Image: Anita Wilhelm at Fish At The Rocks
Sometimes you have a hankering for something from under the sea. Whether it’s of the crustacean, shellfish or regular fish variety, we explore the Sydney restaurants that are serving up some of the best seafood around. You can be assured there’s nothing fishy about these joints!
Pigs might not be able to fly, but the fish certainly soar off the mouth-watering menu at this premier waterside restaurant in Pyrmont. Signature dishes include West Australian marron with brown butter emulsion, charred lettuce and aged balsamic, petuna ocean trout with fennel mousse, quinoa, citrus furikake (a dry Japanese seasoning) and the Asian inspired sashimi served in the raw bar by an onsite sushi chef. Those not as enamoured with the oceanic offerings can indulge in grain-fed Rangers Valley sirloin with edamame, spring onion and white soy or spiced cheese dumplings in cashew nut curry and tomato pickle.
Fish At The Rocks
You can always trust a Sydney restaurant that has been keeping locals satisfied for over 20 years, so when it comes to picking the best seafood restaurants in Sydney, Fish At The Rocks is a sure bet. Whether you’re going all out with a seafood platter for two, grabbing some amazing fish and chips to take away, or settling in for a long and boozy lunch, this is the place to be. Hint: the oysters (served natural, Kilpatrick or Japanese style with pickled ginger, cucumber, nori soy and mild chilli) are definitely worth fighting for.
The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay
It may be a big fish in a small pond, but there's no de-bait that The Boathouse serves some of the best seafood in Sydney's inner west. As well as their signature snapper pie with smoked tomato and mashed potato, our favourites finds among the crustaceanial cuisine include the roast eastern rock lobster with tarragon and cider butter, and wok-fried Gladstone mud crab with black bean, chilli and ginger. When it comes to serving super seafood, it’s smooth sailing for this boathouse.
Searching for seafood restaurants along Sydney's most famous shoreline? There are plenty of fish in the sea. However, the owners behind Bondi's Best claim that their sustainably caught and passionately prepared menu is the beachside suburb’s best. We took the time to try the pan-fried red emperor and the salt and pepper gluten-free cuttlefish with chilli, sundried tomatoes, basil and mixed leaves, and must admit there may be some truth to this fact.
Sydney Fish Market
When it comes to cooking, it might not be everyone’s kettle of fish. However, head straight to the (tartare) source, and suddenly you won’t feel like such a fish out of water. As well as the opportunity to buy the best of the bait-biters directly from retailers like De Costi, the eateries at the Sydney Fish Market (including Doyle’s) serve everything from bugs to barramundi. Yes, for the freshest of fish finds, the Sydney Fish Market is certainly a catch!
Duck face may infiltrate your Instagram feed but it's the swimming sea creatures which flood the menu at this Double Bay dining destination. Whet your appetite with a mouth-watering selection including prawn ravioli with green onions and ginger shellfish sauce, blue eye trevalla with potato scales, fresh ricotta and roasted beetroot, or ocean trout in filo pastry with mushrooms, leek and sorrel sauce. Just don’t be shell-fish and forget to share your cicada chocolate slice with meyer lemon and native mint ice cream when it’s time to dive into dessert!
The Fish Shop
Upgrade the newspaper wrapped, deep-fried fillets of your childhood with a new take on a nostalgic classic inspired by the Americana influences of Nantucket. Start with an icy cold bio-dynamic brew at the adjoining Amateur Fishing Club Bar, then swap battered bream and scallops saturated in vinegar, for fresh, locally caught bites like barramundi croquettes, a bacon and fish burger or the bucket of prawns.
The Mediterranean-menu at one of Sydney’s best restaurants features seafood focused options such as poached WA marron tail with orange and aioli, crispy skin Cone Bay barramundi with snapper crab, enoki mushroom, sage and eschalot cream, and pan-friend snapper with potato and garlic mash and lemon caper butter. However, if there was a section for listing “other equally important additions which appear alongside the edible underwater offerings” we assume it would include Catalina's exceptional unobstructed views over Rose Bay, a stylish venue to watch the landing sea planes while you pick at your prawns, and daily visits by resident pelicans who like to perch on the balcony.
North Bondi Fish
We’re fans of the fish-focused food at the restaurant occupying the former location of North Bondi Italian. Our favourites are the prawn tacos with red cabbage slaw, the citrus cured salmon bruschetta, and the braised whole mulloway with broccolini and abalone mushrooms. You could say we've fallen for the open-spaced eatery owned by Chiswick and Aria’s Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan hook, line and sinker.
House of Crabs
Visitors to the House of Crabs, located above Sydney Bar The Norfolk Hotel, often report to being on a seafood diet. Obviously as well as all kinds of crabs (including blue swimmer, snow and king) they “see” food selections like blackened ocean trout with mango salsa; lobster fries with bacon and corn, and hard-shell ceviche taco with avocado, chilli and peanuts—and well… They eat it!