In order to become Ocean Wise, four criteria have to be met. The seafood must be abundant and resilient, well-managed, limited by-catch and limited habitat damage. Find out more here.
We were going to sample three types of seafood, namely spot prawns, salmon and oysters. Each chef would be presenting one item, done two different ways.
First up was Chef Rob Clark, who poached up a patch of spot prawns for us to sample. Just water and salt, that's all you need to savour the sweetness of the prawns themselves.
The chefs at Oru present a Spot Prawn Escabeche with avocado and heart of palm salsa. These were on top of a chip and you can really appreciated the bouncy freshness of the cooked prawn. The little bit of salsa gave the dish even more crunch.
The second rendition of the spot prawn was the Cornmeal Crusted Popcorn Spot Prawn with wasabi cocktail sauce. This was piping hot coming out of the kitchen and probably my favourite of the two. I didn't even need the cocktail sauce! The batter was light and crisp and kept the prawn inside very moist and juicy.
From The Daily Catch, a fish monger on Commercial Drive, Dylan McCulloch and Ryan Johnson presented the salmon course.
In a few minutes, he showed us how quickly he could cleanly filet a whole salmon. It was impressive to watch.
For the tasting, there was a Candied Cold-Smoked Salmon with fried capers and preserved lemon mascarpone, which is on the right. On the left is the Salmon Tartare, cucumber, puffed rice and yuzu. The texture of the cold-smoked salmon was interesting, slightly chewy and something I'm not as familiar with. I really enjoyed the tartare though, as you can appreciate the freshness of the salmon and the crunch from the cucumber and rice further served to heighten the textural differences.
Ah, I am so glad Sawmill Bay oysters are Ocean Wise. These were shucked and placed on a pretty bed of pink salt, just begging us to give them a try. Chef Darren Brown of Oru shucked these and they were perfect. No little bits of shell here!
Simply shucked oysters, oh sure, you can add your mignonette and your Tabasco, but sometimes, a simple squirt of lemon is all it takes.
For the second oyster dish, we got to sample Oyster Po'Boys. The brioche like bun was amazing soft and tender. Topped with some papaya slaw and a bit of yuzu-kosho aioli, these little burgers disappeared fast. The juicy oyster stayed moist inside, thanks to the crunchy breading.
- Black Tiger Prawns, Ahi Tuna and Chilean Sea Bass are unsustainable
- Pacific Halibut, Sablefish and Pacific Cod are sustainable, provided they are Bottom longline or handline caught
- Overfishing is the greatest threat our oceans face today.