I loved Tasmania for its fresh seafood and local produce – I randomly bought one tomato from Woolworths supermarket to eat with a salad and it was, no exaggeration, the best I’ve tasted. But I’d be casually citing cliches if I said it was “hard to name the best” food or meal I had in Tas – the most epic and memorable was no question the oysters!
Between two of us, we ate exactly 11 dozens of oysters during our 9 day trip. Actually, that number is not impressive at all, considering how fresh and cheap they were. In Hong Kong, oysters from the supermarket cost about HK$30-70 for one. In Tasmania, they’re as cheap as HK$7 for one. Now you might start to understand why I regret not stuffing myself more during my trip.
To be honest, anywhere in Tasmania, the oysters will probably taste amazing simply because they are fresh. Anyhow, here’s a quick list on where to get the cheapest and freshest oysters, which may even tempt you to visit Tasmania for yourself too.
1. Get Shucked, Bruny Island
Takeaway: AUD14 per dozen (HKD84)
Eat in: AUD16 per dozen (HKD96)
Get Shucked arguably serves the best oysters in Tasmania. They are simply fresh, cheap and served at a comfortable cute-looking cafe. Definitely the best value-for-money oysters I had!
2. Pacific Oysters, St Helens
Takeaway: AUD14 per dozen
Eat in: It’s literally an oysters farm; they don’t do sit downs
We passed by a sign saying “Pacific Oysters” on our way from St Helens to Binalong Bay (Bay of Fires) and drove in to see what the deal was. Many people were buying packs of these oysters to takeaway. They didn’t even have forks. We ripped open the package and ate the oysters with our fingers at the carpark. So unforgettable and recommended!
3. Freycinet Marine Farm, Coles Bay
Eat in/Takeaway: AUD18 per dozen or AUD20 per dozen of jumbo oysters (HKD108/120)
The jumbo oysters were so big and definitely worth that extra two bucks. We tried both versions and they were both just as tasty and fresh. The only complaint is that they don’t remove the ‘meat’ from their shell completely (you have to fork it out yourself) and they were a little bit sandy/shelly.
4. Barilla Bay Oyster Farm, Hobart
Eat in: AUD24 per dozen (HKD144)
Located 1 min away from Hobart airport, this was (obviously) our first stop after touchdown in Tasmania. We had made it just in time before their restaurant closed for lunch (at 2:30pm). We were less boring when at Barilla and tried different toppings – salmon caviar and gin & tonic sorbet. The former was pretty epic and a must try. The latter was very refreshing, but nothing spectacular. Honestly, I’d go with natural, after trying the salmon caviar once.
They do takeaways at a lower price too – which is opened until 6pm.
5. Mures Lower Deck, Hobart
Eat in/Takeaway: AUD25 (HKD150)
If it’s your last day in Hobart and it’s past 6pm (hence No. 6 Barilla Bay is closed) and you’re desperate for that last dozen of oysters before you leave, then coming to Mures Lower Deck would be an appropriate choice. To be fair, they serve oysters at many dinner places, but they obviously charge a premium (usually over AUD30 per dozen). At Mures, it’s slightly cheaper since it’s a self-serve casual place. Plus, they still taste great.
More than an oyster wonderland
Fresh oysters (seafood) is one of Tasmania’s many highlights. If shoving down dozens of dozens of oysters is not the ideal way you’d like to spend your core leave, there’s obviously much more than that – among which include fresh other foods, great wines, whisky and amazing natural scenery.
For the foodies out there, here are 7 other food-related things you need to do in Tasmania, including one of my favourite pasta-making experiences at Red Feather Inn.