Fish Place

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  • 02 8958 0159
  • $$
Fish Place, Foveaux Street, Surry Hills. Under $30. GOOD FOOD photo: Marco Del Grande on 3rd. April, 2013
Wild tastes: Beware the poisson sauvage! Photo: Marco Del Grande MDG

Joanna Savill

Beware the poisson sauvage! There's a whole wall of them in a Surry Hills laneway. Look hard as you head down Foveaux Street and you might spy a series of fanciful repro silver panels painted Warhol-like across one side of a tiny building. They look like sardine cans, with metal rings, and labelled "poisson fume" and "poisson sauvage". Inside the building is the bluntly named Fish Place, where the poisson comes both smoked and wild, as well as fried, grilled, on lunchtime bagels, and generally, pretty damned fresh.

Owners Adam de Launay and his father, Steve, have done their fish thing before - at the cute little Smokehouse in Devonshire Street (now The Devonshire). Two years after moving on, they've moved in here. Out back is Steve's neat, little, red-door smoke house, and out front are his daily fish deliveries from mates up and down the coast and Adam's flair for service.

At first glance, it looks pretty much like the sandwich shop it always was. Squint a little more closely, though, and you'll notice the smoked salmon on your bagel is bright and sweetly smoked, not oily, dull or flabby, and fabulous with cream cheese, dill and a translucent crescent of red onion. It comes in a nifty eco-brown hamburger box, stamped carefully with the name Fish Place.

Fish Place, Foveaux Street, Surry Hills. Ocean trout with green pea mash. Under $30. GOOD FOOD photo: Marco Del Grande on 3rd. April, 2013
Go-to dish: Hot-smoked ocean trout with green pea mash. Photo: Marco Del Grande MDG

There's a beer-battered fish-and-chips menu and your grilled blue eye is clean and light, side salads - beetroot, mint and almonds or a walnutty slaw, perhaps - have a gentle sparkle, and a hot-smoked slab of ocean trout is flaky-juicy inside, salty-firm outside and rather terrific on a brilliant green pea mash.

So it's a lunchtime fish, salads and bagels shop and early-evening fish and chipper with only a few obvious choices, a series of salads in metal trays, "chippy cups" for $3.50 and a regular drinks fridge. You can grab a long-neck from the bottle-oh next door and retreat to the little octopus' garden out back; Adam will provide a couple of drinking glasses. It's a tiny courtyard full of quirky found objects, Huon salmon delivery boxes and a gleaming chimney stack for Steve's daily smoke-house sessions.

And that's the Fish Place. Not much more to add except Steve has a great touch with the smoker (years of practice) and Adam an equally apt touch with the shabby-chic styling (hence the cute sardine-tin-inspired mural on the side wall). Pop in for an early dinner. Have the smoked ocean trout on green pea mash. And watch out for the poisson sauvage.

Do ... try the smoked fish, one way or another.
Don't ... expect anything but a decent fishy feed.
Dish ... hot-smoked ocean trout on green pea mash.
Vibe ... sandwich shop with a certain je ne sais quoi.

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food under $30 is on sale now at selected newsagencies, bookshops and at The Sydney Morning Herald's online shop (thesmhshop.com.au).

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  • Prices - Fish and chips $10, smoked fish and sides $12.50.
  • Features - Cheap and cheerful, Outdoor seating
  • Owners - Adam de Launay, Steve de Launay
  • Opening Hours - Mon-Fri, 10am-8.30pm
  • Author - Joanna Savill

3 comments so far

  • Can someone who has been here plse give feedback? I want to go, but usually trust the punter more than the official reviewer!!

    Commenter
    Sean
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 10, 2013, 2:29PM
  • I have been watching this one with interest. I want to know what sort of fish they use in their std fish & chips takeaway. Used to love Mohr fish then they changed to from Flathead to Basa. Basa is a most underwhelming experience imho.

    Commenter
    Pescatorial
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 9:58AM
  • It was gemfish in the take away F&C the night we went. Very good too and the homemade tartare was impressive.

    Commenter
    a real gem
    Location
    Date and time
    April 30, 2013, 8:15PM

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