For those of us who can’t fish and are in the mood for a good seafood feed, Sydney’s Fish Markets is the ideal place to go. Among the fresh seafood markets and the crowds of customers looking for a bargain, small take-away shops and bistros are also present to serve also as a place for grabbing a meal to go. The Fish Market Café is a small take-away shop right inside the fish market eatery, veering off to the left hand side near the main entrance.
A small look at The Fish Market Cafe
This particular take-away shop is different from the others in the fish market eatery. It stands alone ideally as a place to eat rather than also as a place to grab a kilo of fresh seafood. However, this doesn’t stop the crowds from surrounding the heated windows, overlooking into the trays of cooked and battered seafood. Expect the waiting line to stretch from the main counter to the back dining area - in which this area itself is almost just as crowded and busy as those waiting to place an order.
The Fish Market Café sign glows in a bright white neon light, popping out from the red lining that is seen underneath. Letters curl into spiral patterns, adding a little aesthetics to attract customers into this take-away joint. You can hear the sound of vendors calling “next please,” and customers doing their best to communicate despite the loud racket of noise surrounding the area. It’s an exciting scene to watch as it almost mirrors the same atmosphere as those actually standing at the fresh seafood markets.
Many seafood choices available, from fried to grilled and even cold, fresh platters.
The small blackboards propped up behind and over the top of the counters display the food items available to order. The Fish Market Café’s menu divides itself into two main categories - fried and grilled seafood. From there, you can easily spot your item of choice, whether you’re in the mood for a grilled fillet of fish or small bite-sized pieces of fried seafood sticks. If you’re after something fresh, cold seafood platters are also available, and are easily located on the right-hand side of the front counter.
The Fish Market Cafe's Fried Seafood Platter
It’s impossible to dine at the Fish Markets without ordering a large seafood platter to share. The Fish Market Café offers a Fried Platter ($40.50), which despite being crowded inside the cardboard box, is filled with a generous amount of fried seafood to choose from. The Fried Platter comes complete with calamari rings, salt and pepper prawns, soft shell crab, fish pieces, seasoned whitebait, salt and pepper squid and battered king prawns all served over chips. Everything is battered and fried to a golden crisp, with plenty of seafood pieces to go around.
Grilled Gem Fish, served with a wedge of lemon and thick chips.
Of course, if you’re not in a large group, there are other options perfect for just one person. The Grilled Gem Fish ($12.50) can be served with either chips or rice, and a side of salad can also be added with an extra $2.50. It is grilled and seasoned slightly, with the fish cooked nicely, pulling apart with no signs of dryness. A squeeze of lemon adds a little zing and flavour to the grilled fish. It is however, served quite like any normal fish and chips shop.
Half Lobster Mornay, extra cheesy and served with chips and salad.
Something you probably wouldn’t normally find in a normal takeaway shop is the Lobster Mornay, which The Fish Market Café sells for $22.50. This half-a-Rocklobster is served with thick chips, a few wedges of lemon and a side of fresh garden salad. On top of the meaty lobster is a good amount of melted grilled cheese that stretches as you press your fork inside to break off a piece of meat. The Fish Market Café sells their Lobster Mornay at a cheaper price than some of the surrounding take-away seafood shops. So if you’re after a good quality, delicious Lobster at a decent price, The Fish Market Café is a good stop.
The Fish Market Cafe take-away box - perfect for an outdoor picnic.
While it may not be the fanciest take-away seafood shop, but when you’re in the heart of the Sydney Seafood Markets, you’re lucky to find a decent shop with reasonable prices to match a good feed. You will find a large selection of seafood to choose from, and a range of platters that are perfect to share with a large group. So grab a box and if you can’t find a seat amongst the prepared dining area, take a seat by the park just across the markets for a delicious seafood picnic.
Where: The Fish Market Cafe, Shop 4 Waterfront Arcade Sydney Fish Market, Bank St Pyrmont NSW.
Why: Large portions of food, available for both take-away and eat in. Prices are also much more inexpensive compared to the other eateries.
Cost: Moderate to higher price. Prices range from $10 onwards.
When: Open from 4am-4pm daily, Weekends 5am-5pm. Just be cautious of the large crowds around lunch time.