When I was growing up in Malaysia, fish only came one way, whole and fresh. No cellophane wrapped fillets, or frozen pieces that clang as they fall out of the packet. Fish came from a fishmonger, – you chose the fish you wanted, and he would gut and scale it in front of you. Sometimes, the fish is still alive, and you have to avert your eyes while it is expertly ‘dispatched’.
I think it’s unnatural to never see what the actual fish looks like. I like to see the glistering silvery skin of the salmon, the surprising bright blue spots against the pink skin of the snapper and the dull green gray of the flounder, with its strangely positioned mouth. It’s good practice to ponder the brightness of the eyes, the springy-ness of the flesh and the redness of the gills as a measure of its freshness.
I’ve been meaning to visit Auckland Fish Market for quite a while. Auckland Fish Market boasts the widest range of fish and seafood in Auckland. I certainly don’t disagree, – the display was impressive. After you pick your fish, and it is weighed, they can prepare the fish to your specifications.
There are several retailers, which make up the Auckland Fish Market. There is the fishmonger (Market Fresh Fish), next to which is the gourmet supermarket, consisting of Market Kitchen (with a wide array of ready prepared foods, and not just seafood, – try their fantastic lasagna), Market Seafood Deli (partially prepared seafood for you to finish off on the BBQ or in the kitchen) and Market Smoke House (what must be the widest range of smoked seafood in Auckland).
There is a café, restaurants and even a seafood school. The location in Freemans Bay (Cnr Daldy and Madden Streets) is central, with free parking available. Auckland Fish Market is open from 7am – 6:30pm daily. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat out of the way for me, so Auckland Fish Market will be an irregular, though a welcome treat.