For a long time, fish‘n’chip shops in Sydney followed the same formula: grilled or battered fish, a couple of burgers (probably with beetroot or pineapple) and deep-fried everything else. But that template has changed, thanks to fancy spots including Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery and Fich at Petersham, opened by Bennelong alum Jose Silva in 2018.
Here, Silva (who’s also behind Sweet Belem and Bibo) combines the elements of a classic takeaway joint with a more upmarket seafood restaurant, and executes the offering with sustainable Australian and New Zealand produce. It's a simple schtick – but it’s one that top Sydney chefs including Applejack’s Pat Friesen, Kiln’s Mitch Orr and Love, Tilly Group’s Scott McComas-Williams have all praised.
Located just up from the train station, the space is split into two sections. On one side there’s a simple counter, a glass display for salads and one of those big black menus advertising the day’s catch. The menu is straightforward, and includes deluxe versions of all the fish‘n’chip shop classics plus a few extras, perhaps a southern fried ling burger, an atlantic salmon poke bowl, and the addictive “fich” popcorn: bite-size morsels of fried ling coated in a sweet-spicy sriracha and maple sauce.
The other half of the equation is the restaurant, where you’ll find most of the same items plus a few cheffier ones. Think Harvey Bay scallops with seaweed butter and egg noodles, an extended range of sides, and seafood platters to share. Thanks to the light-timber furniture and clean white walls (the exception being the huge fish mural), the space suggests you might be dining somewhere coastal. But this is very much the concrete jungle of Sydney's inner west – which only adds to the intrigue.
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