Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas seafood from D&K Live Fish

Planned your Chrissy menu yet?  Are you are a die-hard traditionalist, busy polishing your gravy boat and your turkey baster?  Or are you a breezy modernist, googling recipes for festive farro salad and Christmas pud-flavoured cassata?  No matter what school of Christmas menu you subscribe to, the one thing most agree is that an Australian Christmas means seafood.

If you're in the west, that has traditionally meant Conway's.  The queues at their Wingfield Street store stretch right down the block on Christmas Eve.  I want to share with you another local secret, though.


D&K's seafood is not just fresh - it's live and kicking!  The way it works is you choose your fish (there's a sign that says "no self-service", which is kind of awesome to think that folks have been known to just grab a net and start scooping), it's killed for you on the spot and you take it home.


This is David, the D in D&K, caught midway through installing a new filter.  He's a lovely guy and great to have a chat to.  He mainly buys direct from suppliers, as the fish market doesn't deal in live fish.


Everything at D&K is marked with where it's from, plus whether it's wild or farmed, so you know exactly what you're buying.


D&K's oyster "bar" is a Footscray secret that needs to be shared.  These beauties are shucked to order and are just sensational.


There are always a few different regional varieties to choose from, plus differing sizes.  Check out the prices, too!  Oysters and champagne - really, does Christmas lunch need to be anything else?!


I sent a mate here and she came back with pippies for a spaghetti alle vongole (with little clams).  *Got* to try that this summer!


Live mussels - their shells were gently opening and closing.  So delicious, whether cooked proper moules mariniere-style with garlic, white wine and cream, or steamed with aromatics like lemongrass and ginger.


You may ask, why bother with live fish when it's dead when you take it home anyway?  Well, no need to sit and wonder if those fillets are really fresh (or indeed if they've been frozen and thawed) when it's flapping in front of you.  Just-killed fish also has a much sweeter flavour and better texture.  If you've ever had a live fish from a tank in a restaurant, you'll know what I mean.


D&K are open every day of the year (including Christmas Day!)  When I asked David for his hours, he said that they close maybe for a half day on Chinese New Year.  Then he paused and added, "Maybe".  That's one hardworking Footscray family!

D&K Live Seafood
Shop 1-3, 28A Leeds Street, Footscray
Open 365 days a year


  1. Spaghetti Vongole - I cannot think of a better meal to cook while on summer holidays!

    1. YUM! Thanks for your comment, Sylvia, and hope you had a lovely holiday season.

  2. Ordered 6kg of fish priced at roughly $20 per kilo, I was told to come back in half an hour after they've gutted and prepared the fish. It was not ready for nearly one hour and that wasn't even the worst of it. The order came to over $300 ($50 a kilo) and they claimed to have misheard the order and I still had to pay for it. They had not told me the price nor showed me the supposedly fresh/live fish before (could have been old stock). Would not recommend this place to anyone. TLDR: Sneaky fishery management dupes unsuspecting customer.


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