Christie’s Seafood Excellence at Sydney Fish Market (Sydney, NSW)

Waterfront Arcade
Sydney Fish Market
Bank Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
+61 2 9552 3333
christiesseafoods.com

A visit to Sydney’s famous fish market is a must for those who consider themselves foodies. With tonnes of fresh seafood coming into the market every morning (except for Christmas Day, that is), you can be sure that your sashimi-grade tuna fillet is literally half a step from having a pulse.

I didn’t know this prior to writing this entry, but apparently Sydney Fish Market is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere in terms of variety and only second to Tokyo’s fish market. In addition to providing an amazing experience for everyday customers, SFM also hold wholesale auctions, conduct classes and promote everything from sustainability and increasing fish consumption for health benefits.

While it would have been great to go on a tour, Marty and I only had time to wander around late one Saturday afternoon and sample some goodies. After attempting to walk to the market from Surry Hills before eventually getting lost and getting a cabbie to drive the rest of the way there (essentially, something like 200m – fail!), we were greeted by the sights and sounds of fresh fish, water, sunshine and lots and lots of people.

I swear, if this place was in Melbourne, I would have probably bought everything I saw. Crystal Bay prawns, coral trout, Balmain bugs and flatheads – I would have bought them all. Everything was so fresh and so amazing.

I would have also carried this chunk of kingfish home on the bus, too.

Before I started getting more delirious, Marty wisely suggested we grab something to eat. Not knowing where to go, we ended up going to the first place we set foot in: Christie’s Seafood Excellence, a kiosk just by the main entrance. Given the reasonable crowd lining up for oysters there, we figured that we couldn’t go wrong.

And so we started with half a dozen Pacific oysters from Port Stephens in NSW, which we got small change for from a $10 note. Now, I’ve had freshly shucked oysters many, many times but never have I tasted ones that tasted THIS good. Like, wow. Now, I usually try not to sound too much like a food wanker when I describe food but in all seriousness, there was something strangely sensual stirring– erotic even – when I ate those juicy, succulent molluscs. I’m not sure whether it’s the intoxicating sea smell or the velvet-like texture of the oyster but these totally did it for me. I can now see why people regard them as an aphrodisiac and at this point in time, I’ll stop getting all Fifty Shades of Grey on you.

Meanwhile, Marty, like most chumps, used to chose Kilpatricks over fresh but after eating these, he was a convert. According to him, eating the oysters was akin to ‘licking a mermaid’, which has got to be the strangest thing that’s come out of his mouth (and trust me, I’ve heard my fair share of WTF Marty sound bites). Thankfully, his ‘eating these brought back fond memories of swimming in the ocean as a kid’ line sounded decidedly more normal.

There was a massive crowd at the stall across the path from Christie’s (unfortunately its name escapes me). If I wasn’t so impatient, I probably would have ordered some baked lobsters or some mud crab with egg noodles, which was what a lot of customers there were getting. Instead, I decided to go back to Christie’s for their seafood pack ($22.90 for plate big enough to feed two people). In hindsight, it was a bad choice because the food on the plate wasn’t terribly good although Marty did make a fair point in saying that he would have been happy with the same seafood pack if he ordered it at a shopping centre food court. It was only bad in our minds because everything else we had was so fantastic and fresh so naturally, a plate of battered and deep fried scallops, prawns, fish, calamari rings along with boring oysters (Mornay and Kilpatrick) and soggy chips paled significantly in comparison. Oh, we were also given baby octopus pieces that were cooked in some sweet teriyaki-like sauce. They were yuck.

At this point, Marty decided to go get some more oysters (another six of those beautiful Pacific ones, please!).

He also got me a box of sea urchin roe ($12.50).

‘WHAT THE F*CK?! WHY DID YOU BUY ME THIS?’ I screamed in alarm. Marty’s the type of guy who likes to stir people so I initially thought he was playing a mean joke on me. However, turns out  he only bought it out of love because he knows that I’m into trying all sorts of weird and wonderful things. In that case, what a sweet gesture!

Now, I’ve never had sea urchin roe on its own. I’ve only had it a few times and they’ve been served with other ingredients and in very small doses too, so eating huge chunks of it – raw and uncovered – was going to be interesting. They may look disgusting but they’re not actually that bad. They may be very briny, but their natural sweetness shines through. That said, I won’t be rushing to buy sea urchin roe in its natural form in a hurry – I’d rather spend $12.50 on oysters.

Finally, we shared a box of sashimi. To say that they were amazing would be an understatement. They were ridiculously fresh and full of flavour and so, so delicious. Even Marty, who normally likes a bit of soy and wasabi on his sashimi, ate his with hardly any condiments. Man, we were impressed. Seriously, where else in Australia can one get this much tuna, kingfish and salmon sashimi for less than $10?!

Marty and I love Sydney for its fine dining and for its boutiques but in all seriousness, we had the most fun at its fish market. It was a beautiful and simple afternoon where we got to enjoy each other’s company and eat cheap and fresh seafood from plastic boxes and plates. Now, what can be more pleasurable than that?

