Eating fish’n’chips is like an entree into summer. You know Christmas is around the corner when you’re hoeing into a box of crisp, battered fish and a mess of fried potatoes. Ideally, you’ve just exited a body of water, so it’s easy to justify a box of yellow, fried food after all that splashing around. Same goes for an accompanying can of soft drink or refreshing ale. This is salty business, after all. Read on for some of the best fish’n’chips around, as chosen by some of our city’s top chefs.
O Tama Carey, Lankan Filling Station
“I feel like fish’n’chips is best eaten on the beach watching the sunset. Alas, this isn’t possible in Sydney [the beaches don’t face west]. However, you can do the beach part. My favourite is Bottom of the Harbour at Balmoral Beach. I tend to do the grilled fish with chips, tartare sauce and their Greek salad. It makes me happy.”
Simon Zalloua, Jimmy’s Falafel
“The Collaroy is such a great summer venue, I often find myself heading north on my day off for a lazy swim and a quick takeaway bite. The fish used is sustainable gurnard, the beer batter is always crispy and so are the fries. A squeeze of lemon is all that’s needed. There’s always a post-fish’n’chips swim as well, so it’s a great day off. Perfect spot.”
Mitch Orr, Pilu
“The only time I really eat fish’n’chips is after a swim in the ocean. If I’m splashing around off Flat Rock I’ll go back up the hill to Bondi’s Best. If I’m at Bronte, I usually can’t help myself and I’ll get some calamari rings and chips across the road [Bronte Fish & Chips & Burgers]. I wouldn’t say they’re the best, but they hit that sweet spot of nostalgia; coupled with the sun and sea, it’s not bad. The only time I go out of my way is to head to Fich at Petersham. My young padawan Manny knows what he’s doing there. It’s always worth visiting.”
Nadine Ingram, Flour and Stone
“My favourite is Kiwi Style Fish & Chips on Botany Road, Mascot. The fish is superbly crisp and light. They have this fabulous silicone-like paper they wrap the fish in that retains its crispness. We’ve picked up fish’n’chips, driven home and after 20 minutes the fish is still steaming hot inside – to the point where it burns your tongue and it’s still crispy. I can’t rave about it enough. There isn’t any posh tartare or anything, just good old-fashioned fish’n’chips.”
Toby Wilson, Ricos Tacos
“My go-to is Fich at Petersham. Great joint. Fich popcorn is the standout for me – they’re basically like little fish nuggets that are fried and tossed through this sticky maple sriracha. They’re spicy, sweet, sticky and crunchy – such a good dish. But everything else, including the desserts, is so good. Love it.”
Michael Rantissi, Kepos Street Kitchen
“The Boatshed – located right on the beach at La Perouse, on the northern headland of Botany Bay – is definitely worth a visit. You feel like you could be overseas. You can dine in but also get takeaway, which is what we do. La Perouse can get quite busy, so once you have your order, go and sit on a patch of grass on the headland. It’s a generous portion of crispy fish’n’chips. Once you’ve finished, you’ll need to work it off with a walk around to Bare Island. For an out-of-town option, the potato scallops from Aussie Bob’s Fish & Chips, in Shoal Bay, are like no other.”
Nigel Ward, Uccello
“The Boathouse in Balmoral is the best place in Sydney to enjoy beer-battered fish’n’chips in summer. Sitting on that back deck with the sparkling water all around, and the sound of kids playing and splashing in the water is magical.”
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