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