More Adventures in Paradise, Down Under

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

sydney harborLast week we shared some of the highlights of a fantastic time in New Zealand. The next leg of the journey took us to Sydney, Australia. We only spent a few days there but we had the chance to visit former Monahan’s Monger, Andrew Boyd, who now owns a seafood wholesale business, Martin’s Seafoods, along with an amazing seafood retail shop and restaurant, Fine Fish.

We met Andy at 5 a.m. at the Sydney Fish Market auction and got the grand tour. Boxes and boxes of fish and shellfish, many were bizarre and unfamiliar. Giant mud crabs (we ate one, it was delicious), beautiful giant bailer shells, Moreton Bay bugs (slipper lobsters), rock lobsters, barramundi, dories, flatheads, leatherjackets, abalone, cockles, pipis (shellfish), unusual, different sized and shaped octopus and squid. There was a whole separate area devoted to fish market-5

All the tunas were lined up with chunks cut out of the tail section so that the buyers could inspect the flesh quality for brightness, fat content, clarity and color. Andy was in the market that day for tuna, among other things, so he inspected carefully and took notes on his favorites.

We went up to the auction seats and watched Andy in the bidding process. The Sydney auction is a “Dutch clock auction”. It was a bit confusing at first because the seller starts with a high bid and the price lowers on a big computerized clock. The price lowers until someone makes a bid. Andy decides to walk down and take another look at the tunas. He’s picked his favorite two fish and heads back to his spot at the keypad. He knew these fish were of top grade and he went for them, purchasing both fish.

sydney fish market-6
sydney fish market-7

mike & andy



Later that morning Andy showed us around his wholesale plant then off to his market/restaurant where we met his lovely wife, Renee (now I know why he really stayed in Australia) and beautiful baby girl, Ruby. Andy treated us to a lunch that we’ll never forget! It was a gorgeous summer day and we dined al fresco at the sidewalk café. He picked out a nice bottle (or 2) of Aussie Sauvignon Blanc, and then he proceeded to serve what seemed like every fish and shellfish in the store! Starting with a plate of Sydney rock oysters followed by a tasty prawn salad with cucumber tomatoes and olives, next an octopus salad, a mixed crudo plate, seared scallops (and these were just the appetizers)! The dishes just kept coming. Next came pan roasted fillets of John Dory, barramundi and I think flathead (there was so much, I’m sure I’m leaving lots out) along with beautiful, fresh salads. Oh, and dessert!

rock oysters









john doryscallops

It was an incredible, super fresh, and creative sampling of beautifully prepared seafood.

Congratulations Andy, you’re doing a great job! And thanks for a fine day in paradise.

Here’s my recipe for the week, inspired by the barramundi we ate in Australia.

Monahan's Seafood

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