Chip and cheer­ful

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

Sea salts: Din­ers on the deck at the Fly­ing Fish Cafe at Port El­liot in South Aus­tralia await a de­li­cious serve of freshly caught fish and chips with a light, plain or peri peri bat­ter, or grilled or crumbed with var­i­ous sea­son­ings. The chil­dren will be clam­our­ing for tra­di­tional bat­tered snap­per or hake and hand­fuls of chips, but the Groper (plus Wife) of­fers a re­as­sur­ing range of high-qual­ity seafood al­ter­na­tives.

There are fresh or cooked oys­ters, sal­mon pat­ties and those ubiq­ui­tous crab sticks. Best pick is Groper’s large stuffed prawns with spinach mousse, sea­soned with pine nuts and gar­lic, then bat­tered and deep-fried. Pick out an en­tree of South­ern Ocean squid in hearty Ital­ian sauces and a se­lec­tion of sal­ads, and you can walk away with an en­tire din­ner party menu at this su­pe­rior lo­cal fish shop. (08) 9385 7384. Vic­to­ria Lau­rie Mohr Fish, Surry Hills, NSW: This tiny Devon­shire Street eatery in Syd­ney’s in­ner-east is not some­where to set­tle in for a long and leisurely fish sup­per. The for­mer butcher’s shop is set up for a quick turn­around: bar stools on which to perch, high steel-topped ta­bles, a no­book­ings pol­icy. But if you nab your­self a spot for lunch or din­ner (if there’s a queue you can wait at the pub next door), it’ll be worth a bit of dis­com­fort.

Mohr Fish has an ex­cel­lent se­lec­tion of fish — from dory and blue eye to sword­fish and perch, ac­cord­ing to avail­abil­ity — all sim­ply and ex­pertly cooked with ac­com­pa­ni­ments such as roasted pep­pers, tomato, olives and beans, or av­o­cado salsa and gratin pota­toes. If you fancy more than fish and chips, the en­trees list runs the gamut of de­li­cious prawn and fish dumplings in chilli soy sauce to gravlax, bouil­l­abaisse or cured sar­dines.

Dishes are af­ford­able — it’s BYO, too — and ser­vice is speedy. There may be no beach views, no sand tramped over the tiled floor­ing and not a surf­board in sight, but this city-based fish and chippy can hold its own with the best of them. www.mohrfish.com.au. Michelle Rowe

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