Moreton Bay Rocks
Moreton Bay oyster grower Tim Dumbrell (pictured here with Wade McFadgen) says it’s the “clean, crisp water of the marine park where the oysters are grown” that give his oysters “a real taste of the sea.” His home turf is the furthest north a Sydney Rock oyster can be commercially harvested, but you’ll only have to travel to Manta at Woolloomooloo to try one.
Chef Daniel Hughes tells me “each year I personally visit our oyster farmers in Moreton Bay which renews my understanding of the passion these people have for their product,” and you can rest assured that all oysters “delivered to Manta are closed and alive, with each and every oyster opened to order, nothing is pre-shucked!” Celebrate this wonderfully transparent journey from oyster lease to plate at Manta’s upcoming two day Oyster and Seafood Festival on the 17-18th October from 1pm until sunset. Bookings not required.
Manta 6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo (02) 9332 3822
If bivalves are your pleasure, you can also pop into The Victoria Room on any Tuesday in October for a freshly shucked dozen with a flute of Piper Heidsieck Champagne, yours for twenty five dollars. If you need an extra incentive, there’ll be four different varieties including some Sydney Rocks from Lemon Tree Passage in NSW. Four lucky oyster lovers will find an Australian Pearl Divers pearl in their oyster; with other prizes from Opera Australia also up for grabs.
The Victoria Room Level 1, 235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst (02) 9357 4488
Mussel On In
Start your summer of seafood early this year with a great special running from midday each Monday at the Kings Cross Hotel. Twenty dollars buys you a mussel pot filled to the brim with briny black mussels, steamed in a tasty mix of chorizo, tomato, chilli and parsley. The pot’s big enough to share, with crusty bread for dipping and a couple of beers or house wines thrown in too – sensational value!
Kings Cross Hotel 248 William Street, Kings Cross (02) 9331 9900
Memora(bull) First Birthday
Seafood was also on the menu at the first birthday celebration of Sean’s Kitchen last week. Guests, including providore Simon Johnson and Masterchef darling Justine Schofield, were treated to steaming pans of paella, whole suckling pigs, plates of freshly sliced jamon and endless Veuve Clicquot.
Cake makers Sweet Art caused a stir with an incredible forty kilo cake in the shape of the Sean’s Kitchen bull. His tattooed rump was coveted by many – the bull’s rump of course, not that of the affable Sean Connolly, who recently reminded me with a perfect onion ring and a moist wagyu meatloaf, just why he deserves his name on a restaurant.
Sean’s Kitchen, Level 2 Star City, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont (02) 9777 9000
Water and Wine
Don’t forget you’ve got another chance to experience the Hunter Valley uncorked and closer to home on Sunday 11th October at Pyrmont Bay Park. Relax by the water as you partake on the offerings of Hunter Valley wineries, restaurants and products including olives and cheeses. It kicks off at midday with free entry; purchase a souvenir wine glass ($7) to start drinking. More info: www.hunteruncorked.com.au