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.

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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