When a coastal lady like me visits the city, one of the first things I look forward to is sampling a gourmet seafood feast. I think part of me likes to compare the quality of salty produce in the big smoke to the sweet ocean prawns and impressive daily catches that frequent the menus at home.
Note to readers: I’m based in the northern NSW hamlet of Yamba / Angourie – which is, if you aren’t aware, a charmingly laid back seafood lovers haven. In fact, a good percentage of our local community consists of skilled fisher folk and keen surfers alike. Anyway – I’ll be publishing a detailed Yamba destination guide on here shortly. In the meantime, let me introduce your taste buds to the to the very best seafood restaurants in Sydney.
Fish At The Rocks
Address: 29 Kent Street, The Rocks, Sydney. Ph: 02 92524614
If ever you have the golden opportunity to dine at one of Sydney’s favourite seafood restaurant, good gosh you should do it. Fish at the Rocks is a mighty fine example of contemporary ‘sea to plate’ cuisine prepared perfectly. This award winning venue is a veritable people pleaser – its been in business since 1988 no less. Definitely book early to avoid the disappointment of missing out.
I really love the maritime artworks that adorn the walls here & of course the welcoming atmosphere. Best dishes; their outstanding Seafood Pie with prawn, salmon, ling, scallops, bechamel sauce & puff pastry top. Or, go all out and share the Crustacean Platter for Two with grilled scampi, king prawns, grilled lobster tossed in garlic, shallot, cajun spice butter. Plus, Moreton Bay bugs, fries and a crunchy green salad.
Masuya Japanese Seafood Restaurant
Address: 12-14 O’Connell Street, Sydney. Ph: 02 92352717
Masuya’s is the spot for superb Japanese seafood hot pots, soft shell crab dishes and indulgent sashimi boats. When you arrive here expect to write your name on the list and patiently wait – and boy oh boy is it worth it. The sumptuous menu is delicately prepared with local daily seafood catches and astute Asian infused attention to detail. A no frills establishment made great by its fine selection of expertly prepared ingredients.
Best Dishes: The authentic Bento Boxes for lunch & the Seafood Hot Pot for dinner. I also adore the Tasmanian Salmon lightly seared and served with an oriental spice sauce at any time of day.
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar
Address: No 1, East Circular Quay. PH: 02 92472937
Sophisticated waterside dining in a casual setting, ideal for a catch up with colleagues and/or friends. The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar has an excellent reputation for its epic oyster selections (obviously), sweet tiger prawns and delightfully prepared fish of the day. Not to mention its fantastic seaside location right by Circular Quay.
The seafood flavours lend themselves to an enviable fusion of European and Asian tastes. Add to this an extensive list of Australian and International wines and ladies and gentlemen, you’re bound to enjoy a wonderful dining time.
Best Dishes; Tiger Prawn Linguine with cherry tomatoes, basil, chili, confit garlic & white wine. And, naturally their famed Sydney Rock Oysters shucked to order. Open Thursday to Sunday 11am – 8pm. Dine in or takeaway options available.
Saint Peter & Fish Butchery
Address: 388 Oxford Street, Paddington. PH: 02 80680312
Australian fish eateries don’t come any better than Saint Peter. The venue prides itself on sustainable seafood, expertly prepared with exquisite flavours and modern flair. Their adherence to sourcing the best sustainable seafood the region has on offer is tantamount to their ever growing success. Impressive!
Note: although restaurant dining is currently closed due to the global health pandemic, the proprietors have urged their loyal fan base to please support them by visiting their Fish Butchery retail store.
Be sure to pop in and pick up their outstanding ‘ready to cook meal kits’ prepared daily by chef extraordinaire Josh Niland. The ‘Mr Niland at Home’ range features menu creations such as Mooloolaba Swordfish Schnitzels with charcoal tomatoes and an anchovy & caper dressing. Josh does all the hard work for you, all you have to do is cook his prep in 1 or 2 steps!
