Fish and chips is having a moment right now. The Singleton family’s Banter opened in an old Queenslander shop in Kangaroo Point in November. It was followed just last week by Ol’ School, the second restaurant from the team behind Hello Please. Both have shifted the yardstick for quality fish and chips in Brisbane.
Now comes South Bank’s Paper Fish. It’s the latest project from the Van Haandel Group, which is behind Stokehouse Q and a string of Melbourne eateries. Paper Fish started as a seasonal St Kilda fish and chip kiosk; this expansion north is the first in a bunch of proposed new outlets, and will run year-round.
“The concept worked well enough [in St Kilda] to begin expanding that brand,” co-project manager Trent Alexander says. “Our plans are for Noosa, Byron, possibly Bondi and Manly.
“There are some really good fish and chip stores in Brisbane, but they’re not on every corner like they are in Melbourne,” Alexander says. “Frank [Van Haandel]’s experience of the customer comfort and experience is a huge asset. Forty-five years in the industry doesn’t go unnoticed. He thinks about the customer first and foremost.”
The team has brought in Jon Contoleon, who has owned various fish and chipperies for over ten years, to head up the kitchen. He’s slinging a tight menu of classics alongside some more interesting twists.
Fish offerings include blue grenadier, Atlantic salmon and local barramundi. For something more, the kitchen will serve up fish and coconut-prawn tacos – which the Melbourne store sells by the “truckload”, Alexander says – kingfish wings and Japanese potato cakes. Fresh, daily-made salads and fruit granitas round out the menu.
Beer from Balter will continue in the Queensland store, as well as offerings from Peroni and a small selection of wines by the glass or bottle.
The fit-out is light and breezy with open bi-fold doors and heaps of outdoor seating options. Still, this is South Bank: “We want people to take their fish and chips and eat it in the parklands,” Alexander says.
Shop 7 / 180 Little Stanley Street, South Bank
Mon to Thu 11.30am–8pm
Fri to Sun 11–late