Nori, kombu, wakame, kelp, sea lettuce, dulse – whatever you call it, there’s a strong chance your local fine-diner is using seaweed to create seriously tasty and creative dishes. Here are our favourite places to indulge in seaweed goodness.
Fast and fabulous, Gojima in Sydney’s Pyrmont dishes up juicy rice burgers wrapped in nori sheets. But it’s the shoestring fries, dusted with inimitable Gojima Umami salt that earns this establishment a seaweed gold-star.
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, NSW
Given its seafood focus, it’s no surprise that seaweed features on the Saint Peter menu. Chef Josh Niland uses kelp from Cronulla’s Oak Park beach to spruce up his delectable aged broadbill on the bone. The kelp is dried, then powdered, then whipped into butter (a concoction that Niland confirms is “so delicious!”). But that’s not the end product – the butter is used to make an emulsified sauce, seasoned with kelp vinegar, also made in house.
362 Oxford Street, Paddington, NSW; (02) 8937 2530
The Pot by Emma McCaskill
At this elegant neighbourhood haunt, chef Emma McCaskill scatters ocean greens throughout her dishes: she garnishes her inari with roasted nori and combines pickled seaweed with enoki mushrooms and toasted sesame for a succulent salad served alongside her trademark kingfish wings. Our favourite, though, is the thinly shaved and dried kombu which garnishes kingfish sashimi, finished with a scattering of nori salt.
160 King William Road, Hyde Park, South Australia; (08) 83732044
Adam Liston’s Japanese eatery is known for fire, smoke and char – flavours which combine beautifully with the richness of kelp oil in his current standout dish: burnt leek, smoked milk, sudachi and kelp oil.
17 Leigh Street, Adelaide, South Australia; (08) 8366 2224
Cho Cho San
Seaweed crisps may sound simple but at this modern izakaya in Sydney’s Potts Point, the stakes are raised with salt and vinegar seaweed crisps served with avocado dip. Fresh gamtae seaweed sheets are thinly coated in rice-flour batter, deep-fried, then seasoned with vinegar powder and kombu salt. The luscious avocado dip, with fresh shiso, shallots and crushed sesame, is the perfect complement.
73 Macleay Street, Potts Point, NSW; (02) 9331 6601
David Moyle’s cooking is feted by critics and punters alike – and his skewers ("sticks" as per the menu) are the crowd-pleasing favourites. The robust Otway mushrooms garnished with briny kelp are the pinnacle of the selection.
Upstairs, 44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria; (03) 9653 1611
House-made roasted kelp salt, seaweed butter served with bread, kelp brined octopus, pumpkin chips with kelp salt: at Shannon Bennett’s newest establishment, head chef Sam Homan is injecting seaweed across the menu. But it’s the seaweed fudge, which accompanies his yabby tart, that really makes our mouths really water.
430 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria; (03) 9691 3838
It’s almost hard to select between Andrew McConnells’ seaweed creations at Supernormal. But if we have to choose, it’ll be the whole flounder, served with burnt butter and wild watercress, perfectly finished with shaved kombu.
180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria; (03) 9650 8688
Chef Hayden McMillan has also recognised the power of this sea green: his signature Brussels sprouts, seaweed and labneh dish – one of the best vegetarian dishes in the country – is testament to seaweed’s ability to make vegetables shine.
60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Victoria; (03) 9448 8233
You’ll find seaweed regularly used in Duncan Welgemoed’s ever-evolving menu but one dish that keeps returning is raw kingfish served with fingerlime and norinade, a seaweed pesto made by toasting seaweed, then blitzing it with hot sweated shallots, vinegar, aged soy and olive oil.
4 East Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia; (08) 8223 3885
At one of Perth’s best dining venues, chef Jed Gerrard uses seaweed mostly for seasoning “to add a savoury umami flavour”. In spring, his menu often features locally foraged seaweed gathered off the rocks around the Perth beaches but, at any given time of year, there’s always a chilled seafood dish that comes dressed with salted kombu.
1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth, Western Australia; (08) 6168 7855
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