Bro, I saw you the other night. I saw you working your way through that menu, and it was brought to my attention that you didn’t lift that sweet mussel sauce into your mouth and use the shell as a scoop. Not to worry, here are six places to help you rectify this for next time.
Yes, fries and/or bread (hopefully both), mayo, and plenty of slurping are mandatory, because what is life without a few mussels in your pasta, as the hero of your seafood medley, or dripping in some form of salty, buttery, brothy goodness? That was a rhetorical question.
Here’s where you’ll find the best mussels in Sydney.
Say whaaat?! But this is that epic cheese place in Newtown, what do you mean mussels? Don’t worry friends; I thought the same when I first heard this Inner West spot had these bad boys on the menu. But trust me when I tell you that the house-pickled mussels here are absolutely mandatory and delicious. They’re small, but mighty, and the perfect opening act to the world of cheese that will follow it. Bonne!
The guys at Leichhardt’s Moretti’s keep it simple. We’re talking real Italian food (the soul-gratifying kind you can smell from around the corner) with excellent, friendly service, and so many delicious things on the menu. It’s a hard choice, but you’ll get there. An easy choice, though, is enjoying the pepata di cozze to start: black mussels in a tomato, garlic, pepper, and white wine sauce. #Noregrets.
Society Di Catania
Now every good Italian knows that great cozze are a life changing dish. And let us tell you friends, the cozze in these parts are bloody amazeballs (is that still a thing?). We're talking panfried perfection with chilli and the type of sauce that'd make Nonna proud. The best part however, are the delicate pops of salty goodness thanks to the capers.
These guys describe themselves as a ‘local eating house’, which is wonderful if you’re local and want to eat. It’s also wonderful because they know their way around a food menu, and want you to be a part of it. The Commons do their mussels a little differently than you might be used to: they’re the Port Lincoln kind, with chickpea & thyme veloute, white wine, garden herbs, and grilled bread. It’s an absolute flavour explosion, and will change the way you look at these molluscy morsels forever.
If there’s some form of a tomato-based seafood dish on the menu at a restaurant, you bet your .5c voucher from JB-HiFi that lives in your wallet that I’m going to order it. Luckily, heavenly Smithfield Italian restaurant Candelori’s offers just that in the form of their misto mare in tegame. Translation: monstrous, irresistible pot of mixed seafood in a rich tomato and chilli sauce, served in a pan with crusty bread. Game changer. Get this in you, stat.
Mon dieu! Chippendale’s French locale, Bistrot Gavroche, is one of our favourite places to get a food fix a la francaise in Sydney. They have all the usual classics: steak tartar, crepes Suzette, escargots. But then there’s the moules (mussels), served ever so simply, with white wine cream sauce and French fries, but it is perfection in its simplicity, as we wish every dish in the entire world could be. A nice bottle of wine and some casual under-the-table footsies, and you’ve got yourself the perfect evening.
This Parisian beauty serves up all-you-can-eat, yep you read that correctly, mussel goodness. Paired with a mountain of fries and a cheeky view over the harbour, you'll be living the good life and counting down to Monday.
Seafood not your thing? Check this out.
Image credit: Cafe Ananas