Shuffle in to Manly’s Shucks Bar to get a true taste of the sea
Let us set the scene – you’re kicking back with a glass of wine in hand, there’s a sea breeze on your face blowing in from the Manly harbour and at your elbow is a platter of freshly shucked oysters. Sounds like a dream, right? It’s not – it’s what you can experience at Manly’s newest haunt Shucks Bar. This waterfront establishment has taken cues from American oyster bars to deliver one of the most memorable seafood experiences around. Forget Kilpatrick and Mornay – Shucks Bar is doing things you rarely see when it comes to oysters, making it a must try for any fan of these fruits of the ocean.
According to Shucks Bar owner Belinda Ho, oysters deserve to be treated like wine. While most of us are clueless when it comes to the intricacies of oysters, Belinda is keen to help locals learn with her newly opened venture. The designer-turned-foodie maven has taken her love of oysters to new levels, opening Shucks Bar a mere stone’s throw from Manly’s waterfront. Taking cues from the New Orleans oyster bars and with a few handy connections in the local oyster-farming scene, Shucks Bar is delivering the goods when it comes to freshness, helping to unravel the complexity of oysters with a dynamo selection and range of complementary taste. The oysters here are delivered regularly and unshucked, as opposed to the pre-processed oysters available at most local fishmongers. Patrons are invited to relax and enjoy a bit of kitchen theatre as these bad boys are shucked on site, which helps to minimise flavour dissipation and maximising freshness.
The bountiful seas have a habit of yielding tasty morsels at any given moment, so to reflect the ever-changing nature of the haul, Shucks Bar’s pescatarian menu is constantly changing. At any given time the menu could feature three to four types of natural oysters from different regions – including Moreton Bay, Coffin Bay, Bruny Island and St Helens – available by the half-dozen or full dozen. As mentioned before, you won’t be able to get Kilpatrick or Mornay varieties, but Shucks Bar is serving up a selection of cooked options, with flavours including grilled oysters with green garlic butter, cured oysters with lime and chilli and fried oysters with spicy remoulade. A selection of share plates round out the menu, with creative and drool-worthy options like oyster tacos with fennel slaw and chipotle crema, miso-glazed octopus on grilled eggplant, beetroot-cured salmon wrapped around honeydew and crème brulee cornbread sounding as equally enticing as the oysters themselves.
Belinda has sourced a concise range of wines, with a strict focus on showcasing drops from family-owned, small batch wineries that operate on a minimal intervention process. A select range of craft beers from the likes of local heroes Slipstream Brewing and Red Bay Brewery are also available, as is a cider from Tasmania’s Willie Smith.
Shucks Bar is now shucking on Manly’s Esplanade. Pop on over to the Stumble Guide to find opening hours and contact details.
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