Best value seafood platter in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth?
Two of us will be heading down under to these three cities in a couple of weeks. We both love seafood, and even though money is tight, the two-person seafood platters on nearly every restaurant menu are calling to us.
Thing is, after wading through dozens of menus and recommendations online, we still can't figure out the best place to enjoy this experience. Here's what we're looking for:
- relatively inexpensive. We've seen platters ranging from 90-200$ AUD for two. Ideally we'd like to keep it to 120$ or under for two... as far under as possible without sacrificing quality/variety.
- as many local specialties as possible (i.e. Moreton Bay Bugs)
- a minimum of fried foods (that's a lazy preparation, imho)
If the place happens to offer any of these, that would be an additional bonus:
- nice location
- casual atmosphere (we are resolute jeans & tshirt rocker types, but will dress up if absolutely necessary)
- BYO (with reasonable corking fee)
We're not sure which city would be best, but we'd appreciate your suggestions for any or all of them. Thank you so much in advance. I've been combing these boards for days now, and planning our trip around all your suggestions!
In Sydney I think inexpensive seafood platters are a bit of an oxymoron and I know of few places that I would head to that have them on their menus. Certainly places like Nicks (http://www.nicks-seafood.com.au/) or Peter Doyle (http://www.doyleatthequay.com.au/) or Doyles (http://www.doyles.com.au/) restaurants are the more mainstream options and but to be honest are really aimed at the tourist market (and are not BYO).
More upmarket are restaurants like "Manta" (http://www.mantarestaurant.com.au/) which probably give you more control, or the Boathouse (http://www.boathouse.net.au/) which maybe doesn't give you a specific platter but it has all the ingredients, or Fishface in Darlinghurst which is probably one of the best (price/quality) places, but they don't do platters just great fish and oysters (it is a hole in the wall, BYO place, in "grungy Darlinghurst - its great)
Most of the above are good locations and casual is fine, Sydney is a relaxed city. My advice is to DIY the platter and order the stuff you like from the menus at good places rather than follow the tourist (trap) route.
Just returned from Sydney and we watched all the people LOVING the platters at Nicks and at Peter Doyle. We can not wait to go back just for what we seemed to have missed!
Nicks may be in a touristy area and have touristy prices, but they do have amazing seafood. And for a visitor, you really cannot beat the view or atmosphere. You will pay an arm and a leg for the seafood platters, but I would rather pay an extra $50 and get exactly what I was looking for than save money and leave dissapointed. Just a thought.
If you do go, they do these butterflied prawns, shell on, quickly seared and carmelized on the bottom that changed my whold perception of prawns. I dream of them, then again, maybe it's just eating them while gazing over Darling Harbour on a sunny day that made it such an enjoyable experience.