Monday 10 November 2008

I am an oyster snob.

We all know a noisy noise annoys an oyster. Ok. maybe YOU don't, but I have been waiting for MONTHS to use that.

Ok.. moving right along.


Oysters. Up until this past holiday, I thought they were preety much like wine, or art. All the nuance was in the eye... or in this case, the mouth of the beholder. Or the eater.


Recently, on our trip to Merim-Bueller, we got to taste a whole range of the local seafood. Which included the local oysters. I can guarantee these were as fresh as you are ever likely to get, as we saw them harvested and shucked directly in front of us.

And sadly, I was expecting ambrosia and all I got was "Meh" **insert Jewish Bubbu shoulder shrug**

Really, the damn things didn't taste any different from the oysters I get at my suppliers back in Melbourne.

They were nice, don't get me wrong, and cheap.. $10 a doz, but they sadly left me totally underwhelmed. After the Bruny Bay oysters I tasted at last years Slow Food Fest, the difference was palpable. Rather than plump, succulent morsels bursting with briney goodness, these were just flat. Flat as in not plump in shape, or flavour. Rather than a bold whack-in-the-face taste of the sea, this was a flat, pale imitation.

A real disappointment.

However, the region's seafood rep redeemed itself with the local Eden mussels, which I had served at The Aquarium Wharf Restaurant, in Merimbula. The reverse of the above. I had seen them at the Fisherman's co-op in Eden for $11 a kg, which was rather pricey when I can get Melbourne mussels for $2 a kg in season.

Newp. These mussels are larger and fuller flavoured than my local ones. While the Merimbula oysters were flat, these mussels were plump and luscious. More so than any other mussel I've ever tried. The Wharf Restaurant served them steamed in an Asian "soup" of Tiger beer, coconut milk, galangal, coriander and chilli. This dish was a first place tie for Best Lunch of the Tour, along with the open steak sandwich at Rockpool (at the Merimbula Bowls Club!).

Not only was the food outstanding, the view from the wharf restaurant was spectacular! Our waitress was teeling us that the previous week, they'd had whales frolicking just off the restaurant, but alas, none graced us with their presence that day.


Anonymous said...

Ah, Goddess, it is but the very beginning of the oyster season. The slow food festival was at the end of the season, in Feb. Might be what made the difference, as south coast oysters at their peak are sensational.

purple goddess said...

Hmmmm. That's probably it, Zoe. I might have to avail myself of another tasting in a few months' time