MY search for a top fish and chip shop just south of the river has never quite reached deep-fried nirvana.
There’s been cheap low-quality ones, expensive ones with tiny portions, a lot inbetween and some real horrors serving hake that smelled like Captain Nemo’s dunny.
Recently I stumbled upon Redfish Fish, Chips & Grill in Attadale, which contains the word fish twice in the title, just in case you forgot.
Part of a small group of shops just off Preston Point Road in the sleepy burbs, you probably wouldn’t know about it unless you’re a local.
I visited on a sort of nothing Tuesday night just before Easter. Dusk had just started to fall, street lights popped on, and it all looked a bit like the poster for The Exorcist.
Surprisingly there were a few folk eating in the alfresco and INXS was pumping out of the speakers inside.
This lively introduction was enhanced by a nice smile from the young girl behind the till and some hellos from the other staff. A warm and friendly welcome.
The interior reminded me of some of the chips shops down in Albany with weathered wooden boards on the wall, mimicking the hull of a boat, atmospheric lighting and a row of model ships on top of the counter.
It sounds a bit cheesy but it actually worked and created the illusion of being in one of those breezy seaside chippies on holiday.
The menu was impressive: there was a nice range of fish including battered or grilled shark, barramundi, snapper, flounder, King George Whiting and Albany Dhufish.
There was also a range of seafood tacos, deals if you were buying for a family or group, and specials including sambal squid (flower cut bass strait squid, confit garlic, cucumber, house made sambal belechan, roasted coconut rice) and whole Albany flounder with lemongrass and kaffir lime and roast autumn veg.
But the prices weren’t sky high and they did fish and chip packs for families, ticking a lot of boxes for a lot of different people.
I rarely quote the blurb from restaurant websites as it’s generally just marketing masturbation, but it’s worth noting that the man behind Redfish was a “top head chef” for 40 years in Perth, before opening the chippie in 2014 with the aim of providing good food at reasonable prices. He visits the market three times a week to buy the best whole fish he can.
He certainly nailed it with the grilled seafood platter ($34) which had a lovely medley of prawns, squid, scallops and fish.
Normally I steer away from this kind of dish from local chippies as the produce can be imported, frozen or worse.
No such worries here and I was especially impressed by the scallops which were perfectly seared and had that indulgent rich flavour. The juicy, flavoursome prawns were another highlight – plump and crammed with flavour.
Rounding things off were some tasty squid rings (no rubber bands here) and a nice piece of grilled fish.
The dish came with a portion of chips – crisp and not greasy – and a generous Greek-style salad with tomato, lettuce, cucumber, mint and red onion.
It was a great dish and up there with something you would get in a nice sit-in seafood restaurant.
My wife’s Goldband snapper ($21) was equally as good – two large pieces with crunchy golden batter and moist, soft flesh with that telltale almost-fluffy look.
“Delicious and some of the best snapper I’ve had from a chip shop,” she said.
Rounding things off were the kids fish and chips, which were really well priced at $10. Two decent pieces of fish each and a generous serve of chips went down well with Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles.
I was really impressed by Redfish – It lived up to its marketing spiel on the website and managed to serve up high quality food while keeping its prices under control.
RedFish Fish, Chips and Grill
88D Moreing Road, Attadale
by STEPHEN POLLOCK