There’s a collection of cookbooks on display in Ocean Made, which includes Greek by George Calombaris and Neil Perry’s Simply Good Food. The two chefs are some of the fishmonger’s biggest clients. As are Scott Pickett (ESP, Estelle Bistro), Shane Delia (Maha), Ben Shewry (Attica) and The Lucas Group (Chin Chin).
George Lucas and John Christopoulos launched Ocean Made in 1999. It now operates out of three adjacent factories in the backstreets of Collingwood where all the seafood is processed and packaged on-site. Its hard-to-find retail space sells up to 15 tonnes of fish every week, plus mussels, crabs, shellfish and frozen produce.
The low ceiling and walls clad in plywood make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a cabin in Alaska’s far north – albeit a minimalist, designer one. There’s a large display cabinet filled with fillets of John Dory, yellowfin tuna and cooked Queensland spanner-crab meat.
Most of Ocean Made’s seafood is bought directly from farms. However, Lucas goes to the fish market in Kensington every morning to source all the wild-caught fish. Some of the frozen produce is imported, such as prawns and scallops.
Their retail space is fully stocked for walk-ins. The advantage of having an enormous preparation factory out the back means as a customer, asking for something bigger is never out of the question. While the display cabinet is filled with standard cuts, fish can also be cut, portioned and filleted fresh to order.