Ah, don't you just love the beach! Actually, I don't really. My skin was made for gathering kelp in the drizzle along a stony Irish coastline, not roasting under the hot Antipodean summer sun, hat jammed on head and sticky with 30+ sunscreen. Pah, give me a misty peat bog anyday. But what I do love is the excuse to eat fish and chips.
Altona Pines Take Away is your last stop before the lifeguard station and the beach beyond. It sits opposite a lovely park under the shade of the enormous pine trees.
Love the old school sign! The menu isn't going to win any prizes for originality but I like that. They have a few different types of fish, from flake to blue grenadier to snapper. I am biased towards places that still do the butcher's paper wrapping - it just feels right. Eating fish and chips out of a box is like drinking champagne out of a tumbler.
I love the glorious tumble when you open the last layer of paper a la pass-the-parcel and everyone dives for their deep-fried goodies. People tend to have their "thing", be it fish and two potato cakes, fish and three calamari rings and/or a couple of fried dimmies in their paper bag with dark soy sauce. Chips go without saying!
The fish and chips here are really good with fish that's always fresh with crispy, ruffled batter and plenty of crunchy chips to squabble over like seagulls. If the beach is too windy the park is a lovely place to sit, protected from the elements with a fence and trees. There is great play equipment for the kids and on summer weekends they will have daggy but fun things like the police band.
Really, I don't need an excuse to eat fish and chips. The beach at sunset is a bonus. I wonder if Altona Pines is Julia's favourite fish and chipper?
Altona Pines Takeaway
18 Pier St, Altona (map)
Phone: 9398 4903
Hours: Lunch & dinner, 7 days
Door: High lip/low step to enter.
Layout: Room to manoeuvre but high counter. No eat-in.