Chef and restaurant owner David Wright isn’t one to mess around with the classics. After working at Paddington institution Buon Ricordo for 14 years – eight as head chef – then taking it over in 2018, he hardly changed a thing. Especially not the truffled-egg fettuccine. So, when it came to opening a second, more casual eatery, he decided on another classic: fish and chips. Besides, the precedent was set.

“This place has been [doing] fish and chips for probably 25 years,” Wright, who co-owns both venues with his partner, chef Rosalba Bertocci, tells Broadsheet. The new spot hugs a sunny corner just a few doors down from Buon Ricordo. “When it came up, it felt right. [A second venue] was something we’d been wanting to do for a long time.”

Wright brought Buon Ricordo’s sous-chef, Mitch Chee Quee, up the road too – and made him head chef. “We’re sticking to the classics,” Chee Quee says. “It’s a very selfish menu on our part, because we just put on everything we’d want to eat in a place like this.”

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At the heart of the menu are generous servings of local fish – ling, salmon, swordfish, snapper and flathead – cooked how you like: grilled or delicately battered and fried. A pile of crispy, golden-brown chips can be ordered in addition. There are also two simple but beautifully composed carby options. The Paddington Fish Burger stars battered ling lathered in house-made tartare, while the prawn roll delivers a classic parcel of juicy crustaceans coated in house-made Marie Rose (mayonnaise, Tabasco and lemon juice) on a crusty white roll. In both, iceberg lettuce brings a fresh crunch.

Share plates delve into posher territory than your standard chippie. Mussels swim in a rich tomato sauce, fragrant with garlic and white wine. A crunchy, paper-wrapped serve of salt-and-pepper calamari is topped with fresh herbs and chilli. School prawns from the Clarence River are fried, then tossed in sweet-chilli ketchup.

Paddington Fish & Chips is fully licensed – and it’s making the most of it, with three slushie machines churning house-made Sicilian granitas. There’s lemon, strawberry and peach to choose from, spiked with sparkling wine or tequila. Alternatively, choose a drop from the wine list put together by Nick Caraturo, Buon Ricordo’s sommelier of more than 20 years.

Wright and Bertocci have created a fresh, breezy feel, with hanging plants, wicker chairs and a coastal palette of sea greens and whites. There’s seating inside and out, while wide windows let the afternoon sun in. “We’re not reinventing the wheel,” says Wright. “It’s just a nice, fun spot – and such a beautiful corner.”

Paddington Fish & Chips
110 Boundary Street, Paddington

Hours:
Wed to Sun midday–9pm

paddingtonfishandchips.com.au
@paddington_fish_and_chips