Sydney in the summertime involves sun, surf and seafood. We travel under the sea (well, not literally) to find the best seafood platters in Sydney to keep you and your taste buds at bay.
Circular Quay is undoubtedly one of the most iconic backdrops in the world, which makes Searock Grill THE harbour-side location for all your seafood needs. While there are a number of tasty options on the menu, the highlights of this institution are the seafood platters. Go all out and order the Indulgence Platter which includes Moreton Bay bugs, Crystal Bay prawns, Blue swimmer crab and WA lobster – yum! With a selective, yet extensive cellar, we don't think you will have a problem finding the perfect potion to accompany your indulgent meal.
Sydney Fish Market
The largest working fish market in the southern hemisphere is right here in Sydney. Australia's home of seafood is located in Pyrmont and encompasses Australia's finest seafood retailers, such as Claudio's, De Costi and Doyles and is also home to Sydney Seafood School where you can learn how to prepare your favourite crustacean so you can D.I.Y at home. The extensive site that is the Sydney Fish Market allows you to trawl through the retailers and restaurants and decide if you want to dine in with your seafood platter of choice, or simply grab your selections and dine al fresco on the grass, or even grab your fresh selections and take them home to enjoy.
Manly Beach is as synonymous with Aussie culture as thongs and Vegemite, and Manly Wine is definitely infused into that subculture. For 5 years now, locals have been frequenting this local for everything from their morning coffee to casual lunches and laid-back dinners. The wines are Manly Wine do not disappoint and are the perfect accompaniment to the delectable seafood platter for two that comes with every delicious morsel you’d expect: grilled lobster, Moreton Bay bug & calamari w chipotle butter, as well fresh blue swimmer crab, tiger prawns, pickled clams, cured salmon & freshly shucked oysters, then finished with fries, lemon wedges and of course, condiments.
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
At first glance, the Watsons Bay Beach Club could have you convinced you were in The Hamptons, and that you should be automatically be clad in Ralph Lauren, but then we remember that we live in Australia and aren't that stuffy. The relaxed world of the Beach Club has an air of sophistication mixed in with down to earth Aussie charm. With spectacular views of the Sydney CBD, it's not difficult to see why locals and tourists alike flock to this waterside destination. As far as seafood platters go, indulge in one of the two seafood platters on offer both serving an array of delectable seafood that is about as impressive as the view.
Our slightly southern foodies have quite a treat in Cronulla eatery, Summer Salt. Executive chef and owner Carl Jensen describes his restaurant as contemporary Australian cuisine enhanced with Asian flavours, and the seafood platter is the perfect example of this. The seafood tasting plate for two will have you loosening your belt as you tuck into some beer battered flathead, smoked chilli salt, sriracha and coconut aioli, as well as tiger prawns with date labneh, mango cumin and avocado puree. To make life even sweeter, there’s miso cured tuna, a rather divine cucumber kimchi, wasabi oil, and purple shiso and chilli salted squid with pineapple and lychee salad. Finish the whole lot off with half a dozen mixed Sydney rock oysters—need we say more? Head to The Shire for uninterrupted sea views and an Asian-inspired seafood experience that will keep you coming back for more.
Doyles On The Beach
The Doyle family have had their hand in Australian seafood since 1885 and can proudly boast to be Australia's first seafood restaurant. Impressed? This iconic waterfront location is still on the original site and has been famously catering to Sydneysiders and tourists alike. You can choose between a hot and cold platter for two to three, or a cold platter for two, encompassing all your favourites, whole lobster, crabs or bugs (subject to availability), fresh prawns, mussels, house smoked salmon and (obvi) fresh oysters. A little on the expensive side, but for the reputation, location and prestige that Doyle's offers, the memories of the experience will be remembered long after the bill has been paid. Bucket list seafood at its best.
The beachside suburb that is Coogee Beach has a new kid on the block who is attracting all walks of life through its doors. Coogee Pavilion is everything you would imagine a Merivale owned beachside establishment to be. Rustic sophistication without the pretension is how this venue and its menu can be described. The seafood platter on offer is a substantial one, including Southern Rock lobster, cooked king prawns, raw scampi, Moreton bugs and Hervey Bay scallops. Whether you are just walking in off the beach, planning a Sunday brunch or hosting a special event, if you want beachside ambience with the class that only the Merivale group can bring; all roads lead to the Coogee Pavilion.
The proof is in the pudding here (make that seafood platter). Let’s just say you don’t need to travel to the sea to get your hands on the best seafood platters. The fine dining French bistro, Felix, is high on our list of mighty fine food—and their seafood platter is next level. The Le Felix plate has everything you could really ever want: 6 oysters, 6 prawns, half a mud crab, and 2 bugs. Failing that, the Le Grand option adds on half a lobster and extra oysters (because extra oysters are always a great idea).
If you’re going to go for a seafood platter, you really have to do it in total style. The iconic Opera Bar will have you Instagrammin’ for days after you chow down on their seafood platter right on Sydney Harbour. You can expect champagne lobster, oysters, scallops, tiger prawns, blue swimmer crab, baby honey bugs and snapper ceviche, which (if you ask us), pairs beautifully with the long list of champagne and cocktails on the menu.
If heading to The Boathouse has been on your to-do list for some time now, take this as sign to pop on by this weekend. Boasting a perfect menu in an even more perfect location, it’s hard not to have one damn delicious time. The Boathouse offers a cold seafood platter that really sets the mark for all seafood platters in Syd. Think Sydney rock oysters, tuna crackers, trout pate, smoked trout, QLD tiger prawns, kingfish ceviche all finished with a Boathouse salad and sourdough (point and case). Bring your togs for a dip in the ocean after, and we almost guarantee it’ll be the peak of your summer.
Head here for Sydney's best new exercise classes.
Image credit: Elle Bogward