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A list of fish and chip places to try in and around Melbourne

I love a good piece of fried fish.

TASMANIA. 7 JANUARY 2010. Perfectly battered fish at Just Hooked, Orford, Tasmania. The batter is the kind that is thick and crunchy. None of this namby pamby tempura style batter. The challenge is to make sure the batter is cooked right through without wet dough between the fish and the crust. Just like this.

So from The Age:
Best all-rounder Red Mullet
Best grilled fish Hunky Dory
Best battered fish Clamms Fast Fish
Best chips Ol’ School Fish ’n’ Chips
Best selection Fish Tank
Best healthy fish and chips Hooked
Best milkshake Red Mullet
Clamms Fast Fish
141 Acland Street, St Kilda 9534 1917 (Unlicensed)
Fishmongers for more than 20 years, the huge variety of seafood here is the best in the business, from fl athead to blueeye to hapuku. Fleshy rockling ($7.50) is soft and juicy in its light and tasty batter, Tasmanian oysters are plump and on ice, and the chips ($3.50) are crunchy and golden.
Red Mullet Fishcaf
210 Glenferrie Road, Malvern 9500 9338 (Licensed)
A fancy hybrid restaurant/ takeaway with fast, switched-on service and butcher’s papercovered tables. There’s classic blue grenadier in a flavoursome, light and crunchy beer batter with crisp chips ($16.50), clam chowder ($13) and cardboard cones of fried whitebait ($9). Sensational milkshakes ($5.50) come in tall tin cups.
172 Chapel Street, Windsor 9529 1075 (Licensed)
For those in search of the elusive hand-cut chip — you’ve found it. Hooked uses locally grown spuds and cuts them chunky every day. Have your fish with bok choy and sticky rice ($11.90); barbecued corn and a massive pile of crunchy, fresh salad ($13.90); or with those hand-cut chips ($11.90).
Williamstown Mussels
129 Nelson Place, Williamstown 9399 9961 (Licensed)
A cheery spot, with formica tables and the menu printed on a fish suspended from the ceiling. There’s whole-grilled flounder with crisp chips and good Greek salad ($17.50) and fish in tempura-style beer batter ($4.90). Take it away to the water-view park across the road or to the brilliant courtyard garden out back.
The Grace Darling Hotel
114 Smith Street, Collingwood 9416 0055 (Licensed)
Order at the bar, then collect your dinner from the kitchen window. The deal is a piece of battered blue grenadier and chips ($12) served piping hot in a paper cone with house-made tartare sauce. It’s an outdoorsonly arrangement — find a footpath table and grab a beer to go with it.
Alex’s Take Away
11 Ford Road, Altona West 9398 4267 (Unlicensed)
Run by Alex and Lia Vitsis since 1981, this place is a museum piece, with original Coke and Chiko roll posters, orange laminate and wood panelling.
It’s true old school. The chips are hand-cut ($3.50), the fish thickly battered ($4.90), and the potato cakes fluffy (90 cents).
Eat it at Altona Beach watching the kite surfers.
Ol’ School Fish ’n’ Chips
566 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North 9489 9083 (Unlicensed)
It’s all about the chips ($3). These hand-cut little beauties are sliced 12 millimetres thick and fried just right — they’re cooked in a separate fryer for vegetarians. Since opening, Ol’ School has gone through about five tonnes of spuds. They make their own potato cakes, too.
Kiwi Fish and Chips
412–442 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne 9417 5494 (Licensed)
THE fish is from Oz or NZ (blue eye, snapper, NZ blue cod – all $9.80) and you might find inseason NZ scallops ($2). They sometimes do a sweet potato cake ($1) and homesick Kiwis love the Wattie’s Rip N Dip tomato sauce (in a can) and L&P soft drink, the unoffi cial Kiwi national beverage.
Fish Tank
20 Church Street, Brighton 9592 0697 (Licensed)
Busy? Fish Tank positively teems with folk hankering for fish and chips. The selection here is excellent — half crayfish mornay ($21.90), seafood skewers ($8.90), all manner of fish, a great green bean salad ($5.90), and smoked mussels ($7.90) and marinated anchovies ($14.90) to take home.
Aqua Fresh Fish and Chippery
734 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn 9819 3474 (Unlicensed)
The phone number here is 9819 FISH and there’s a broad selection in the glass cabinet. Choose your fillet (about $7) and have it beautifully grilled or fried in a thickish batter, or go for thick and tender calamari rings ($8.50). A young crowd throngs this narrow space and seating competition is fi erce.
Hunky Dory
181 Bay Street, Port Melbourne 9646 1020 (Licensed)
Oil gets the Heart Foundation tick at Hunky Dory, where healthy eating is a focus. Juicy grilled fillets, plain, or done with African, Mexican or Asian spices, come with rice and salad ($16.50). Ripper chips ($3.80) have crunch and colour and the Greek, spinach or garden salads ($5) are fresh.
Also recommended:
Beluga Fish and Chippery (39 Toorak Road, South Yarra 9820 4009) A fancy spot that cooks its fish in rice bran oil.
Black Rock Fish and Chippery (7 Bluff Road, Black Rock 9589 2291) Fresh fish and chips done the classic way.
Seaford Fish and Chip Shop (111A Nepean Highway, Seaford 9786 1581) Down-home fish and chips for when you’re straight out of the ocean.
Swish Fish (606 Hampton Street, Brighton 9593 1138) A long-time local that does sterling fish and chips.