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Oct 21, 2007 10:23 PM

Local seafood? What to order in Melbourne.

We are a family of Alaskan's coming to visit family in Melbourne. My husband is a shellfish fanatic and my son a fish fanatic. What should we be ordering? Whats local and fresh?

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  1. Though they are traditionally from Sydney, also avail in Melbo - Balmain Bugs - truely Aussie shellfish. Barramundo is the best Australian fish I think

    1 Reply
    1. re: katea

      ooh, my husband will like the bugs - had to look them up- they look like trilobites!
      We do not have barramundo in alaska !! Looking forward to trying it!

      thank you Katea! I'm smiling as I read your nym, because my son (he's 2) went through a silly stage where everything was 'ee-ya" at the end - I was momeeya . He was Beneeya. We went for a ride in the careeya. So I keep looking at Katea and thinking Kateeeya.

    2. Mussels, yabbies, Port Phillip Bay scallops, flattie tails, schnapper, King George whiting, whitebait and most definitely abalone

      The best fish 'n chip shops (IMHO) are The Kiosk at Half Moon Bay and D'lish Fish in Sorrento

      The schnapper are starting to run in the Bay, so if you're here in the next three months, so you can get the best of the season.

      Where abouts in Melbourne are you going to be staying. That way some of us locals might be able to switch you on to hidden gems!!!

      5 Replies
      1. re: purple goddess

        We are coming December 23rd! So schnapper should still be running. But I have no idea what a schnapper is - thank goodness for google! We call them snappers. Apparently you have different varieties but I love snapper.

        my husband adores scallops. He'll be delighted. And I'm excited to try some abalone - never have!!

        fish and chips mmmmmmmmmmmmm

        We are staying in carnegie actually - not in melbourne proper but right on the train line, apparently, and we will have a vehicle - so we are very mobile

        oh thank you purple one!! you are most helpful!

        1. re: BethInAK

          Carnegie.. very do-able by car to Half Moon Bay in Sandringham (I think). If you;re seafood junkies, get thee to the Mornington Peninsula. (I write about it a lot on my blog)

          You prolly know this, so discount my advice if you've heard it before. You're coming from an Alaskan winter, to a Melbourne summer. Be prepared. It can get to 42C down here over summer. Last year there was a week when, even at night it didn't get down under about 32C.

          Don't want a fellow foodie melting in the Aussie summer heat!!!!

          1. re: purple goddess

            PG you forgot to mention that when that southerly change comes through it can go from 42 to 22 in 10 minutes!!!

            1. re: purple goddess

              I have added half moon bay and the mornington peninsula to my list of stuff ta do when we are there.

              I've heard that it will either be "freezing" or "hotashell" depending on if the wind is from the arctic or from the bush. We are praying for "freezing" as we expect this will be lovely shorts weather for us. We are likely to melt in "hotashell".

              1. re: BethInAK

                Another option for seafood freaks in a yum cha luncheon.. you'll get plenty of scallop and ginger dumplings, prawn pot-stickers, salt and pepper calamari and the like.

                Evey Melbourne foodie has they're fave Yum Cha place, so ask whomever your staying with for their recs.

                Carnegie is only a hop, skip and a jump from where I work in Springvale, which is arguably the most multicultural suburb in Melbourne. You get amazing viet, sensational Thai, Ethiopian, Greek, Italian.. pretty much anything in Springvale. And it's a great place to buy seafood, too!!! Just down from the train station, is an all-you-can eat seafood buffet. I haven't been there, but my ex reports that it's pretty good.

        2. Speaking of Moreton Bay Bugs (not exactly local), I had a tremendous salad of bugs, pickled octopus and smoked eel at The European on Spring Street right next to the Parliament train station. This was one of the best dishes I have ever had and the rest of the meal was excellent. Another restaurant that I had great seafood at was Balzari on Lygon Streen in Carlton. If you are interested in cooking for yourselves, I recommend going to Queen Victoria Market--the fish stalls are amazing. I'm looking forward to the snapper season. I hope you enjoy your time in Melbourne. I'm a visitor from Kentucky and will be here for a year. I've been following the recommendations on this board and have found the majority of them extremely helpful.

          1. Hi Beth,
            It's great that you have left enough time for everyone to contribute thir will have so much advice you won't know what to do with yourself... Firstly I need to correct a few spelling mistakes (which will lead to you pronouncing them incorrectly)... It's Barramundi with an 'i' at the end... It's mainly caught in the far north of Australia so about 3,000kms from Melbourne! As a result it will be more expensive than other fish (but still available if in season). And we also pronounce it 'snapper' not 'schnapper'... unless you have a German accent!!
            In Melbourne there are lots of fresh food markets... In fact Carnegie itself has cheap and good quality grocery shops. The closest 'market' to you would be Prahran Market, it is about a 15-20 min drive from Carnegie and has a couple of great seafood stalls particularly good is Claringbold's. They have their own Japanese sashimi chef that can prepare sushi and sashimi to order if you like raw fish... It's delicious! At Christmas time salmon is in season. We also have an ABUNDANCE of prawns (all different types) and crayfish (lobster) at Christmas as it is becoming more traditional to serve seafood on Christmas Day than roast turkey (due to our warm weather).
            Flat head as mentioned by someone else is yummy (and if you know anyone with a boat, pretty easy to catch). The Victoria Market is also worth visiting, it's in the City and has numerous seafood stalls to choose from. There is also South Melbourne Market and even Victoria Street in Richmond (where there are too many cheap and tasty Vietnamese Resstaurants to choose from) there are seasfood wholesalers... Enjoy your stay in Australia.