When it comes to seafood, Australia has quite a reputation. A good one—big, juicy, tasty, flavourful, abundant and varied are some of the adjectives used to describe their seafood. We caught up with former Australia captain Michael Clarke to prod him on the must-visit eateries in Australia, and he did not disappoint. Here’s the list vetted by the right-handed batsman himself:
1. Opera Bar in Circular Quay: With a fantastic location that’s hard to beat and an enviable view of the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House that not too many restaurants can offer, the Opera Bar also prides itself on its seafood menu and its exclusive raw seafood bar where you can watch some culinary theatre as chefs slice and shuck seafood to order. Salmon, snappers, crabs, trout, flatheads, prawns, lobsters, oysters, scallops, honey bugs, kingfish—it’s all on the menu and fresh, hand-picked and locally sourced.
2. The Boathouse in Shelly Beach: This triple treat—café, restaurant and kiosk all in one—is tucked away right around the bend from beautiful Manly Beach. Their signature Boathouse beer-battered flathead and chips is their star dish and is supposed to be one of the best fish and chips you will find in Australia. That doesn’t mean that they take their other seafood dishes for granted. The restaurant boasts an open kitchen and a wood-fired oven to bake seafood to succulent perfection. Another winner is the seafood spaghetti, topped with delicate scampi and pippis cooked with garlic, chilli and anchovies—it’s quite delicious.
3. Coogee Pavilion on Coogee Beach: Another beachside pub and this one has a dedicated raw bar, oyster bar and crustacean counter. The menu’s emphasis is on seafood, running from fish and chips to daily changing fish specials and a with-the-works seafood platter that could feed a table. Their four fresh grilled sardines and Ruby-red tiles of tuna tataki are both done beautifully with delicate sauces and fresh greens, and are both specials on the menu. Their lobster rolls are famous too, while the other popular seafood on the menu are cuttlefish, oysters, crabs, scallops and rock flathead.
4. Café Sydney in Customs House: This café, too, has an amazing view of the Sydney harbour, the ferries, the bridge, the Opera house, the cruise ships. Their speciality is the tandoor oven where plenty of seafood is roasted and served. Their fresh oysters, grilled scallops, giant seafood share platter, crumbed crab cake, grilled swordfish, and tandoor-roasted ocean trout are the hits on the menu.
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