The people that live on and around Brighton Road in Scarborough, it would seem, eat and drink very well. Among the establishments that call the area home: buzzing patisserie Harvest Boulangerie, boutique butcher Jeremy’s on Brighton, and Brighton Road Food Market, a well-stocked health food store. (And that’s before you consider the newly opened Scandinavian-themed small bar Skol is around the corner).
With last week’s opening of Stone Jetty, locals have even more reason to love their ‘hood.
Moving into the old Sweetlips site, Stone Jetty is the kind of boutique fish shop every suburb would like to call its own. The Younger family, the business’s owners, are a long-time crayfish and wet-line fishing family that grew up in the Abrolhos Islands. (The shop is named after the stone jetty on Big Rat Island, the island that the Youngers lived on). Tom Younger and his father Jimmy Younger are hands-on in the business’s day-to-day, Jimmy’s wife Bronte Younger is responsible for the space’s crisp, nautical look, and daughter Hannah Arnold looks after the store’s social media. The Youngers grew up eating West Australian seafood their whole lives and want to get more people doing the same.
“We’re trying to make seafood more of a weeknight meal rather than just for special occasions, weekends or barbeques,” says Tom Younger, one of the owners of the store. “Cooking seafood isn’t as hard as people think.”
A vital component of this mission is Stone Jetty’s custom-build fish cabinet. In it, customers will find pristine West Australian fish and seafood, whole and filleted, cooked and raw. In addition to the seafood itself, there’s also a changing selection of marinades that customers can add to their seafood to speed up cooking time. One day it might be a confit garlic marinade, the next, customers could be amping up their squid rings and butterflied prawns with chimichurri or harissa.
The other side of Stone Jetty’s business model is its fish and chips: just don’t come expecting your typical suburban fish and chipper offering.
“We want to steer away from chicken burgers, beef burgers, cheese sausages and those sorts of things,” says Younger. “I don’t know where that comes into things. We just want to do the sort of fish and chips we like.”
At Stone Jetty, the fish-and-chips-we-like means the fish changes daily and will always be local. Guests will be able to pick from a handful of fish options and prices will change depending on what's going into the fryer.
“Seafood is as seasonal as any other ingredient: it changes day to day,” says Younger. “It’ll be a bit challenging to some people. They want familiarity and to be able to turn up and know how much something is going to be. Hopefully there’s enough people around that want to know they’re getting some of the freshest fish available. This won’t be for everyone, but that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be.”
The level of detail shown by chef Carlos Olivari – formerly of El Grotto – in the kitchen is a cut above your garden variety fish and chipper. Seafood is fried in an gluten-free batter that’s been fermented to produce an extra crisp crust. The chips (fluffy within, crunchy without) are hand-cut from Maris Piper potatoes. The airy tartare sauce in the (excellent) Exmouth prawn roll has wisely been made with yoghurt rather than mayo. Like the fish used in the fish and chips, the fish in the fish burgers changes daily, while daily specials include fried barramundi wings and seared swordfish fillet: a neat maritime twist on steak and chips. In future, Olivari hopes to install a Japanese hibachi charcoal grill in the kitchen, and introduce dinner services.
“We want to show people you can do more to seafood than just fry it,” he says.
115A Brighton Rd, Scarborough
(08) 9277 0927
Tue to Fri 9am–6pm
Sat & Sun 8am–2pm
Fish and chips only available: Tue to Sun 11am–2pm