Fich at Petersham
For a long time, fish-and-chip shops in Sydney followed the same formula: grilled or battered fish, a few burgers (some with beetroot or pineapple), a fish of the day and deep-fried everything else. But that template has changed, thanks to fancy fish and chipperies such as Paddington’s The Fish Butchery and Fich at Petersham, opened by two ex-Bennelong chefs in 2018.
The space is literally split in two. On one side there’s an austere counter, a glass display for salads and one of those big black menus with magnetised letters. On the other is the restaurant. The takeaway menu is simple. There are deluxe versions of all the fish-and-chip shop classics (with seafood supplied by Southern Fresh Seafood) plus a few extras, such as a crumbed bacalhau burger (dried and salted cod), poke, fish toast (like prawn toast but with added fish) and polenta chips with anchovy mayo.
You’ll find all the same things next door in the dining room, which has been designed by Basia Jerzyk Silva. Thanks to the light-timber furniture and almost bare walls (the exception being the huge fish mural on the far wall), it looks more like a trendy cafe – minus the copper piping and hanging plants.
The menu is predictably more elaborate on this side of the venue, too. What you’ve already seen from the takeout counter is joined by a skate schnitzel; a Filipino-inspired ceviche with kingfish, coconut, cucumber and pomelo; Grifter beers on tap and a short wine list focused on reasonably priced locals, but with a few intriguing foreigners and naturals thrown in.