Twelve days in Sydney (Part 5): Fish Market

‘You must go to the Sydney Fish Market – they have the freshest seafood & oysters there!’, gushed one of my friend.

The fish market was around twenty minutes walk away from where I was staying, so I decided to take the lightrail instead.

It was fascinating to watch how the bus conductor collects money from passengers; he’d ask everyone where they are heading and proceed to issue tickets to them. The process continues at every stop, and every time he’d notice the new passengers and approach them. It’s almost absurd to think that this traditional way of collecting bus far is still being used in this era.

The calling of the sea gulls is the first sign of the fish market, and of course the strong fishy smell. I’m lying if I say I’m not there to do the tourist-thing; how can anyone miss out on the experience of visiting the fish market, slurping down a dozen of oysters and feasting on fresh sashimi?

Unfortunately I couldn’t see myself finishing half a dozen of oysters on my own, and somehow the whole place has a tourist sign stamped all over it, so I wasn’t very keen on trying the food there. Not especially when I see piles of pre-fried fresh (seemingly-not-very-fresh) waiting for the next sucker tourist to buy.

It probably wasn’t the best idea to visit the fish market at 3pm, somewhere in between lunch and dinner. No, I had greater plans, for sure. I took the return journey on the lightrail and went to this out-of-this-decade place call Oceanic cafe.

The furnishings in Oceanic cafe exudes a nostalgic charm, it was akin like traveling back in time to the 70s-80s. ‘Hello, can I have a pork chop?’ ‘No, no more pork chops left, I have lamb chops, you want?’ The old lady whispered. It took a while for the food to come, and I had the fashionable white bread with a slab of room-temperature butter. It looked like just an ordinary white bread, but somehow it was so soft and it goes so well with the butter. Maybe I exaggerate, it is just (soft) white bread with (normal) butter after all.

The lamb chop was slightly smaller than what I’ve expected, but the layer of fats beside the lean meat provided the kick I was looking for. And there was the side dish of green peas, how often do you still get them nowadays? It’s always the typical Caesar salad, or the upmarket (but boring) wild rocket. There’s also wedges that lacked the crispy bite, and I liked the slightly sweet onion sauce on the lamb. It was appetizing – not too bad at all!

While walking around Chinatown, I stumbled upon Kura, a small in-the-hole Japanese dining & takeaway shop. There’s only 14 seats inside the place, most people just eat and leave. I went there twice, on the first occasion, I had the chicken katsu set ($9) which came with crispy fried chicken and delicious Japanese rice – the only rice that I’ve while in Sydney. Another perennial return saw me ordering the Katsu don ($9); hot fluffy eggs covered the soaked fried chicken. Comfort food, my dear, comfort food.

* * *

Sydney Fish Market
Pyrmont Bridge Rd
Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia

Oceanic cafe
312 Elizabeth Street,
Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW

Kura Japanese
3/76 Ultimo Rd
Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia
(02) 9212 5661


Cars are cheap. Therefore buses are not packed most of the time. Therefore it makes little sense for them to upgrade their system. Also not all places are like Singapore where the upgrading or implementation of anything can be quick. Australia alone is how many hundreds of thousand times the size of Singapore. Not forgetting their numeral states having different rules for certain things. So implementation can get a long long time. In that way, Singapore is very fortunate – being one of the few countries in the world where upgrading, implementation of systems or whatever the parliament approved can be done straight away, and in most cases, in a very short period of time.

such great timing. i just came back from the Sydney Fish Markets shopping at midnight to get my fresh seafood for xmas day. got oysters, prawns, mussels and some huge alaskan crab legs. all fresh. i really avoid all the cooked up seafood though, it’s way too oily and is definitely not the way to appreciate fresh seafood — especially when they smother it all with cheese. i can’t believe you visited Oceanic Cafe on your sydney trip, very cool of you to do and very non-touristy. i’ve been their a couple of times for dinner. such a simple yet very run down place which puts off a lot of people from going in. sort of like a soup kitchen feel about the place where only the poor go to get a cheap meal. the owners have been running it for over 30 years i believe when i last spoke to them.

I love Kura – it was the place to go for Japanese food after Uni. haha. You had been to all the good food places in sydney.

Wah, smashing new header, mate!

And I love the shot of the marina… reminds me of the good ol’ days… :)

Merry Xmas to you and your loved ones and all readers of!

I don’t see why the Sydney markets is much of a tourist lure. The only thing I think that would even be worth the touristy aspect is the tour of the fish auctions. Maybe.

Though the time (and day) would affect things somewhat, there’s only so much you can do there. Though I do think that there were some lost opportunities too. However, it’s no Tsukiji.

I wasn’t aware of either place you went to. Learnt something new :)

mademoiselle: you know, that’s my excuse for going back to Sydney again! *wink*

Gary: Yeah agreed! we are really very bless in Singapore to have such convenient and affordable public transport

SFF: oysters, prawns, mussels and some huge alaskan crab legs? sounds YUM! the fried seafood that they served there are not appealing, best to buy home the fresh ones and cook! yep i chanced upon oceanic cafe and i felt that it’s really a cool place for dinner.

Stef: Oh yeah, kura is a dining-hole, so small and cozy. hehe

LFB: thanks mate! merry merry xmas to you too!

Simon: ah i heard abt the fish aunction, but too lazy to wake up early in the wee wee hours to watch it. lol! we always learn something new everyday : )

chelley: now you know dear, and this, is the perfect excuse for you to go back and visit Sydney again!

Wow, nice pictures, lovely write-up and guess you are having wonderful times in Sydney…

May the festive period brings you joy, indulgence and more photography experience…

Merry Christmas :)

I think the only part i enjoyed about my sydney trip when i went back for my graduation was the fish market! the seafood was awesome! i’m still procrastinating on posting up the pictures on my blog…but if i happen to move my lazy arse i’ll tell u to drop by and have a look haha. ;)

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