fresh seafood platters hook Wollongong
locals into Bombora
Seafood restaurant at The Jetty on Endeavour Drive. Stylish surrounds with
views over the glistening waters of the harbour, create a smart, casual setting
where diners can feel the salty sea breeze on the outdoor deck, or dine indoors
from a sensational seafood menu with tempters such as whole lemon sole with
rosemary smashed chat potatoes, green beans, peas and herb salsa verde.
Penrith diners can revel in retro seaside style at CJ’s
Crab Shack, located inside Panthers Leagues Club on Mulgoa Road. Delight in
vintage inspired charm from crab pot lampshades to stuffed parrots swinging
from the ceiling, while enjoying a cool, laidback vibe and tuck into fresh
ocean offerings such as Creole jumbo shrimp with Andouille sausage, potatoes
and corn, or perhaps a chilli salted soft shell crab burger with coriander,
mango and cucumber salsa.
Seafood spread at CJ's Crab Shack.
Seaside city suburb Brighton is blessed with not only the
beach, but also Fish
Tank fish and chippery on Church Street. Priding itself with the tag ‘a healthy
alternative to the corner fish and chip shop,’ this popular eatery doubles as a
fishmonger, takeaway and sit-down restaurant - where guests can dine with a
refreshing glass of wine. Kick start an ocean taste journey with tangy chilli
calamari, before a seafood grill plate of crayfish mornay, prawn and fish
skewers, scallops, salad and chips.
Melburnians are enticed by sumptuous seafood and sunny,
alfresco dining near the Yarra River, at Sea
on Quay on Siddeley Street in Docklands. Indoors, an ocean theme with sandy
coloured tables and bright blue touches lures guests strolling by to linger
awhile over freshly caught Australian and New Zealand fish, plated up in dishes
like grilled John Dory fillet with chips and salad. Those looking to share can
grab a seafarer’s basket with King prawns, fish bites, scallops, potato cakes,
chips, lemon and tartar.
Breathtaking views of iconic Cataract Gorge and the Tamar
River await diners at Hallams
Waterfront Seafood Restaurant, on Park Street in Launceston. Complementing
the traditional feel of the Apple Isle, Hallam’s elevated cottage design, utilising
reconstructed timber, is a magnet for guests looking to cosy up beside an open brick
fireplace during chilly months. Settle in for a seafood sojourn with a starter
of seafood chowder with blue eye trevalla and mussels, before a main event like
pan fried Atlantic salmon with smoked tomato butter.
Way Out West…
Open the golden doors and step into a Chinese palace, where
hanging lanterns cast a subtle glow over red linen adorned tables, at YINGon Francis Street in Northbridge. Order a cocktail at the black and yellow
embossed bar and peruse an extensive menu, including choices from a live
seafood tank - cooked to order. Kick start a sensory journey with
Cantonese-style spicy squid tentacles and seasoned crispy mushrooms, before
devouring snow crab or lobster with black bean sauce.
Pan seared scallops with beetroot relish and a creamy rosemary and orange reduction at Citrique.
For modern, elegant dining, book a table at Citrique,
nestled inside the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa. Set in sleek
surrounds and providing guests with a myriad of dining choices, Citrique
delivers a gastronomic journey from succulent seafood to yum cha, curries and
European fare. Perhaps start with Moreton Bay spanner crab cakes with avocado
and corn hash and passionfruit aioli, before a main affair of wild caught
barramundi with crab risotto, asparagus and dill beurre blanc.
Embracing the old world charm of a heritage listed building, Seasons
on Ruthven brings stylish dining in sophisticated surrounds to Toowoomba. This
upbeat restaurant and lounge bar has a light and airy vibe where diners can
linger over a pre-dinner drink, while contemplating entrees like honey, soy and
sesame calamari, before sharing a signature platter of fish, prawns, calamari,
baby octopus, bug and scallops served with sauces and salad.
Panoramic ocean views await guests at Tides
Waterfront Dining, directly opposite the beach in Caloundra. Sit alfresco
to inhale salty sea air while sipping a glass of wine and enjoying balmy
breezes, then salivate over a menu brimming with seafood sensations such as seared
scallops with cauliflower, wild mushrooms and black garlic. Those with ravenous
tastes may opt for a seven course tasting menu from both land and sea, that’s
well worth the adventure.
Clean, fresh flavours of the sea and tropics are on the menu
Fish Seafood Restaurant on Macrossan Street in Port Douglas. This
award-winning venue’s chic interior of white linen, blond wood and vivid blue
glass panelling is matched by a menu that’s innovative in taste and formula,
with starters such as spicy tomato black lip mussels with garlic, onion and
housemade bread. Pasta lovers may be tempted by razor clam and crab spaghetti
with chilli, bacon and Parmesan, teamed with a glass of Pinot Grigio.
Now you have salt water in your veins, why not find a
seafood restaurant near you… click herefor more.