Our region is home to some of the freshest seafood in all of NSW. With a coastline that is brimming with delicious produce and an abundance of expert fishermen, oyster farmers and seafood eateries that have been honing their craft for several years. Whether you're just craving some takeaway fish and chips or feel like treating yourself to a luxury dining experience, we've got you covered. Here are just some of our favourite pitstops that you should pencil into your South Coast seafood expedition.
Fresh Fish and Chips: Northern Shoalhaven
Those visiting our northern towns will be close to some of the best fish and chips you'll find in Australia. Okay, we might personally be a little biased but the critics don't lie! The Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards recently crowned our local Pelican Rocks Cafe in Greenwell Point as the best fish and chips in NSW. So you'll definitely want to pay this humble takeaway shop a visit. It doesn't get much fresher as the husband and wife duo who run the cafe, Sam and Rebecca Cardow source their ingredients from the fishing boats that are literally across the road! To sample a little taste of everything, grab a seafood basket of grilled fish, calamari, prawns and other delicious seafood staples. In nearby Huskisson, there's the family run World Famous Fish and Chips shop which overlooks the stunning waters of Jervis Bay. Top quality seafood that can be eaten right on the bay - we think that's a pretty perfect way to spend a day.
Fresh Fish and Chips: Fresh Fish and Chips: Southern Shoalhaven
Further south you'll find many more delicious fish and chips shops that will satisfy all your seafood cravings, The aptly named The Fish Shop at Burrill Lake is conveniently located just off the Princes Highway and the perfect lunch stop on a road tripping adventure. We recommend grabbing your takeaway box and making your way across the bridge to soak up the crystal clear waters of Dolphin Point while enjoying your meal. Some other nearby eateries where you can get a taste of South Coast seafood are the Beach Hut Cafe in Mollymook and Tigers Famous in Ulladulla.
Any oyster lovers out there? We think that there might be a few of you! If oysters are your kryptonite then your ultimate dream destination is Greenwell Point. This fishing village is located just 15kms east of Nowra and sits at the mouth of the Crookhaven River. There's definitely something in the water here because this seaside town is home to some of the best oysters in all of Australia. Take a tour of this stretch of sea with our resident oyster expert Jim Wild. Jim Wild's Oyster Service has been in the business since 1978 and their working oyster farm produces some of the freshest Sydney Rock and Pacific Oysters you'll ever taste. Not far down the road is Goodnight Oysters, another Greenwell Point farm that is run by duo Leon and Angela Riepsamen. Although you won't be able to taste their oysters direct from the farm, you can head to local restaurants such as Wharf Rd and Kanpai Japanese for a taste of their wonderful creations.
Blessing of the Fleet, Ulladulla
Fishing is a huge part of the Shoalhaven's history so it's no surprise that we take seafood pretty seriously here. You might not be aware that Ulladulla was actually a vibrant fishing town that was kept alive by an extremely hardworking Italian community back in the day. We love celebrating this part of our heritage and encourage all our visitors to do the same. Every year the Shoalhaven Blessing of the Fleet Festival takes place in Ulladulla over the Easter long weekend, with a variety of exciting events on offer including harbourside fireworks, and colourful parades. For travellers visiting over the Easter holidays, pencil this festival into your diaries! It's a great occasion for all and especially for families with young children.
Contemporary Fine Dining
Fancy something a little more...fancy? We recommend heading to Mollymook to take your seafood game up a notch or two. For an elegant fine dining experience, book a table at Rick Stein at Bannisters. This is an absolute must for all seafood lovers. With only the best local ingredients in delicious dishes like the steamed whole snapper or the eastern rock lobster thermidore, this hatted restaurant led by a world famous seafood chef will not disappoint. We could go on with the menu but wouldn't want to leave you drooling all over your phone or computer! While you're in the area, grab a meal at Tallwood, which is just minutes away. This contemporary Australian eatery is famous for their seasonal and local menu with creative seafood highlights such as the Clyde River oysters with fennel gel and burnt shallot dressing or the Sechaun and tamarind caramel prawns. Make sure to grab one of their delectable cocktails to go along with your meal!
For All The At-Home Chefs
We bet that after all these incredible seafood experiences, you'll be inspired to cook up a storm in your very own kitchen. Shop like an expert and head to where the legendary Rick Stein buys his ingredients at Lucky's Seafood, who has been specialising in providing the best seafood to the locals in Ulladulla for many years. Or visit the extensive seafood counter at Nowra Fresh Fish and Meat Market, one of the biggest wholesale suppliers on the South Coast of NSW that's also open to the public. If you happen to be around on a Saturday, make your way to the Heads Hotel which hosts a Seafood And Fresh Produce Fair from 8am to 1pm every week.