I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published October 27th 2012
Buy your seafood straight from the supplier
Where do you usually buy your seafood? Supermarkets like Coles? Or seafood specialty stores in the malls like Seafood Secrets? Well it's time you're let in on a secret: You could get the same seafood straight from their supplier, Catalano Seafood. By cutting out the middleman, you get your seafood more often than not fresher, in more variety, and possibly cheaper too.
Established in 1969, Catalano Seafood is a family owned and operated seafood supplier company. They provide seafood produce to the supermarkets (most notably Coles), other seafood retailers, restaurants, and export markets. And here's a piece of information you need to note: Every Saturday from 7:30am to 1pm, they open their factory (301 Collier Rd, Bassendean) to the public and sell retail seafood.
Catalano Seafood's Factory
Turn into the carpark when you see this sign
You only need to gaze lovingly into the clear eyes of the fish there to know they are as fresh as they come. And the fact that they have eyes at all would alert you to the fact that the factory direct sales have whole fish instead of just fillets or cutlets. Yes, fish, glorious fish in various sizes and colours: salmon, snappers, barramundi, mullets, you name it.
Whole fish as well as fillets are available
My tactic thus far is to buy a whole fish (salmon is my favourite) at a cheaper price (compared to cut-up versions). And the staff there could help us clean and cut the fish to our liking. If you order cutlets they'll use a machine to ensure even and tidy cuts. For fillets, we can watch and marvel at how skilful the filleters are, slicing the fish very close to the bones and skin (if you want them skinless) with very little waste.
And don't think that you'll loose out because you pay for the whole fish and only get the fillets or cutlets. Not at all. Bring all the paraphernalia like the head and wings home and cook them into something delectable like a curry dish. You can look for fish head curry recipe or buy a packet of instant sauce from an Asian grocery shop. Or even simpler: throw them on the grill or barbecue. I can guarantee that salmon's wings done to a turn will be one of the tenderest and juiciest meat you've ever tasted.
Whole salmon is my favourite purchase
But I digress. Going back to Catalano, fish is not the whole story there. There are other seafood galore too: clams (oysters, scallops, mussels and cockles), prawns, squids, crabs (including king crab of the Deadliest Catch fame), and rock lobsters are all available (some when in season only).
Rock Lobster vs King Crab
Live snow crabs in their aquarium
They also sell fish parts like heads and wings. If you're not used to it, it may sound odd to you but salmon wings are actually so popular that you have to come very early if you hope to buy some (See, I told you they're nice). They also sell fish scraps (little pieces of meat) at a cheaper price compared to the normal size fillets. They're great if you're budget conscious, if you only need a small quantity, or if you plan to cut them up into small pieces anyway.
One younger member of the family, Joshua Catalano (dubbed "the fish monger"), was in the limelight for a while when he competed in Masterchef Australia Season 1. Well, I have seen Josh himself manning the till at this weekly retail sales sessions. He certainly wasn't given any celebrity treatment by his colleagues and cute as he may be, none of the customers being teenage girls, no one swooned in One Direction-esque style at his feet.
Anyway, Josh's appearance notwithstanding, I find that it's worth spending a part of my Saturday morning visiting the Catalano's factory. Other than getting my seafood fix, I like it that they think ahead and provide us with little things that make seafood shopping a bit more convenient. They provide ice free-of-charge to keep our seafood nice and cool on the way home and there are cardboard boxes available if we need one to carry our purchases. They also sell some items that we might need to cook our seafood with such as panko bread crumbs, so we don't have to make that extra stop at another shop. All these details add up to create a nice experience and entice us to return there again and again.