Around the World in Seven Seafood Dishes
Every coastal country seems to have its own seafood specialties, dishes crafted from mouthwateringly fresh fish and cooked with enticing local flavors and spices. Think sushi, calamari, oysters,and more. A foodie could travel around the world and learn something important about each area just by sampling its seafood. We’ve highlighted seven different restaurants from different regions around the planet, each serving the freshest catches with the most delicately realized flavors.
North America – The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle, USA
Wander around Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market to get an idea of the abundance of seafood options available in the Pacific Northwest. Stalls overflow with fresh crabs, salmon, lobsters, and, of course, oysters. These delectable, locally sourced shellfish have become the stock-in-trade for the celebrated Walrus, which offers full meals or just the chance to shuck and snack on these tasty morsels.
South America – La Mar CebicheríaPeruana, Lima, Peru
Ceviche is next on your global tour and La Mar is one of the best places to sample it. Each course is rooted in Peruvian flavors, but you can sample these internationally acclaimed dishes in La Mar offshoots in four other South American cities, as well as in Miami and San Francisco. For the original La Mar experience, however, head to Lima. The flagship restaurant is located moments from the Pacific Ocean. Come here for lunch – the only time you can just stop by – to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and wholesome, expertly prepared dishes.
Europe – Bar Txepetxa, San Sebastian, Spain
Spanish cuisine is almost synonymous with seafood, and the Basque region of the northeast is particularly famed for its pintxos – a local spin on tapas. Bar Txepetxa is small but packs a punch, having become justifiably famous for its numerous anchovy dishes. Forget your imagined version of anchovies; San Sebastian’s snack-sized treats are succulent, marinated perfectlyand served with a variety of delectable, complimentary garnishes.
Africa – La Colombe, Constantia, South Africa
La Colombe has garnered so many awards you might wonder if its chefs feel embarrassed by all the accolades. This scenically situated restaurant lies just outside Cape Town’s charming Constantia neighborhood, between two nature reserves. Expect a menu of classic South African ingredients cooked with a French twist. Tuna and langoustines are regular features on the menu, but make sure you try the ubiquitous kingklip, a local favorite arriving straight onto your plate from nearby fishing ports such as Kalk Bay and Hout Bay.
Southeast Asia – Five Oysters, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Take your pick of Vietnamese seafood dishes at one of Ho Chi Minh’s most celebrated dining destinations. As well as the oysters that give the restaurants its name, you can feast on Mekong Delta crabs, steamed shrimp with fresh coconut, and grilled octopus with chili oil. This isn’t haute cuisine, but the low-cost, high-quality dishes are not to be sniffed at –the Five Oysters serves authentic local cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere. If you’re traveling with seafood skeptics, the restaurant also offers a tasty range of meat and vegetarian options.
East Asia – Irifune Sushi, Tokyo
No seafood tour of the world is complete without a sample of sushi, Japan’s world-famous delicacy. A trip to Tokyo provides you with hundreds of opportunities to try out nigiri, sashimi, and maki all over the city. Irifune Sushi, situated in the Okusawa district of southern Tokyo, is famed for its tuna dishes. The staff pick up the finest cuts of fish from the manic tuna auction at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market (which spectators can come and watch if they’re up early), then serve it in different cuts. This ranges from the redder, leaner akami to the luxurious, soft cuts of otoro. Pick up a magurozukushinigiri platter for 18 different samples of tuna morsels.
Australasia – Flying Fish, Sydney
Sydney Harbor is a hub of culinary activity, the local fish market alive with oysters getting shucked and catches being sold to local chefs. There’s even a nearby school for cooks wanting to improve their fish dishes. One of the best places to sample the catch of the day is at the Flying Fish, an acclaimed restaurant that prides itself on the freshness of its ingredients. Try the market fish of the day or savor inventive taste combinations such as baby octopus cooked in squid ink and John Dory served with lobster yuzu butter. Best of all, your meal comes with stunning waterfront views of the harbor area.