Who wants to slave over a hot stove this festive season, when it's high on the Christmas cards you'll only end up with a dry ol' bird, overcooked 'taters and frazzled nerves. Amirite?
Chances are, it'll be a scorcher, so might we suggest you go the easy and downright delicious entertaining route, and instead throw a shrimp or two on the barbie, bang on some bugs, pop the oysters on ice and ceviche your way to a relaxed and merry Christmas.
If, like us, you're opting for seafood this year, check out our pick of top spots to stock up on fish and fresh seafood for December 25th.
If you're a fan of the slippery little suckers, make your first port of call Richmond Oysters, as these guys have been doing a rip-roaring trade in the very finest of fresh oysters since 1959. They'll also sort out all of your other seafood needs – if it swims or floats, they've got it.
We're also picking up their salmon patties and marinara mix for when unexpected 'friends' drop by over the hols.
Richmond Oysters | 437-441 Church Street in Richmond | 03 9428 5121
Where do the fine folk of Briiiighton (where only the best will do) pick up their festive fare? The Fish Tank, that's where. It might not be as bargain-friendly as dropping a line off the nearest jetty, but you can be sure your xmas menu won't tank (ohh err) if you buy your supplies here.
Their QLD prawns and super fresh fish fillets (sourced from the Melbourne fish market in the wee wee hours each day) will make entertaining a no-brainer, and they also have an epic selection of pre-marinated options for less culinary-inclined party planners. Make sure you pick up a few armfuls of their super salads, to see you through to Boxing Day and beyond.
ish Tank | 20 Church Street in Brighton | (03) 9592 0697
The word institution is bandied about a little too often for my liking, but in the case of Claringbolds, it's the only one that will do. Taking up real estate in Prahran Market since 1909, you mum probably shops there, and it's pretty likely your nan's snapped up a snapper or two in her day.
Reef fish, game fish, crayfish… they do it all and they do it oh-so-well! Fresher than fresh, their seafood is truly the crème de la crème. Your hostessing style more low-stress than mostest? Fear not, as they'll sort you out with a great selection of sushi.
What's more, you can do all your other Chrissy food shopping in one go, all under the same roof. Vegies – tick, fruit – why, of course. Cheese, dips, crackers and booze. Tickedy tick tick tick!
All that haggling taken it out of you? Re-perculate your fine self with some of Melbourne's best beans at Market Lane.
Claringbolds | Shop 510 Prahran Market, 163-181 Commercial Road in South Yarra | 03 9826 8381
Image Credit: Pinterest
If it's good enough for some of our favourite restaurants, then Ocean Made's seafood is good enough for Aunty Marg and little Otto. Among the hustle and bustle of the inner-city burb of Collingwood, Ocean Made has all your Christmas seafood needs covered.
The mussels hail from Port Arlington, Spring and Boston Bay (SA) and are second to none. Fill your esky with oysters, tuna and soft shell crab and drop by the servo for a few bags of ice. Christmas day made.
Ocean Made | 27-29 Robert Street in Collingwood | 03 9486 0399
HAPPY TUNA SEAFOODS
We've brought you our pick of Prahran Market, now here's the best from Queen Vic. Wayne Chitty has happily been manning the Happy Tuna stall for 48 years, in a family affair kicked off by his grandpa back in 1920.
Regarded as the market's best seafood supplier (and among Melbourne's most awarded), you can be completely confident in the hands of these marvelous mongers. A good one for the infrequent aquatarians, as the helpful staff (Chitty or otherwise) will be able to guide you through the season's finest fishy fare.
Happy Tuna Seafoods | Shop 27 Meat Hall, Queen Victoria Market, 513 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne | 03 9329 7072
Main Image Credit: Sweet Paul Mag, Colin Cooke Photography.