Best Fish & Chips in Australia
WE ARE HERE
We’ve seen more than a few posts and reviews online about the best Fish & Chips in Oz coming from Albany. While we’ve always been true to our local legends at Bill’s Fish & Chips, we had to be diplomatic and give Albany a chance to knock our socks off. All in the name of good research for you guys, of course.
Now don’t be fooled like Buddy from the Christmas movie Elf when he sees a coffee shop boasting ‘best coffee in the world’. Not every Fish & Chip shop that claims to be ‘the best’ or ‘#1’ has actually made the grade.
We did some homework and narrowed it down to 2 competitors. ‘Hooked on Middleton Beach’ and ‘Ocean and Paddock’. Hooked on Middleton Beach was awarded the Judges’ Choice State Award for WA’s best Fish & Chips, and also took out the National award for Australia’s Best Fish & Chips! Undercover judges rated shops on 5 criteria: Taste, Service, Choice, Information and Presentation. On the other hand, Ocean and Paddock, judged as best in the west using the same criteria, nabbed the top award from public votes.
First on the chopping block was Hooked. The shop was clean and neat, and the menu was simple Fish and Chips. When you do something so well, keeping it simple is all you need. We ordered some Pink Snapper caught that day, local sourced chips and homemade tartare sauce, and excitedly waited. Service was quick and friendly, with lots of information displayed to discover more about the shop and the fish they serve. Out came our meal, and tasting began. The fish was perfection. Melted in your mouth. And the homemade tartare sauce was a tangy tongue delight. The chips, well that’s a hard one to judge. Some like them soft, some like them crunchy, but these were somewhere in the middle. Perhaps perfect, but without that mixed basket of the hard and soggy chips you usually think of when you unravel that paper parcel of greasy goodness.
A couple of nights later, it was Ocean and Paddocks turn. The vibe here was totally different. While Hooked was super neat and fresh, Ocean and Paddock was a bit more punk. It was colourful and eclectic. Blackboards on the walls displayed a plethora of choice, far beyond your humble fish and chips. We ordered accordingly and grabbed some fresh Bronze Whaler, pulled pork loaded fries, and a deep fried Creme Egg for Cassie. The service from the group of young staff was stellar, not like what you may find at some KFC or McDonalds these days. Information about the fresh fish of the day hung on the wall, along with a collection of chalkboards for your reading and writing pleasures while you wait. Despite the bustle of customers, our order didn’t take long and we sat down to gorge ourselves. We are definitely not the professional undercover judges, and thus found some difficulties in our evaluations. See, we had ordered totally different fish at each shop. The price indicative of the superiority of snapper to shark. So the Bronze Whaler was well done, but was nothing on the amazing Pink Snapper from Hooked. The loaded fries and deep fried chocolate, however, were right on the money. Loaded with flavour and gooeyness. This was more of the typical Fish & Chip experience; messy fingers, and that greasy smear around your lips, from a meal thoroughly enjoyed.
So who was our winner!?
Unanimously we both declared, if tomorrow we were to return to one, it would be…
Ocean and Paddock.
The fish at Hooked really was delicious, but that sweaty salty fish & chip vibe was Ocean and Paddock all over. Maybe with some Snapper on our order next time, we could declare Ocean and Paddock our hands down, no ifs or buts, winner.
Our next blog will be from: WA's Southern National Parks
Until our next update - see you on / off the road 😉
Cassie and Micky