For all the seafood lovers out there, Sydney has your idea of paradise on Blackwattle Bay. With the reaches of places like the Sydney Sea Aquarium, Pirrama Park and the Australian Maritime Museum, the Sydney Fish Market is a dynamic environment of trading, auctions and food. No matter the day, visitors can experience gifts of the sea in a variety of ways at Australia’s Home of Seafood.
About Sydney Fish Market
The Sydney Fish Market (SFM) was founded in 1945 by the New South Wales government in a local spot called Haymarket. A system of call-out auctions and sales conducted by unlicensed operators quickly saw to a change in policy. The market moved from Haymarket to its present location in Pyrmont in 1966. In 1994, the NSW privatized the seafood market, allowing the Sydney Fish Market Tenants and Merchants party to form a company. Since then, the market has grew to become the world’s third largest fish market, rivaling Japan’s Tsukiji.
Presently, the market trades over 13,500 tons of seafood yearly. In one day, 100 sustainable species are traded and approximately 500 seafood species get imported and exported annually. That is a lot of fish.
Aside from trade, there are fish auctions, tackle shops, restaurants, wholesale goods and a cooking school on site.
The Sydney Seafood School
Seafood comes in an array of styles, ranging from the classic Fish and Chips to sushi, New England clam chowder and Filipino-style crab. Anyone who loves seafood will want to try it all. And the true connoisseur will want to try their hand at delicious recipes involving their favorite fish and shellfish.
The Sydney Seafood School is one of the many reasons you should go to the fish market. Over 13,000 guests take classes there a year. Established in 1989, the SSS sought to educate visitors on how to prepare the delicacies found in the market that the average person might have never seen before. Overtime, people have become more accustomed to a variety of flavors, allowing for ethnic cooking classes to come into fruition. Not only that, but some of Australian’s top chefs have given presentations at the school.
Everything at the Sydney Seafood School is state-of-the-art. So even if you know how to make a certain recipe, just getting the chance to cook like a professional on some of the best equipment on the market would be a great experience. You can also take longer courses for certifications, buy cookbooks, or surprise your significant other with a gift certificate.
Best of the Market
The Fish Market is open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm (except on Saturday and Sunday when it closes at 5:00 pm). Some retailers have their own individual opening and closing times, so be sure to check out the official website.
First off, locals and fellow travelers will tell you to get there early, because parking may become an issue around lunch hours. The shops are not set up in one straight line of stall-upon-stall but rather individual storefronts. An example of this is Claudio’s Seafood, a highly recommended grocery store for those who want super fresh fish or expertly sliced sashimi.
Nearby, you will find café-like eateries where you can pick up pre-portioned things to eat. People love the fried barramundi you can get at the Fish Market Café. Depending on what you are used to price-wise, a platter that costs 15-20 AUD might seem extravagant. However for a chance to taste freshly caught lobster and tuna in different preparations, it will be worth the splurge. Grab some bread from Gregory’s Bread, a bottle of booze from Fisherman’s Fine Wines and a spot outside on the deck to enjoy seaside dining off your choosing.
Note: most food items are “cash only.”
When finished with your meal, pick up some dessert from Scoop Ice Cream and Coffee, located on the outside and adjacent to Musumeci Seafoods. There’s additional seating here that may be less crowded than the main thoroughfare.
Parking is available on site if you choose to drive, but as stated before, it can get hectic. If you prefer to bypass the traffic jam that happens daily, try public transportation. Use either the light rail’s Dulwich Hill line. There are two stops you can take: the Fish Market stop or Wentworth Park. Either one is close, but Wentworth Park brings you right across the street from SFM’s main entrance. Or you can take a scenic walk from Darling Harbor and cross the Cockle Bay bridge for some sights (and smells) of the bay.
Try to avoid the market on weekends, because that is when bus tours unload.
SFM Official Website: http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/our-company/our-company
SSS Official Website: http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/seafood-school/sss-faqs