The small dining area is faintly lite and decked out with old victorian caboose doors and seating with a calm court yard adjacent. At the front entrance you can pre gather your friends around the bar for a chat and drink before seating.
For a Monday evening from as early as 6pm this restaurant is full of fellow diners. with a small area the noise level is loud but with a large group like us, I'm sure it was us making the most of it.
But I was not here for a romantic dinner out, Tonight we eat!
For a light starter we all shared a Meze plate with fresh Turkish bread and dip. Fresh cucumber and tomato along side some marinated mushrooms, fresh skate and calamari was a great beginning.
While enjoying the plate an array of charred seafood and melting garlic butter wafted through the restaurant. It was the sign that dinner was going to be amazing. There is nothing better than heightened senses when eating out and when you can identify something so delicious as garlic and gar grilling you have to admit it gets you excited.
Claypots Garlic prawns was served next, cooked whole these Queensland prawns were HUGE! They say that if these were taken off the menu there would be a riot at the door. I would probably be one of those rioters if it happened.
Delicious flavours of garlic and herbs had soaked into the shell of the prawns and theres nothing better afterwards than to grab fresh bread and soak up the butter sitting on the bottom of the pan. More of that please!
To follow was whole Chilli cram and mussels. An infusion of chilli and lemon had coated the crab and the meat was so delicate and tasty I am glad we got a whole one each otherwise there would have been a fight. With this dish you need to get in and get dirty. Grab those crab crackers and make sure you get every inch of the crab meat.
The whole fishes of Crispy skin Silver Dory with Sambal was truly one ugly fish but the flavours were strong and meat tender. Accompanied with potatoes and wilted greens the fish was not so ugly when you ate it. It did get you going back for more.
My favourite of the night was the Coral Trout coated with a sesame sot and ginger coating. Pretty on the plate and in the mouth.
This pleasant infused fish served with rice and asian greens
Simple flavours done well to such a succulent fish. Slightly sweet but the fish itself is a sweet type of sigh and one of my top picks in the fish world, it actually over takes the salmon placement.
Big sigh like these two tend to scare people. The questions that often come with it is can you remove the head - I don't eat fish with heads or how do you eat it.
The thing is that fish like this served in restaurants such as Claypots have been treaded so well with respect that neither of these questions should be asked.
The flesh falls off straight way causing no fuss to the fish that you need to flip over. As for the head the cheeks are where the flavour is best, you don't have to eat the eye if you don't want..... Did that just make you cringe?
Other things that may take your interest is there claypot dishes such as the Cajun style Flathead. Similar to a Gumbo the ingredients are all cooked in the same pot and served to your table.
A little easier to tackle if I have scared you off from the large fishes of the sea, which I really hope I haven't.
It's funny, a lot of us say they don't like seafood but somewhere or somehow I think we are just unsure. People play it safe when it comes to seafood and things like dishes that in your mind are to difficult to eat make you say I don't like it.
Seafood often is a sweet meat and the nature of destination and where it comes from changes the flavours completely. Whether it be from muddy, fresh or salt waters each individual fish and crustacean takes on a new form.
Dining in places such as Claypots can help you fins the seafood you like. They know the sources of where there produce has come from and the flavours it's suited with.
Claypots Seafood Bar
213 Barkly street