Once upon a time, oysters were abundant and cheap making them a common meal amongst the working class. Many years later, after increasing demand resulting in reduced stocks, oysters are now less common, not cheap, and somewhat a delicacy.
For many, many years Kailis Brothers has been providing West Australians with fresh seafood at its fish market. Whilst Kailis Brothers Fish Market has become renowned for a huge selection of fresh seafood, Kailis Brothers' Fish Cafe (which sits in the same building as the fish market) has become renown in its own right (voted Australia's best seafood restaurant in the 2010 National Seafood Awards) as a high quality seafood restaurant bolstered by direct supply of fresh seafood from the fish market.
The menu at Kailis is unsurprisingly dominated with seafood. No steaks, chicken or other meats in sight. However, there’s still a good selection available from seafood platters, to seafood pastas, deep fried goodies such as calamari, fish burgers, choose-your-own-fish from the fish market and they cook it for you, and of course – oysters.
Complementing Kailis' seafood menu, is an extensive drinks menu offering everything from wine by the bottle (including some nicely priced Grange) and glass, beer, spirits; to juices and milkshakes; and of course tea and coffee.
Grilled seafood platter for one with seasonal vegetables - $58
The grilled seafood platter came with "grilled snapper fillet, jumbo king prawns split and grilled with garlic butter, herb crusted scallops, grilled squid with 'latho lemano' dressing and char grilled octopus 'ala Grec'". It came served with aioli mayonnaise and a choice of salad, chips or seasonal vegetables.
Being a fish cafe attached to a fishmonger, you would expect Kailis to know how to cook seafood perfectly. The fish was tender and juicy (perhaps a tad overcooked for my liking), the seasoned octopus and squid/calamari were tender and in no way chewy, and the prawns were cooked just right. Finally, we asked if we could change the scallops for oysters and they had no problem with that. The oysters were as fresh as the oysters you get from next door in the fish market.
The seasonings in each of the dishes were all done lightly, with the octopus' savoury marinade with generous olive oil having the strongest 'added' flavour.
Seasonal vegetables accompanying the seafood platter
Overall, I was impressed with the way the whole seafood platter was done with the seafood all seeming as fresh as from the shop joined to the cafe. Enhancing the quality seafood, good moderated seasoning was used to complement the aioli, and the seafood was cooked excellently - no overcooking, no dryness, and no chewiness.
Herb & garlic crusted scallops with fresh chilli - $34.50 (8 pieces)
These scallops were served in shell and grilled with a herb and garlic crust, along with some chilli. The crust had a light but distinct crunchiness along with the herb garlic and a light cheese taste to it. The scallop itself was cooked a little rare. All up, the scallop packed a lot of flavour from the crust that made this dish delicious.
Lobster mornay with Blue Cow 3 cheese gratin & served with sauteed asparagus - $59.50 (whole lobster)
The lobster, with the meat cut into chunks and mixed with mornay sauce before being reinserted into the lobster, was cooked moist and nearly drenched with creamy and cheesy mornay. The grilled top added a nice brown layer on top, and overall I thought this was a very good lobster mornay.
Bowl of chips - $7.90
The chips were thick cut chips, though seemed pretty ordinary - the chips were not really crunchy at all and seemed like stock standard chips.
The tiramisu had layers of coffee and alcohol soaked biscuits surrounded by large amounts of mascarpone. The biscuits and mascarpone had good flavours including the nice coffee and light alcohol kick that goes into a tiramisu but the biscuit levels were of various textures. The bottom layers were soft and deliciously melted in the mouth, whist the middle and upper levels were a bit more hard (almost crunchy). Though a bit inconsistent and the harder levels being a bit disappointing, I am told they usually make great tiramisu so perhaps this is a once off batch.
Chocolate bread and butter pudding - $12.50
The richness of bread and butter pudding, add chocolate, and dress it with sweet custard and icing.
This bread and butter pudding sounded decadent but was actually a good 'moderate' example that was still a sweet and filling dessert. The chocolate wasn't overdone, and the combined sweetness of the pudding with added sultanas and the sweet custard seemed to blend into one rich, moist and almost heavy dessert.
Affogato with Frangelico
Though I didn't try this, I am told that this was a great affogato. A generous serve of creamy vanilla ice cream was served with a shot of espresso and a shot of frangelico to make this dessert with a kick.
We liked: that the seafood seemed fresh from the adjoining fresh fish market; the variety of seafood available as meals; one of the better places in terms of well cooked seafood; service experience is mostly very friendly and very good.
We didn’t like: There isn’t much but seafood on the menu – but if you don’t eat seafood, why are you here?
Others points to note: You can buy fish from the adjoining fish market and get them to cook it (at a cost); licensed; best to book on busy nights.
Kailis Brothers Fish Cafe
101 Oxford Street
Leederville WA 6007
(08) 9443 6300
Breakfast, lunch and dinner - 7 days a week