Check their website for more seafood dinner inspiration here; https://fishbutchery.com.au/collections/mr-niland-at-home
Salmon & Bear – The Fish Eatery
Address: 2 Locations // Zetland & Crows Nest. PH: 02 96628188
Salmon and Bear has two desirable city locations; the log cabin style eatery in Zetland (inner-eastern suburbs) and their second restaurant in Crows Nest. The latter being a light filled mountain like chalet vibe with alfresco dining, conveniently situated on the lower North shore. The team behind Salmon & Bear are clever restaurateurs for many reasons. First and foremost is their delectable sustainably sourced salmon dishes. Their casual approach to quality seafood is consistently delicious. And, as we all know, consistency in the hospitality industry really is key.
Owners Joel Katz, Joe Ward and Mark Jensen (with decades of restaurant experience between them) have created a casual dining environment where good humans gather to enjoy seafood suppers any day of the week.
Best dishes; for a top feed I can’t go past the Salt & Pepper Calamari with Ponzu sauce to start and for the main meal, the Ora King Salmon aka the ‘Wagyu of the Sea’, expertly cooked in a charcoal flamed Mibrasa oven. I also advise getting hold of a fish taco or three (a superb takeaway option).
Summer Salt Restaurant
Address: 66 Mitchell Road, Cronulla. PH: 02 95232366
Executive Chef & Owner Carl Jensen has really kicked service goals since opening Summer Salt on Cronulla Beach. The staff are always welcoming and attentive in an unobtrusive manner. Its absolute beach front location overlooking the breakers at Cronulla is a winner too.
This stylish, light filled venue is the ultimate place to fulfill your taste for both crustaceous and finned decadence. Do you appreciate an uninterrupted seaside view with great food and friends? If you answered yes, than go direct to Summer Salt restaurant and have your quality seafood needs met. It’s excellent value and a memorable place to celebrate any occasion. Now taking online bookings from July 2020 after a temporary hiatus.
Best Dish: It’s the fresh Fish of the Day – every single time for me. I do try to deviate my tastes but always loop back to this meal again and again. Whilst, easily coercing my companions to choose a selection of equally delicious starters to share from the menu too.
FYI: the restaurant access is disability friendly.
Address: 529 Kent Street, Sydney. PH: 02 92672900
The famed Tetsuya’s restaurant has been a major drawcard for lovers of Japanese seafood for well over a decade. The sashimi chefs at the helm are an extraordinarily talented team of committed individuals that consistently strive to deliver delicious meals. A veritable fusion of clean Asian flavours serve to complement the finest Australian seafood cuisine.
Tetsuya’s offers a world class dining experience by way of its celebrated set menu dining. Example courses include; Roasted Scampi Tail with Vanilla // Tuna with Daikon and Wasabi // Confit of Ocean Trout with Salad of Apple and Witlof & Queensland Murray Cod with Confit Fennel and Young Garlic.
Executive Chef Tetsuya Wakuda OAM, grew up in the Japanese town of Hamamatsu in the Shizuoka Prefecture. By sheer coincidence I explored this region on my last Japanese eating journey / holiday back in 2014. Hint: book your table well in advance to secure your reservation.
Doyle’s on the Beach
Address: Fisherman’s Wharf, Watson’s Bay. PH: 02 93376214
Doyle’s on the Beach has an idyllic Watsons Bay location and the sun gleaned bistro tables are always in high demand. The Doyle’s Sydney seafood restaurant chain has been family owned and operated since 1805, it’s an institution in the truest sense of the word. It is also a popular place for fresh seafood takeaways at the adjacent Doyle’s on the Wharf. Think tasty crumbed whiting fillets, freshly shucked oysters and moreish prawns. Best washed down with a cold ale and/or a classic dry white wine.
Open 7 days a week from 10am-5pm, I totally recommend getting your gourmet fish and chips fix right here. Sunset = Magic. I simply love the history that exudes from this grand seaside building. Open 7 days a week until 8pm.
It comes as no surprise that the harbour city offers up a full bounty of seafood restaurants. In fact, Sydney is well renowned for its ample supply of fresh seafood served with outstanding local produce. Whether you’re into lively Asian flavours, modern Australian seafaring tastes, Italian style seafood cuisine and everything in between, visitors to Sydney’s shores are guaranteed to find a terrific seafood feast.
By Roxanne Williams