The local fish shop is back

Review by Mike O’Connor

Friday, when I was a very small child, was payday, and payday way back then meant that when Dad got off the tram on his way home from work, he’d stop at the fish and chip shop and buy dinner.

His arrival at our front door was heralded by the aroma of hot, freshly battered fish, potato scallops and chips wrapped in newspaper.

It was the culinary highlight of the week for my siblings and I and we would fall upon the steaming, greasy feast like wolves. I can still smell it now and remember the crunch as I bit into the crust of a deep-fried potato scallop, the oil dribbling down my chin wiped away with the back of my hand.

My love of fish and chips has stayed with me over the decades. I wouldn’t cross the street for a Big Mac or a bucket of Kentucky fried but point me in the direction of a decent fish and chip shop and all is well with the world.

There was a time when every suburban shopping centre no matter how modest boasted a fish shop. The advent of fast food chains wiped out many of them but hopefully the opening of New Farm Seafood in Merthyr Village heralds their renaissance.

It was busy on the weekday night we visited, the outside tables all occupied, an indication that I’m not the only one who has missed a local seafood outlet.

We’ve eased off on our restaurant outings recently, having tired of paying inflated prices for underwhelming dining experiences, so it was refreshing to see a menu with reasonable prices.

I had a Moreton Bay bug roll and grilled blue eye trevalla and my wife had the mud crab cake special and a whole Western Australian octopus tentacle with a fava and balsamic glaze and we shared a witloaf salad.

I was tempted by the house made potato scallops but they will wait for another day. It was a truly enjoyable meal – fresh, simple and flavoursome and with a bottle of the cheapest wine on the list, a $40 bottle of soave, the bill came to $140.

It also does takeaway and boasts a large selection of fresh fish.

The local fish shop is back. It’s far cry from Mick the Greek’s at Holland Park where dad went on a Friday night and that’s probably a good thing. Give it a go.

Simple and flavoursome, a renaissance of local seafood.

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