Friday, October 10, 2008

CHARIS SEAFOOD @ Labrador, Gold Coast

Initially, I planned to post the second part of my Pulau Ketam trip today. However, Food Cookies told me that she will be flying off to Gold Coast on Monday (lucky you, AUD dropped so much, hope you managed to change at a good rate) and I did promise her that there are few places that I would like to recommend to her. Since I would not be able to post all now, there is one that I would highly recommend especially to seafood lovers.

Charis Seafood is the biggest seafood outlet in Gold Coast located at Harley Park, Labrador and this place is far much larger than the Peter's Fish Market that I posted earlier. Do note that Labrador is a very nice suburb and there are few other good eateries here too, yet to try though.

Apparently, Charis was the winner of the Best Fish & Chips in Queensland Award in year 2001. No wonder there was such a long queue at the counter.

I was more interested in their fresh seafood being displayed. So much more variety than Peter's. I get very excited each time I visit seafood market and how I wish I have a big wok to steam them.

As usual, most of the shellfish such as lobsters, prawns and Moreton Bay bugs were already pre-boiled. Good thing is that you can order and eat on the spot. Bad thing is, most likely you will be disappointed with the taste. Not cheap too so we decided not to take any chances. I was eyeing the scallops and wonder if they could cook it for us. Sadly, we were told that it's only for take-away. Ahh..if only our apartment equipped with big wok, then I cook steam it with garlic!

A huge variety of fishes too, most I have not seen or heard before like Sweetlip (like nickname for your sweetheart hor?), Bonito (related to bonito flake?), Flake..just to name a few. Good news is that, fresh fish are the only item that they could cook on the spot for you, either grilled or deep-fried. I am not a fish fan, so I decided to go for something which I have tried before, Flounder! At times I do wonder why the cute colourful character in The Mermaid was named Flounder as the real thing is so ugly, greyish, flat with one sided face. 4 favourite crabs!!! There were live and boiled mud crabs selling at the same price AUD44.90 per kg. If only I could put a ruler next to the crab. So huge, the shell itself is bigger than my face. No kidding!! Sadly, the photo that I took didn't justify the actual size of the crab. For once, I was not keen to try cos I am 100% sure I will swear throughout the meal.

For those who are dining in, there are plenty of seats beside the shop. Al-fresco facing a beautiful lagoon behind called Ian Dipple Lagoon. It was a weekday and everyone was so relax, enjoying the breeze while enjoying their lunch. Bliss!

Now, let's see what I had for lunch and please learn from my mistake okay? I ordered the Fisherman's Basket which came with a big piece of fish fillet, 2 prawn cutlets, 2 seafood 'crap' stick, 6 calamari rings and plenty of fries. Apart from the fish fillet which was thinly battered, sweet and juicy, the rest were forgettable. Fries turned soggy pretty fast too. And if you look closely at the calamari rings, the batter was soft and falling off. Not good. Again, no sauce given. A small container (smaller than KFC mashed potato round container) costs AUD1.70 (~RM5.00)!!! I noticed a group of elderly ladies at the next table, they brought their own bottle of ketchup! Learn from them, bring your own sauce!

The grilled flounder saved the day. It was lightly seasoned with salt and grilled to perfection. Very fresh and the lemon brought out the sweetness of the fish! I ended up chewing all its bones. Can't remember the price as Hubby bought it while I was busy ordering salmon. But one thing for sure, this fish is cheaper than the Fish and Chips above. Unless you really love chips, do order fresh fish to be grilled or deepfried.

Ahhh...beautiful oysters...if this was my last meal, I die with no regrets. We chose Tasmanian Oysters over the Sydney Rock Oysters. It was heavenly good especially when the sweet oyster essence slither down my throat. I am going to have two dozens myself on my next trip here. Strictly all for myself!!

Sis and I were eyeing on the salmon after we spotted a Japanese guy having it while we walked in. Choose your preferred slice of fillet and you can ask them to cut it up at additional AUD5 per kg. This plate doesn't cost more than AUD10! Oh, they do have Japanese soy sauce and wasabi for sale but one problem, no plate or bowl was given for it.

I quickly swallowed an oyster with the excuse of using the shell as a bowl, smart thinking eh? Salmon sashimi was really good! Fully packed with omega 3, it was buttery rich in flavour. Regret ordering the Fish and Chips. Should have used the money for this instead. So good so good so good!

I wonder what got into our mind. The prawns at Peter's was a disappointment and again, we ordered the boiled tiger prawns here. Icy cold as expected and tough meat due to overcooked as expected, yet we still bought it. What were we thinking???? Anyway, lunch was wonderful despite the forgettable prawns and fish & chips.

After the yummy seafood lunch, we went to the lagoon behind Charis to take a walk. The view was amazing. Crystal clear blue sea with clean super-fine sand against clear blue sky. My nephew couldn't control himself and luckily my sis brought along his bathing suit. And so, we ended up spending close to 2 hours here.

Where else could you swim with pelicans? Don't worry, they mind their own business.

Pelicans are everywhere even resting on a lamp post. Hubby and I spotted people fishing. I was so excited till I forget to take photos of it. People there are very friendly. A guy who were fishing with his girlfriend told us that there are not much to fish here, but he just fish for the sake of enjoying the view and passing time. kind of lifestyle, I so wanna live here.

I am totally in love with this place and my nephew agreed too!
"Psst, Nathan, are you willing to relocate to Gold Coast to be with Yiyeh and ShukShuk?"

Do drop by Charis Seafood for great yummy seafood and superb views. Ohh..bring along your bathing suit ok? Very clean and dry toilet and shower area is available.

Charis Seafood is located at:
371 Marine Parade
Harley Park, Labrador
Gold Coast, Queensland,Australia
Opens everyday except Monday
For map, click HERE.


cookies_cream said...

