Monday, November 11, 2013

Hot Fish at Conway's

A couple of years ago I was interviewing the owner of a wildly successful fish and chip shop in the inner south.  He already had a few branches and I mentioned that the inner west would be right into his concept, rocking as it was fresh salads, gorgeous grilled calamari and a fun and energetic vibe.  Despite hailing from the west himself, he wasn't convinced.  I might be wrong about a lot of things (my trackie habit at school pickup for one) but I reckon this snappy new opening proves that this time, I was right.

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Conway's is a western suburbs institution, providing fresh fish from its Wingfield Street location for over 40 years.  They are a wholesaler as well as retail outlet.  Queuing for your oysters and prawns on Christmas Eve is something of a westie tradition.  Their new fish and chip shop, Hot Fish, has just opened and judging by the queues the evening I popped in, is already a smash hit.

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The grilled offerings are particulary enticing and well priced - 200g fillets of fresh tuna or swordfish, grilled with salad and rice for $11.90.

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Somewhat surprisingly, there are only two fried choices - "catch of the day" (hake that day) and flake.  A piece of battered flake is steep at $7, but given the environmental issues surrounding shark fishing, maybe that's a price we should start being prepared to pay.

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Here's a "little biters" pack (two very generous "fish bites"), on special at the moment for five bucks.  The other is a classic fish and chip pack at $9.  The fish was great, but the chips need work - they were soggy.  (Might have been the drive.)  And yes - they have chicken salt!

Hot Fish (Facebook)
Next to Conway's, 11-21 Wingfield Street, Footscray
Open Mon-Sat 8am-8pm

10 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmmmmm!!! Looks amazing :)

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    1. Thanks Neeno! Sometimes fish freshness is hit and miss at other F&C shops - I don't envisage that being a prob at Conway's, being a wholesaler and retail outlet as well!

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  2. We had dinner there the other night and it was delicious. The scallops were very sweet and my daughter had the $5 deal and it was great value.

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  3. We've been a couple of times and it's great. Its something that's needed And being able to walk to the chippie is something I haven't been able to do for 30 years

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    1. Glad you like it, Brian. I've been since and had the grilled calamari - great value and delicious.

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  4. The calamari was excellent, and good value at 3 large strips for $2.50 (oddly, battered - I expected it to be crumbed - probably because I'm a Qlder). The fish bites in the little critter pack were very generously sized and delicious. Unfortunately the chips disappointed, despite no travel involved - I sat outside and ate. Excellent seafood though. The fish of the day was Rockling so I was a bit tempted, but decided to go with the 'opening special' while it lasted.

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    1. Battered calamari is odd! It's usually always crumbed, but then again, it's usually always rings, not strips. I had it in the grilled pack and it was delicious. The fish bites should have been the fish of the day - we went on another day when it was rockling, and the bites were rockling, which incidentally is one of my favourite fish and was just delicious.

      Bummer about the chips - the second time I went they were better but they're certainly not mindblowing.

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  5. Fish and prawns great, crisp fresh and tasty- not soggy. Chips disappointing soft and soggy . N

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    1. N, after a whirlwind initial romance, I am taking a break from Hot Fish. I have found the chips fairly disappointing from the outset. The last time I went, they were really undercooked. The last time we went too, the kids' fish bites were so disproportionately sized - some were moderate-sized chunks while others were just little nuggets.

      There was also a bit of argy-bargy on the FFB Facebook page that they were regularly using overfished, imported hake as the catch of the day, rather than something local and plentiful like flathead, snapper or rockling. When they first opened, my mate who lives nearby challenged them about this. Another time she went past, they had hake as the catch of the day, but didn't use the name "hake" but rather its scientific Latin name. If this was done to avoid further scrutiny about why a fish wholesaler would use imported fish as its catch of the day - then this is not very cool.

      I'm sticking to Charles St fish and chips in Seddon for the mo.

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