For too long Adelaide’s fish’n’chip shops have stuck to the same formula. Then came Seasalt, Kuti Shack and Pearl Aldinga. But Angler, a new spot in the Adelaide Hills, might be the most ambitious fish and chipper yet.
The seafood shop opened on Stirling’s main street in January. Owners Amanda Prance and head chef Sam Prance-Smith (Amanda’s nephew) were spurred by a lack of quality seafood options beyond the coast. Their menu features classics such as chip butties; scallop pies; and crumbed, grilled and beer-battered King George whiting and Coorong mullet alongside smoked sashimi tasting plates; seafood sausages (smoked then grilled on the woodfire); fried prawn dumplings; and snook red curry.
All of the fish are dry-aged, a process that takes anywhere from three days to three weeks, depending on the species.
“With dry-ageing, you’re removing as much of the water content as possible,” says Prance-Smith, who trained under Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in the UK. “Once it loses its water content, its oils come out, which prolongs and enhances the flavour. The amino acids turn to glutamine [and] the glutamine turns into umami, which is that flavour you want more of.”
The chef’s 17-year culinary career includes stints at Star of Greece in Port Willunga and Attica and Cutler & Co in Melbourne. His years working in high-end kitchens opened his eyes to the ongoing ethical and sustainability issues in the seafood industry.
“There’s over 4000 to 5000 species in our waters, but wholesalers get the same seven fish, so [fishers] catch all this other stuff but the market in South Australia doesn’t want to buy it,” says Prance.
Angler is sourcing its produce direct from local fishers through Fair Fish SA, which supplies more sustainable species such as carp and blue weed whiting, alongside the usual suspects such as garfish, barramundi and kingfish. (Prance-Smith recently experimented with “carp bacon”, which he dry-ages, smokes and then cooks on the woodfired grill.) Waste is minimised by using parts that would otherwise be discarded – prawn shells go in the stock used in a Spencer Gulf prawn and carrot soup, and fish scales are turned into crisps. The shop is also accredited by sustainable seafood guide Goodfish.
The petite space is geared towards takeaway, but there are a handful of stools and a bar-top overlooking the street for those who want to dine in.
Shop 5/11 Mount Barker Rd, Stirling
Wed to Sat 9.30am–8pm