Monday, September 13, 2010

An early morning trip to the Sydney Fish Markets

An early rise on Father's Day morning, saw Paul and I and child no three! (the older two chose a sleep in!!!) make the 30 minute car trip (at 6.30am it is a 30 minute trip!) from the Northern Beaches of Sydney to Pyrmont, to the Sydney Fish Markets.
I hadn't been into the market for a while and fresh seafood being a big favourite for Paul, we thought Father's Day was the perfect opportunity, to go get some to enjoy.
Arriving at the Markets at 7am on a Sunday morning, there is no crowds, but plenty of seagulls! Parking is available right out the front for $3.00 an hour(bargain!)and if you know what you want, you'll be stocked up, back in the car and home again by 8.30am! (we were!)
There are several options of where to buy and the earlier you go, the less you'll have to wait, to be served and have your seafood cleaned and filleted, if you so desire.
At 7am some of the indoor venues such as Nicholas',Christie's and Peter's were not quite fully set up, so we chose two of the venues outside near the car park, Claudio's and De Costi Seafood.

It doesn't really matter where you shop, as prices, service and the end product are all pretty similar.
First thing to do is to have a bit of a browse, see what's there, what's Australian, how the prices are and make up your mind what you want from where. Then you grab one of the many people serving and they will look after your order from beginning to end.

The most effective way to save money is to buy whole fish, you can of course buy single fillets and already prepared products, but it is this labour that causes the price per kg to increase.
In Claudio's we bought a whole Australian Atlantic Salmon at $14.99 per kg, we got a lovely one just under 3kg and it cost us just over $40, they offer to scale, gut, clean & fillet the fish for you free of charge! (how good is that!)

I took the two fillets home and cut them into 12 portions of salmon. (freezing half of them in single portions)
Knowing that you are often paying approx $26 up to $32 per kg for salmon portions, in your local fish shop or supermarket, this is a massive saving.
We also grabbed a whole Australian Snapper, at $14.99 per kg, ours was just over a kilo and at just over $15, we had this scaled, gutted & cleaned, but not filleted, as this was to be baked whole for Father's Day Dinner.

Paul had to have some crab (his favourite), we chose the cooked Australian Blue Swimmer Crabs at $21.99 per kg, getting two lovely crabs for $17!!!
Of course a visit to the Fish Markets would not be complete, without 1kg of fresh prawns, we went for the Cooked Australian Tiger Prawns X Large at $25.99 per kg.

My final indulgence, which I somewhat regretted later, as I had to gut, clean and cut it up myself, was 1 kg of local Baby Octopus at $19.99 per kg. No doubt when marinated and barbecued soon, I'll be satisfied with my efforts!

Once everything is ordered you receive a receipt, you then pay at the cashier window, and wait for your order to come out. This took about five minutes for us, obviously this time can vary enormously, depending on what you order and how busy they are.
So for just over $120, we walked away with a seafood feast, to do the five of us for approx 6 meals!
For Father's Day Lunch for the five of us it was the prawns and crab, peeled and scoffed with organic sour dough, home made tar tare sauce and salad leaves. Feeding all five of us, a fresh seafood feast for under $60!!!

For dinner Whole baked Snapper with ginger, shallot & soy, with steamed greens and brown rice, fed the five of us for under $20!!!

Three nights later we had pan fried salmon fillets. The remaining Salmon and the cleaned baby octopus are ready in the freezer, for a couple of weekend BBQ's!
Over Spring/Summer I think I'll be doing a trip to the Sydney Fish Market once a month, the freshness of the seafood is unbeatable and the money you will save, means you can have such a treat as fresh seafood, a little more often than not at all!
Of course there was plenty more to choose from as well, freshly shucked oysters, mud crab, lobsters, green prawns, John Dory, squid, etc.
Another idea is to join with another family or your neighbours and make a trip out there, then share the cost and the produce amongst you.
As well as fresh seafood there are lots of other things to do at the Sydney Fish Markets, you don't have to just pop in and out, you can make a day of it!
There are seasonal events too, plus a cooking school and behind the scenes tours.
Next month: Saturday 23rd October - For the Love of Seafood Festival, featuring
The Blessing of the Fleet.
When: 10am - 5pm
Where: Sydney Fish Market, Bank St, Pyrmont
Cost: FREE
Sydney Fish Markets

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