Broome sundown culinary cruise: The big Aussie oysters the place the meat is as necessary because the pearls


Everyone is ready expectantly  as Coel Feazey brings his knife to the lip of an oyster the scale of a dinner plate. Sensing the anticipation within the air, the skipper theatrically performs up for the highlight.

“With a bit of luck, we’ve got a pearl in one of these. We don’t always get one,” he says.

Coel rapidly twists the knife and yanks again the shell, then holds out the oyster to a refrain of hushed gasps. Couched inside is the milky glow of a recent pearl. Coel is beaming like a proud dad or mum.

It’s the second we might all been ready for, and one which had arrived in a blur of bubbles. Instead of departing from Broome’s most important port, this sundown culinary cruise with Broome Cruises as an alternative kicked off at close by Gantheaume Beach, the place we clambered into a young earlier than zipping away to satisfy our 69-foot triple-deck pleasure boat, The Crusader III. Soon the anchor was up, the glowing was flowing (very) freely, and we’re crusing on the Indian Ocean in the direction of Cygnet Bay Pearl Farms, one of many oldest pearl farms in Australia, searching for the valuable gemstone.

“When pearlers first started farming pearls they were working up in the rivers and mangroves of the Kimberley, but they realised over time that cleaner water delivers better quality pearls,” explains information Chloe Paskov.

Broome famously made its fortune pearling within the twentieth Century, with British captains using Aboriginal and east Asian divers to do the perilous work of fetching pearls from the deep. At one level Broome provided 80 per cent of the world’s Mother of Pearl, which was used to style buttons, handles and cutlery. By the Nineteen Fifties, Mother of Pearl fell into decline as plastic grew to become extra widespread, however Chloe tells me the fabric remains to be extensively utilized in a variety of on a regular basis merchandise – including lustre to eye shadows and automobile paints and creating the iridescent insignias on bank cards.

Compared to the oyster’s vibrant shell and pearl, it is meat is a much less well-known however extremely prized product. Only small portions of the oyster’s adductor muscle, which helps the bivalve to open and shut because it filters water, are harvested annually. Australian pearl meat can promote for as excessive as $200 per kilogram to high-end eating places scattered throughout Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai, the place it’s served blanched.

But at this time we’re making an attempt it recent from the shell. Coel slices up the oyster and provides me a squishy morsel. It tastes just like the lacking hyperlink between abalone and scallop, with a fragile if starchy texture.

“It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour, but it takes on flavour very well,” says onboard chef Will Peregrine, who makes use of pearl meat within the cruise’s seven-course degustation menu. According to Will, the problem is to champion the meat with out overpowering it, which is why his model floats out of the kitchen on an oyster shell, evenly cured in a zesty ceviche topped with a whack of chilli and fried shallots.

With the pearl farm behind us and the deck cleared to make manner for white linen lined eating tables, the cruise again to Broome turns into an open-air restaurant. Plates of seared Abrolhos Island scallops come and go, as does the moreish black truffle butter, and Will is cooking our barramundi on the deck barbecue. A crew member is topping up my glass when a closing awed gasp makes me flip in time to catch the solar – now a searing pink pearl on the horizon – because it slips into the ocean.



Broome Cruises runs its “Sunset, Seafood and Pearling Cruise” from May to September. The $379 all-inclusive package deal consists of coach transfers, a four-hour cruise with pearl harvesting and tasting expertise, and a seven-course menu with limitless premium drinks, together with wines from the Margaret River area and native beers from Spinifex and Matsos. There is a complimentary non-compulsory tour the following day to see the harvested pearl being graded at Cygnet Bay’s showroom in Broome. See


A self-contained villa with non-public swimming pool at Pearle of Cable Beach makes for a suitably lustrous keep. The Pearle’s Breakfast Café provides a breakfast buffet by the resort’s communal infinity pool, in addition to room-service. From $399 per night time, consists of continental breakfast. See


Justin Meneguzzi was a visitor of Tourism Australia and Western Australia.