Once upon a time, about 11 years ago when we first became a couple, Chris and I used to go to oyster happy hours pretty regularly in Manhattan. The place we frequented the most was a little seafood spot on the Upper East Side near our old apartment called Fulton. They had an amazing happy hour of $1 oysters (I think they were mostly east coast oysters), as well as discounted glasses of wine. Because the oysters were so cheap, we indulged and didn’t really think too much about how many we were eating. Unfortunately, Fulton has since closed. Oyster happy hours in the city became fewer and fewer, and the ones that did continue were considerably more expensive, somewhere in the range of $2-3.50. At the high end of that, that’s not really much of a discount anymore. So we haven’t really eaten many oysters in a while.
But then when we were exploring South Melbourne Market today, we stumbled across a huge vendor called Aptus Seafood who was selling all kinds of fresh, delicious, and local seafood, including a variety of freshly shucked oysters on a half shell for us to eat on the spot. They had a variety of oysters, mostly from different regions of Tasmania, and they ranged in price from $40-48 AUD for TWO DOZEN. Once you factor in the exchange rate and relatively stronger U.S. dollar, it was a pretty good deal for us; I couldn’t believe how affordable this was. So we chose the two dozen for $40 oysters from the Bay of Fires in Tasmania, which the vendor told me was characteristically salty and very creamy. Each of us had a dozen oysters. We took the trays after paying and stood with the hoards of other oyster lovers, adding lemon, abalone sauce, and other condiments to our oysters while slurping up these salty morsels from the waters of Tassie. As as we happily slurped away, Pookster napped in her stroller. I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoyed oysters until I had the first slurp of one. Even the texture was so nice, and biting down on one was so creamy and luxurious. Seafood, both in variety and freshness, is hard to beat in Australia.