Melbourne wholesale fish market
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Visiting Melbourne’s wholesale fish markets

Have you ever wondered about the fish you buy? Where it comes from and how it all works. The Thursday before Easter I arrived at the Melbourne Wholesale market to see it in action. The cover picture is of tuna, the tail cut so the buyers can check the colour of the flesh, the key sign of quality. In the Sydney market the fish are auctioned electronically. Here the traders set the price and haggle with the buyers via text, […]

Crown Casino, fish, Fish restaurants, Melbourne

The Atlantic storms into Crown with Cooke

Through the fishnet, Southbank at sunset. For a country girt by sea, how few really great fish restaurants are there in Australia, let alone Melbourne? Come to think of it how few fish restaurants are there at all, beyond fish and chip shops? Bacash in South Yarra is famous for fish. As is Esposito in Carlton, it’s baby sister St Peter’s and the Albert Park Hotel and all are worth the detour. Donovan Cooke barking orders at the pass. Then […]

Cooking, fish

Simply garfish

These garfish, with their long beak-like noses are stunning glistening, shiny fish. There aren’t the cheapest in the markets but at under $17 a kilo right now they aren’t the most expensive fish either. The white meat is delicate and the best way to cook them is to keep it simple. Here we rolled them in seasoned flour and pan fried them. That’s all. And they were served with a squeeze of lemon, the new season’s asparagus, herbed butter and […]


Vietnamese BBQ makes a perfect perch

There’s a bad joke among old skool strawberry nosed newspaper sub editors when training newbies. “Fresh fish sold here” is the sign above the fish shop. “Fresh” can be removed because of course it’s fresh. “Here” because that’s obvious. It’s a shop, so lose the “sold”. And the “fish” because you can smell it a mile away. It’s a lesson in brevity that I’m ignoring because I can. This particular fish I didn’t smell,or even see coming. I didn’t even […]


The fish we can eat vs the fish we shouldn’t

Nothing is a simple as it seems. Even choosing to eat the humble fish is fraught with pitfalls.The Australian Marine Conservation Society ACMS recently introduced the Sustainable Fish Finder which if not complicating the matter certainly makes me feel bad about my eating habits.Around the world fish come by different names, some designed to hide their breed and origin. So if you are in the US or Australia and see Sea Bass on the menu you being offered the threatened […]