Jac had been craving oysters and seafood for some time, and so to celebrate her birthday last month, Jac, Juji, Jay and I went to Kailis Brothers Fish Cafe in Leederville for a seafood dinner.
The restaurant was busy and well-staffed. There was a mouthwatering aroma of garlic in the air, and glorious sights all around for a glutton to ogle, including a whole grilled flounder delivered with a flourish to a very excited diner.
Since I’m not an oyster fan, the Js shared a dozen oysters natural (AU$29.50 or AU$16.90 for six) served with red wine vinaigrette.
The oysters had noticeably sharply broken shells that required careful handling to avoid piercing the fingertips. Thankfully, the oysters within were plump and enjoyed by the three oyster lovers at the table.
We also ordered herb and garlic bread (AU$6.90 per serve), which was thick-cut, chewy and buttery.
Juji and I shared the blue crab croquettes with spice island dressing (AU$16.90 4 pcs, or AU$33.50 8 pcs).
I love the contrast of textures you get in a croquette – crispy golden breadcrumbs on the outside, soft delicious filling on the inside. They were perfect little savoury bites of creamy crab with just a hint of chilli.
For main course, we decided to order two seafood platters (each serving two people) and share them between the four of us. On the grilled seafood platter (AU$58 per person): grilled snapper fillets, herb-crusted scallops, grilled baby squid rings with “latho lemano” dressing, jumbo king prawns split and grilled with garlic butter, Greek-style chargrilled octopus, chips and aioli. The grilled snapper and baby squid were so beautifully tender. The prawns were wonderfully large, sweet and buttery. No rubbery or overcooked seafood in sight – as you’d expect in a seafood restaurant, everything was perfectly cooked.
The great Aussie seafood platter (AU$48 per person) included herb crumbed snapper, crumbed prawn cutlets, oysters kilpatrick and crispy fried calamari, served with chips and tartare sauce. The oysters (yes, more oysters!) were generously garnished with bacon. The crumbed prawn cutlets were crunchy on the outside with bursty prawn on the inside, far superior to the typical frozen prawn cutlets you can buy (and often find in the fisherman’s basket at your local fish and chippie).
I loved the creamy chunky tartare sauce. I’m always impressed when a restaurant makes its own sauces. Seems like a no-brainer, but so many places take the so-called easy way out and serve commercially produced pre-made sauces. We find that a lot with the hollandaise sauce you get on eggs Benedict.
We also shared a garden salad – cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and mixed lettuce with a light vinaigrette.
We enjoyed our seafood feast and had a great time. The service was efficient and friendly. Drink service was great – our water was topped up regularly and it was easy to order more drinks (as it should be, but often isn’t). Our main dishes were cleared promptly and the dessert menu offered. Sadly, we were much too full to fit another bite in, tempted as we were.
Kailis Brothers Fish Cafe
101 Oxford Street, Leederville
Telephone: (08) 9443 6300
Open 7 am to late, 7 days a week
You can purchase seafood from the Kailis fish and seafood market right next door and get the chefs to cook it for you.
Kailis fish and seafood market is an institution in Perth, a family business that opens extended hours to meet Perth’s voracious appetite for seafood at Easter (open Good Friday and Easter long weekend) and at Christmas – open for 36 hours non-stop from 7am 23rd December to 7pm on Christmas eve.