Shop RO6B, Watergardens Station Street, Taylors Lakes, Victoria 3038
|Opening hours||Open Daily 11.30am to 9.30pm (Friday until 10.30pm)|
|Features||Licensed, Gluten-free options, Cheap Eats|
|Prices||Cheap (mains under $20)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 8390 8231|
Fish and chip night isn't just fish and chips. It's an Australian neighbourhood tradition that represents family, weekends and small, local business in one neat, butcher's paper-wrapped package. But, as we've become more conscious about eating a pile of beige, battered, frozen then fried food, the classic fish and chipper is becoming more a sentimental notion, like a sprinkler on a distant lawn.
The Good Fish Co is the new-breed local fish and chipper. For a start, it doesn't only do takeaways, you can eat and drink in. There are no Chiko Roll or faded premiership team posters. Here, it's all gleaming white subway tiles, blue-painted timber chairs that scrape across a shiny concrete floor, and smart design touches, such as suspended industrial scales you'd find at the fish markets. It's bright and sleek, and it's at Watergardens Town Centre - an enormous block of shops, the modern-day answer to the suburban shopping strip.
Here, you're told what fish varieties there are and where they're caught. All the fish is fresh, not frozen, and Australian, with the house fish being blue grenadier. There's also gummy shark (flake), Atlantic salmon and barramundi. You can build a meal by ordering separates (pieces of fish, plus chips, plus a scallop ...), but the most popular way to order is by the pack.
The pack on most tables is the grenadier with chips, a Greek salad and dish of dill aioli. The batter around the fish is light and tempura-like. Turns out it's gluten-free (made from a mixture of flours, including rice flour). The chips are fat and golden and dusted with a herby house seasoning, and the salad is pert and fresh, and a welcome injection of colour. The pack that the women in the 2XU gear order is the one with the brown rice, Asian greens and chimichurri. You know their fish was grilled rather than fried, too.
There are the other things you find on the board at the fish and chip shop, but with a modern touch. Dimmies are South Melbourne Market dim sims. Calamari is soft and salt-and-pepper coated, served with Thai slaw. Burgers are on brioche buns and include a peri-peri chicken burger, and a potato-cake burger. (Remember making potato crisp sandwiches?) The closest you'd find to a Chiko Roll is a wrap: springy roti bread around fried fish and creamy slaw.
For dessert, frozen YOMG yoghurt (owned by the same company as Good Fish) comes by the 500ml tub. Or, there are warm jam doughnuts, which could inspire that other great Australian tradition of having a lie down after tea.
Do: See what deals are on offer; maybe a free kids' pack with every $20 you spend.
Dish: Fresh fish pack.
Vibe: Fish and chips meets Michelle Bridges.