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Published July 16th 2016
Be a Savvy Seafood Shopper
Fresh seafood is undeniably better than frozen, and we have lots to choose from on the Gold Coast. Nevertheless, most fishmongers carry both Australian and imported seafood, and much of it is frozen before being 'thawed for your convenience'.
Always ask if the seafood is fresh or thawed If you can, choose fresh local seafood over thawed or imported, as the methods used to freeze and thaw the seafood can seriously affect both the texture and flavour. Major supermarkets usually differentiate between 'fresh' and 'thawed from frozen'.
If thawed, the moisture loss and breakdown of structural proteins produces shrinkage and results in a soft, mushy flesh with very little texture or flavour. Nevertheless, thawed products tend to be cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and may be quite acceptable if planning to cook dishes where the natural flavours and textures are not the heroes. Examples are curried prawns, paella, marinara, laksa, or battered fish.
(image courtesy of Scales Seafood)
Most of us shop locally each week, and only go further afield when wanting something different or special. We like Woolies at Mermaid Waters for salmon fillets, Reef Seafood at Ferry Rd Markets for oysters, Peter's Fish Market for whole fish (but make sure they gut and clean it for you), and the Main Beach trawlers for freshly-caught prawns.
If feeding a crowd, then you might want to opt for one of the wholesale seafood markets that carry bulk packages of frozen seafood products.
To help you choose the best place to buy your seafood, we offer you our top selection of seafood outlets from Runaway Bay in the north to Tweed Heads in the south. Bon appetit!
Seafood Direct, 14 Ocean St, Runaway Bay Qld 4216 Phone: 61-7-5537 1411 Open: Thurs 8am-5pm; Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 9am-until sold out (usually 5pm) In addition to their small retail outlet, Seafood Direct operates a fleet of mobile vans which attend Farmers' Markets in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. Their website is out-of-date, so we suggest you call them to confirm market dates and product pricing.
(image courtesy of Seafood Direct)
Harbour Seafood Market, 7 Olsen Ave, Labrador Qld 4215 Phone: 61-7-5529 2500 Harbour Seafood Market offers ocean-fresh seafood delivered daily from local fishermen and kept on ice until you take them home. Live oysters are kept in their special tanks and shucked onsite. They also operate a popular fish-n-chip shop on the premises.
(image courtesy of Harbour Seafood Market)
Charis Seafood, 371 Marine Pde, Labrador Qld 4215 (just across from the iconic Grand Hotel) Phone: 61-7-5527 1100 Open: 7 days, 7am-7pm Charis offer an impressive array of fresh seafood, but the other side of the shop produces some of the most popular cooked fish-n-chips on the coast. Eating hot chips on the beach behind the shop is enjoyed by a bevy of pelicans and seagulls, and the tourists that feed them.
Charis Seafood, Labrador
Gold Coast Fishermen's Co-op, 168 SeaWorld Drive, Main Beach Qld 4217 Open 7 days a week from 7am until sold out! Ph. 07 5528 5783
Mob. 0439 675 926
Check their WEBSITE for catch information and daily specials.
The boats leave every evening, trawl through the night and return in the morning loaded up with the freshest seafood available, selling directly from their boats. You're actually buying from the locals that made the catch only a few hours earlier!
Gold Coast Fishermen's Coop
Peter's Fish Market, 120 SeaWorld Drive, Main Beach Qld 4217 Phone: 61-7-5591 7747
Open for fresh fish: 7 days, 9am-7.30pm (opens 12 noon on public holidays)
Open for cooked fish-n-chips; 7 days, from 12noon to 7.30pm
The rear of this popular fish-n-chip shop backs onto the trawler wharf, so they are well placed to stock loads of fresh local prawns. They also offer a selection of Australian and imported fish fillets, but if you buy a whole fish, make sure it's gutted and scaled before taking it home.
fresh fish at Peter's Fish Market
Reef Seafood & Sushi, Ferry Rd Markets at The Brickworks, 107 Ferry Rd, Southport Qld 4215 phone: 61-7-5528 4477 Open: 7 days, 8am-6pm
This gourmet fishery is situated inside what well-heeled locals call the 'Ferry Rd Markets', and is not intended to attract bargain shoppers. Their claim is to 'provide quality produce and advice, and only stock the finest seafood from the best local, interstate and New Zealand seafood producers'. They offer a few surprises amongst their array of fresh seafood, which compliments their sushi bar. However, what sets them apart is their impressive selection of oysters sourced from around the country, which they shuck right there in front of you. Delicious.
(image courtesy of Reef Seafood)
Sorrento Seafoods, Shop 22 Sorrento Shopping Village, cnr Bundall Road & Allawah St, Bundall Qld 4217 Phone: (07) 5538 0977
Sorrento Seafoods have been satisfying locals with their fish and chips for 30 years. They offer fresh local seafood, home-made potato scallops, burgers, and fresh salads. Their crispy thick chips are cooked to golden perfection (with or without salt), and may be the best chips you will ever taste.
Woolworths Supermarket, Q Super Centre, cnr Markeri & Bermuda Sts, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218 Phone: 61-7-5558 3213 Open: Mon-Fri 8am-9pm; Sat 8am-5.30pm; Sun 9am-6pm
Most supermarkets fail to give their seafood the respect it deserves, but this one may surprise you. The array of fresh seafood on offer at this supermarket outlet can often rival the major fishmongers. The quality is excellent and the pricing is very competitive. They offer a range of seafood that is fresh, frozen or 'thawed for your convenience', and much is imported. Check the tags and read them carefully, especially if country of origin is important to you, or if you specifically want seafood that hasn't been frozen. It's best to go around mid-morning when the pace is relaxed and the trays are full.
seafood display at Woolworths Supermarket, Mermaid Waters
Pacifica Trading, 273 Scottsdale Drive, Robina Qld 4226
Open Monday to Saturday - 8AM TO 6PM
Seafood Market direct number: 61-7-5592 7888
Admin Phone: 61-7-5592 7800 Pacifica Trading is an importing, wholesale and retail business specialising in fresh and frozen seafood. The company occupies a modern, purpose built premises together with seafood processing and packing facilities, chillers, cold storage and wholesale seafood market. They service the wholesale and hospitality trade Australia wide, with the added bonus of a Direct to the Public Seafood Market. For your convenience, they can pack your purchases in a polybin with ice. Checkout their weekly specials online.
(image courtesy of Pacifica Trading)
Tasman Star Seafoods, 3/1 Flint Court, Varsity Lakes 4227
(cnr of Casura Drive, which is the service road running along the northern edge of the western end of Reedy Creek Rd, just before the M1) Phone: 61-7-5522 1221
Open: 7 days, 7am-6pm
(image courtesy of Tasman Star)
Kenbry Seafoods, 16 William Banks Drive, Burleigh Heads Qld, 4220 Ph: 07 5599 1777
Seafood products are sourced from around the world and locally to ensure the best possible range and quality are available to our customers throughout the year.
Scales Seafood, 47 Kennedy Drive, Tweed Heads NSW 2485
Phone: 61-7-5536 6937 Open (NSW time): 7 days; 9am-7pm (9am-7.30pm during daylight savings time) Scales Seafood is located on the Tweed River, just a few hundred metres from the Tweed Trawler Fleet. The market sells fresh seafood, and their fish-n-chip shop serves up some of the best along the coast. The area is peaceful and picturesque, a perfect spot for a picnic.