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
Open 365 days a year