A sea of oysters and free flowing booze kept the winter chill at bay at PJ O’Brien’s OysterFeast. This annual event featured two hours of all-you-can-eat oysters. My plus one and I readied our lemon wedges and bravely rose to the challenge. In between the freshly shucked Coffin Bay and Sydney Rock oysters, we were tempted with a variety of hot dishes. The classic Kilpatrick made several rounds (hello bacon), along with versions deep fried and baptised in cream. We also kept an eye out for the servers carrying steamer baskets with our favourite soy, ginger, and chilli sauce.
The shellfish celebration gave me the opportunity to ponder a culinary question: ‘Are oysters the cheese of the seafood world?” I have yet to find a drink that they can’t match. Dunk one in a Bloody Mary shot, sprinkle them with whisky, or pair alongside a stout or a sparkling. These beautiful bivalves go with everything. Happily, we were able to test out every one of these combinations at PJ O’Brien’s, plus add in pinot noir and sauvignon blanc for good measure.
The Coffin Bay Gazander Oysters earned a special shout-out for the evening. We managed to score a mini-tutorial from owner Steve Thomson. His tips on shell consistency and meat quality were backed up with a taste demonstration that proved he is truly a man that knows good oysters. The taste of this simple, fresh, high quality oyster still stands out in my mind. After downing a few pints, I also congratulated myself for balancing things out by consuming my weight in nutritious shellfish. Bring on the zinc and iron!
Jenny S is an event adventurer. She loves being the first to know about events in Melbourne and living the Plus Ones lifestyle.