Monday, December 6, 2010

Go Fish

Oftentimes people walking along the street will stop me and ask ‘Jesse, you’re passionate about food and ingredients – where is the best place to buy fish?’

Well, that’s not strictly true. In fact no one has ever asked me about fish. If anything, people who know me generally avoid starting conversations about food. And as a rule, people who live in Auckland try not to be seen walking on the street if it all possible. I’ve seen a guy try to back a car into Prego.
Pedestrian scarcity and disinterest aside, I want to tell you about a good source of fish, and probably one you don’t know about. If you guessed Auckland Fish Market you’d be almost there – that’s where we used to go until a couple of trusted friends from the restaurant industry told us about a store just around the corner where the fish is fresher, less expensive and (not taking the piss) filleted more elegantly.

It’s called Moana on the Basin, apparently, and you can find it on the same block as the main market, on Halsey Street. Look, here’s a sign advertising small John Dory fillets for $20 a kilo. $20! Snapper costs $40 and how much more interesting is it to serve Dory to your guests? There’s a big selection of smoked fish including a random specials bin when I visited, and they now have a quite amazing new device which seals your fish after purchase in an insulated foil bag. Genius:

We got some of those broadbill steaks you can see advertised on the blackboard, almost 400g for ten bucks, and we monstered them in about thirty seconds along with some eggplant, broccoli and a fancy balsamic sauce from The Silver Spoon, the famously exhaustive Italian food bible and much treasured bookshelf item.

As I recall we don’t do a Best Fish in the latest Metro magazine, out now in all good superettes. But there is a Best Fish and Chips and just about everything else, including Best Pick Up Spot and Best Butcher. Are they the same place? Not yet, but they will be one day if I have my way: young lovebirds bonding over free range chicken breast while their wiser, more experienced countrymen exchange numbers next to the scotch fillet.

If you buy the Metro you can also read my review of Dallows at Sale Street, and find out who’s won the title of sexiest man and women of Auckland 2010 – the latter an inspired choice which I’m sure will please most foodies smart enough to find this blog.