Earlier this year, renowned fish-focused chef and cookbook author (and James Beard Award winner) Josh Niland and his partner Julie Niland announced their latest venture: Charcoal Fish, a hybrid of suburban charcoal-chicken shops and fish’n’chipperies.
“So many Australian families, ours included, on a near-weekly basis enjoy the convenience of a healthy meal of grilled chicken and salad. And yet, this same simple luxury does not extend to fish,” they said in a statement at the time.
Originally slated to open in late June, Charcoal Fish is finally ready to open next week, for only takeaway during lockdown.
The menu mostly revolves around Aquna Murray cod from Griffith, NSW, cooked multiple ways. It’ll be battered and fried a la fish’n’chips and served with yoghurt tartare and pickles; the wings will be barbequed and served with a tamarind hot sauce; a cod cooked over the rotisserie will be piled in a roll with gravy, skin and stuffing; and you can get a fillet barbequed, too.
Family packs will include whole, half and quarter butterflied cod fillets, all served with pickles, baps and chips; and yellowfin tuna features in a cheeseburger with pickles, mustard and cheddar. The side salads and charcoal vegetables will change with the seasons. Overall, the menu uses about 95 per cent of the full potential of a Murray cod.
“Fish always carries a high level of expectation due to its price point. The generation before me grew up in an era where fish had always been relatively cheap and lesser celebrated,” Niland said in his earlier statement. “We are setting out to elevate the standards of fish and how we cook, prepare and store our fish, but we are also trying to create a fish shop that the next generation can walk into with their families. A fish shop where the meal exceeds all expectations while remaining accessible.”
Charcoal Fish is a licensed venue, and the full drinks list will be available to takeaway. There are cocktails designed by Matt Whiley of groundbreaking bar Re–, including the exclusive Charcoal Fish Old Fashioned and Saint Peter Martini. Beers and ciders are from NSW, with the exception of Barossa Cider Co’s Squashed Cloudy Cider; wines are all Australian; and non-alcoholic bevs include Simon Says Juice, Yumbo Lemonade and Heaps Normal Quiet XPA.
When restrictions lift, Charcoal Fish will have both indoor and outdoor seating for around 26 people.