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Seafood platters

John Susman

John Susman

Is there still a place for the classic French-style seafood platter?

My word, yes. I think the plateau de fruits de mer should be Australia's national dish. It's a bit of a luxury but, hey, this isn't a feed for Tuesday night. This is something to cry over, laugh over and share with friends, loved ones or prospective financiers. To me, nothing says celebration more than a feed that includes leaving a mess of shells, a mountain of lemon wedges, a decent jug of cocktail sauce, and demands a cracking chilled, crisp dry white wine. The classic seafood platter is a thing of absolute indulgence.

It should have a sense of abundance and a wide variety of all things from the briny and enough of everything for everyone - it's truly about excess. The best seafood platters aren't confined to a tight specification, but are rather the seasonal high-water mark of what's in the fish markets right now. In spring I would want to include Queensland spanner crab and South Australian blue swimmer crab, Tasmanian or South Australian Pacific oysters and Sydney rock oysters from the north coast of New South Wales. Let's tie on our bibs and hop to it: it's a cracking time to get cracking. Boom-tish.

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Illustration Lauren Haire


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