What makes ours different?
In short, our values.
We shun the pre-shucked trade with oysters tasting of Warragamba Dam. And we care enough to hand pack our range, just like the French.
Moonlight Flat Oysters™ presents a range of trademarked brands driven by one simple philosophy: offer ‘well-brought up’ oysters, hand chosen , delivered by the fastest farm-direct logistics.
The key to our artisanal approach is our focus on finishing methods, termed affinage in the French industry.
Just like premium wines and cheeses, oysters reflect their context of finish and provenance with a unique flavour profile.
Kisses were launched in 2011 as a specific brand for Valentine’s Day but subsequently found support from an emerging demographic identified in our masterclass workshops.
Many are surprised that such a compact shell size can pack a powerful flavour punch in the order of the larger brands in the Moonlight Flat Oysters portfolio. They are creatively managed on the lease to optimise texture and succulent creamy flesh while restricting shell size. They are the quick-fix of a salty morsel for the business suit crowd, or for after-work drinks. Nominated by Shannon Bennett and Joe Grabc as entries for the delicious. magazine Awards, they were awarded State Winner in the seafood produce section. A sure sign of success is that they now have imitators around the country. However no one can match the plate consistency we provide to the best chefs.
Clair de Lune Bouton®
These oysters are grown out under carefully controlled conditions. They begin life as wild caught single seed, hand selected for special finish. Caged within plastic trays on the area of the lease most exposed to Southern Ocean influence, they are buffeted by ocean swell and choppy wind conditions. Growth goes into an exquisite flavour instead of large shell growth. The priority here is to achieve strict consistency in all aspects of the finish, thus site placement is closely managed.
Moonlight Flat Angasi
This is the oyster lover’s oyster. Recent DNA research reports that our native flat oyster, ostrea angasi, is almost identical to the famous French belon oyster, ostrea edulis, and our personal observation confirms this. Surprisingly the angasi is closer to the belon than to the New Zealand bluff oyster, tiostrea chilensis.
The angasi is quite demanding to cultivate and requires delicate handling and sound logistics. We have borrowed from French farm finishing practices to ensure that our angasi are a world class product. And by careful management we have successfully shipped these all year round for the past five years. Flesh is usually a dull mushroom pinky brown with a chalky white in winter. They taste a little smoky, earthy, like duck compared with chicken.
Moonlight en Surface®
This new brand refers to hand-selected rock product finished under a unique flotation process. The oysters track the tide up and down on the top of the water column. Under this process the taste structure takes on softer, cleaner more refined nuances in which the mineral, metallic elements are largely excluded. Japanese palates describe the finish as less bitter. This method is also greatly beneficial for the estuary environment, replacing tonnes of traditional timber structures with just a few anchor poles. Environmental benefits of sea grass regeneration, estuary desiltation and improved water flow soon become apparent.
Our goal was simply to create the finest rock oyster possible by adapting methods from the oysterculture practices of southern France which produce ‘fines de claire’. The name pays tribute to their work. The key to this quality lies wholly in the finishing process, in this case managing stock density over time. The result is a flesh with a distinctive ‘crunch’ bearing the signature flavour of the micro-environment. Proof that oysters can indeed be influenced.
The Rusty Wire®
Recently year one of our executive chef customers asked us a very simple question, “How do you know when an oyster is ready for harvest.?”
Straight off the top of the head came the reply, “Well one of the quickest signs is the little piece of bent wire that holds the lid of the tray on. It’s usually turned rusty, that’s a good sign…”
We got to thinking that we should offer a new label, The Rusty Wire, which in other words may be thought of as “best on the day”. It could be the Moonlight angasi, it could be the Clair de Lune Boutons, it could be the Moonlight en Surface or some one-off gem that doesn’t fit neatly into our regular portfolio brands. Best to give it the catch-all, Rusty Wire. (And, it’s usually the one found in our own kitchen!).
Great for gift boxes, boardroom luncheons, private birthday parties, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day,…. you get the picture. Give us plenty of notice though, so we can go check the rust.