Christie's Seafood Excellence - Sydney Fish Market on Urbanspoon

I eat too much.

25 Comments

  1. theragingcook
    August 17, 2012

    F*** you Melbourne why can’t you have a fish market like this??? Lol >:|

    Reply
    1. threehanns78
      August 19, 2012

      o/ agree!

      Reply
  2. Sophie Wang (@aecliss)
    August 17, 2012

    I love this place when I went there with M, although it appears that you had much nicer weather than we did.

    Mmm, fresh seafood is da bomb!

    Reply
    1. libishski
      August 18, 2012

      Yeah, we were blessed with amazing weather that weekend. I still would have gone in the rain though 😀

      Reply
  3. Neeno
    August 18, 2012

    That roe… Looks badddddd

    Reply
    1. libishski
      August 18, 2012

      Haha yeah, not the prettiest thing I’ve eaten…

      Reply
  4. I-Hua Lim (@msihua)
    August 18, 2012

    Mmmm I havent been back here since early uni days when we use to travel for fun 🙂 I heard it used to be better and fresher?

    Reply
    1. libishski
      August 18, 2012

      Really? I thought it was pretty good when I went so I can’t even begin to imagine how much more awesome it would have been back in the ‘old’ days!

      Reply
  5. I get a not so secret rush of pride when you write about Sydney places! 😛

    Reply
  6. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise
    August 18, 2012

    I am not a sea food person but maybe if we had such a wonderful fish market maybe I would change my mind 🙂

    Reply
  7. Weng
    August 19, 2012

    We were just there under a month ago! We ate at another place, not Christie’s and you’re right about the oysters, we are not normally oyster lovers, but we had 1/2 a dozen Pacific Oysters too and OMG! It was AMAZING! My husband who normally avoids oysters loved it! I wish we had a market like this too in the Netherlands, but will definitely go back again one day! 🙂

    Reply
  8. threehanns78
    August 19, 2012

    love the Sydney fish market. Always a pitstop when we’re up there. yummo on the pics ( wiping the drool from mouth). that roe looks mental as anything. i’d close my eyes to eat that. i think that’ll be enough omega-3 for a month. o/ yeah

    Reply
  9. Corrie
    August 20, 2012

    I love the SFM. As well as Christies, I also go to Peters, Di Costi and Claudios. MMMMMM now I want oysters!!!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. libishski
      August 20, 2012

      I wish we tried all the other stalls but it was just too crowded and so we were happy just staying in the one spot! I’ll remember those names for next time – and we’ll be sure to arrive a little bit earlier 😀

      Reply
  10. Miss T
    August 21, 2012

    I have the almost exact same photos from SFM this past weekend. Sigh. Loved it there.

    Reply
    1. libishski
      August 22, 2012

      Haha nice one, Trish! Will we see a write-up on your blog soon?

      Reply
  11. Liz
    August 21, 2012

    That sashimi, has my name on it too. That is so cheap for under $10. Next time I am in Sydney, you have inspired me to go the fish market. Just so I can get that plate of raw fish. Hope you enjoyed your sea urchin.

    Reply
  12. […] roaming around Sydney’s Fish Market, Marty and I worked up a bit of an appetite so we took the light rail to Star City Casino The Star […]

    Reply
  13. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake
    August 22, 2012

    I am kicking myself right now. I WANT SASHIMI! I sometimes get serious sashimi/sushi cravings that I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I think I’ve decided. It’s Suzuran time for lunch tomorrow.

    Reply
    1. libishski
      August 23, 2012

      Suzuran is one of my fave Japanese places. Yummmm, so good!

      Reply
  14. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    August 24, 2012

    I love the fish market in Sydney 🙂 reading your posts has given me SASHIMI cravings hehe BIG TIME 🙂

    Reply
  15. Lisa from SG
    October 14, 2012

    so SFM has a common seating area? We can choose whatever we want from whichever restaurant and sit at the same spot? 😀 what other restaurant do you recommend besides Christie’s? First time visiting Australia! 🙂

    Reply
    1. libishski
      October 14, 2012

      Hi Lisa,

      Each stall/shop have their own seating area reserved for patrons. I guess you can try to sit at another stall’s area but you may get told to leave when they realise that you haven’t bought food from them! I haven’t been to the other SFM stalls but definitely look around and see which ones you like.

      Other Sydney eateries I like are Bourke Street Bakery for yummy pastries, Zumbo for macarons, Mamak for roti late at night and Taste of Shanghai for great dumplings. Fine dining in Sydney is also amazing – Quay, Marque and Sepia are my favourites so far! Enjoy your time in Australia 🙂

      Reply
      1. Lisa from SG
        October 15, 2012

        Hi libishski,

        Thanks for the suggestion! will check out how to get to some of the places. We are going to stay at 4 Wentworth Avenu

        Reply
  16. […] roaming around Sydney’s Fish Market, Marty and I worked up a bit of an appetite so we took the light rail to Star City Casino The Star […]

    Reply

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