Splash into Fishheads 

By Vivienne Pearson

Combining a community swimming pool, a bustling takeaway, and a high-quality restaurant all in one amazing beachside location is quite a feat.

It’s a feat that Fishheads has pulled off for 18 years (and counting).

Fishheads runs the Byron Bay Community Pool, a beachfront takeaway, and a seafood restaurant, which is located in the original bathers’ pavilion of the community-built pool on Main Beach. 

Fishheads utilises the freshest seafood sourced locally. ‘Ralph’s knowledge of seafood is unbelievable,’ says Mitchell Buckley, functions manager of Fishheads, speaking of owner, Ralph Mamone. 

Oysters are a huge part of the Fishheads menu, served natural, Kilpatrick, raspberry mignonette, or as a bloody Mary oyster shot. 

Mains include the most popular Ultimate Seafood Platter, a piled-up high collection of local Balmain bay bugs, local king prawns, salt-and-pepper squid, mussels, seared salmon, natural oysters and smoked salmon. 

Though it is close, the menu isn’t one hundred per cent seafood. Non-seafood eaters are unlikely to make Fishheads their restaurant of choice but can rest assured that, if they find themselves there with friends, they will find vegetarian options, like the Mediterranean spiced eggplant steak. 

Takeaway options have you covered when eating at the beach, or by the pool. So you can treat yourself while the little ones enjoy their swimming lessons; they are currently taking bookings for the 2018/19 season. The pool space is also available for functions in the evening, with catering by Fishheads.

After being in business for 18 years, it is perhaps not surprising to find out that Fishheads is a great supporter of our community. Over the years, close ties have been formed with all sorts of community groups. ‘Liberation Larder, the YAC, schools, schoolies and more,’ says Mitchell. ‘When we have the opportunity to support our community, we definitely step in.’ 

Fishheads’ reputation has gone far beyond our humble Shire. One of the Hairy Bikers, Si King, has put it on record that he can’t wait to get to our shores specifically to dine at Fishheads.

While Si King is there, he can check out the fabulous fish-inspired artwork on the walls. My favourite current work, by the local artist Potts, is a wall-sculpture of fish-shaped thongs. Fishheads donates profits from sale of the art to local charity.

Where to from here for Fishheads? More of the same, concludes Mitchell: ‘We will continue to support our community and cut up great fish!’

Fishheads, 1 Jonson St, Main Beach. Open 7.30am–late, seven days. Ph: 6680 7632.

Pictured top – Seafood platter for two 

Pictured centre – Original Fishheads building

Pictured bottom – Fishheads on an amazingly quiet day – supplied

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