Thank you soooo much Miss Precious!!! You're soo I have clues on where to go! =)

I can't wait to try out the sashimi there as the plate of sashimi looked huge and tempting! I think I'll add in saucer plate + tomato sauce into my packing list,hehe. XD

ling239 said...

look at all the seafood u had!!!
so envy ~ ^_^

Life for Beginners said...

Hehe, you've just given a me a brilliant idea! I'm so calling my darling "Sweetlip" from now on! ;)

CUMI & CIKI said...

wow.. so fresh so shiok... id never want to leave:D

Precious Pea said...

cookies_cream: Don't bring the sauce from here, doubt they allow it in. Buy in from their supermarket, very cheap only. Enjoy your holiday yah and share share with me your experience when you come back.

ling239: Hehehe..nice hor?

kenny mah: *Shivering* Suddenly i fell very very cold. LOL!!

cumi & ciki: Haha..same here. I was mumbling about not leaving Gold Coast all the way to the airport!

Borneo Falcon said...

The seafood there look nice and fresh

J2Kfm said...

wah .. the fresh and thick salmon slices look set to please.
true, the fish n chips look soggy even in the photo.
must bring own sauce one lah? ok ok ...

tigerfish said...

You make me want to go for a holiday of seafood-bliss right now!

Precious Pea said...

borneo falcon: Yes, so fresh that you can even eat it raw.

j2kfm: Looking back at those photos, wishing am there right now. Sigh.

tigerfish: too!

barbie said...

*Slurps* the salmon look soooo yummy! Raw oysters not my cup of tea tho. I find the smell a bit hard to swallow. :p Must make a trip to Gold Coast one of these days, looks like a wonderful place from your photos!

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

haha, I love the birds on Lamp post tat one! so COOL & yau Yeng! hahahha

jason said...

Really pretty oysters indeed! And yeah, the pelicans on the lamp post are so yau yeng!

Precious Pea said...

barbie: Salmon sashimi was really good, lucky that we had a good cut. It makes the meal so much more memorable.

denise and jason: Imagine them wearing sunglasses...lagi yeng jai hor?

mimid3vils said...

I think pelican have that funny look especially when they swallowing the fish ^.^

Btw you eat too much of the salmon sashimi, should share with us mah..hehe :)

ilene said...

Hey, didn't the pelican attack your food? The last time I was eating seafood outdoor at one of the restaurant in Gold Coast, a bird flew down and peck away at my food!!!

Psst, shall we migrate over? This is the kind of life I want! Sit back and relax and enjoy! *blissful*

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

oh, their salmon is so d..m fresh!almost el dente right. i love gold coast too (but brisbane's kinda backward tho i think of all the oz cities, it has the best weather), maybe i'll be ur neighbor? another thing why i think i can live in queensland is bc they have sayur manis.lots of it, grown like marijauna in the backyards of sabahans.

Precious Pea said...

mimid3vils: Yes, i don't know what the thing under the beak is called but it opens up widely like a big bowl when they eat.

ilene: I think the bird you refering to were Ibis? It has got long black beak rite?? The pelicans didn't come anyway near to us except Ibis and seagulls.

terri: Ahh..let's migrate together. AUD dropping like crazy now, maybe time to invest? We looking into property now.

noobcook said...

I miss the fresh and cheap oysters in Gold Coast/Australia so much hehe ... next time I go, I'll check out Charis, thanks for sharing =)

ganache-ganache said...

hey, my daughter's name is Charis Joy ! so even ketchup have to BYO ??

Hazza said...

I understand your apprehension towards pre-cooked seafood. They do it this way so it stays "fresh" longer. But having lived in UK for over 20 yrs, I am used to buying seafod this way.

A little about me ... said...

I stumbled onto your blog by chance and wanted to say I really enjoy reading your posts especially we love driving up to Malaysia for makan. Thanks for all the reviews.

Precious Pea said...

noobcook: Do remember Charis during your next visit. Oysters were superb!

ganache-ganache: Nice name! C.J sounds cools too!! Yes, byo own bottle can last you many meals wheres if you buy from this kind of eateries, small pack very expensive and might not even enough for one meal.

hazza: I know what you mean..but luckily in Aust, you can still find fresh seafood in Chinatown or Asian groceries. So when are you coming back to feast yourself with all the fresh seafood here??

a little about me: Harlow!! Thanks for popping by and leaving me a comment too :) Do come back more often yah?

worldwindows said...

Really nice seafood in the glass shelves and beautiful location. Salmon sashimi so tempting though I don't quite like to try raw fish!

Paprika said...

After reading your posts and the recent drop of the aussie dollar, I'm sure the universe is telling me its time to log on to Air Asia and go makan!!

sc said...

the grilled fish looks delish! i'm one of those who will skip the cold boiled prawns overseas.. i prefer those fresh hot boiled one in local restaurants :)

Precious Pea said...

worldwindows: Beautiful place indeed. Doesn't fancy sashimi? Grilled it then..equally yummy!

paprika: Hahaha...exactly what is in my mind too. Wishing that I could fly off now to enjoy the low AUD and shop shop shop. So sad cos didn't shop much in Gold Coast as it was at 3 when i went.

sc: Ahh...i learnt my lesson. No more sad cold prawns.

Nic (KHKL) said...

i now truly understand when you told me Gold Coast was fun last week. it's awesome!

the salmon and the beach...wahhh....paradise or what, eh? i wonder how low can the aussie dollar go? hmmmmm........

Precious Pea said...

nic: you know why i suffer post-Gold Coast depression hor? Well, no matter how much lower it can get, no harm buying some now and keep. Heard many singaporeans now flocking the aust property market. Boo no money!

JessieLee said...

wow...all the seafoods looks so freshhh....yummy yummy....


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