Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gordon Street Fish and Chips

When my first child was very young, I visited a relative whose daughter was doing a school project in which she had to write her favourite foods.  I watched with the know-it-all disdain of a brand-new parent as she printed in wide, capital letters: HOT DOGS and CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.  "Hmph," I sniffed, "When it is her turn, MY daughter will write Pad Thai and pandan chiffon cake."  Oh, hubris!  Oh, the pride before the fall!  Despite having the most wannabe-Asian mother in Melbourne, despite having been weaned on moong dal and tofu, my eldest daughter has the most old-school, Anglo-Australian taste buds ever.  She sulks through yum cha.  She picks through her fried rice.  Curry - rather go to bed hungry.  And thus, on her fourth birthday, when asked what she wanted for dinner, of course it was fish & chips.  Hey - at least she didn't say McDonald's.

The shops on windswept Gordon Street, Footscray, are pretty uninspiring, but recently a new fish & chip shop popped up.  We got their cheery flyer in our mailbox, and decided this was our chance to see if they could replace the now-defunct Chip & Fish Shack in our hearts.

The couple who run this shop are so friendly and professional.  It's clean, bright and welcoming, and all the signs of a good fish & chip shop were there.  Butcher's paper, not cardboard box - check.  Old-school menu board - check.  Plastic ribbon curtains - check.

Battered whiting ($4.50) and calamari rings ($0.80 each)

Oh, the batter!  Crispy golden curls of it.  Perfection!

Battered flake ($4.50)

 Grilled barramundi ($4.80)

Grilled blue grenadier ($4.80)
May I say, that this is some of the best fish & chip shop fish I've ever had.  The blue grenadier, which I normally find mealy and unappealing, was so juicy and succulent.  The flake had a delicate texture, far removed from the rubberiness of some specimens.  The only incongruous exception was the whiting, which was overcooked, but the chef did throw in an extra fillet, "because they had shrunk".

Chips (min. $2.80), South Melbourne Market dimmies ($1.60 each), potato cakes ($0.80 each)

Great chips and proper potato cakes (plus, the few extra for free that earns bonus points in my book).  Unfortunately no steamed South Melbourne Market dim sims, but the fried were so good with a dash of soy sauce.  If you don't know what I mean by S. Melb. Market dimmies, get on down there and just look for the queue snaking down Cecil St.  Some say they have gone downhill recently, but these had that fantastic peppery flavour and meaty texture I've always loved.

S. Melb Market dim sim ($0.80)

They were kind enough to split our chips into normal salt and chicken salt.  The bogan brother reported that his lamb souvlaki ($7.00) was not great, but really, who orders souvlaki from a fish & chip shop?

We were adrift after the Chip & Fish Shack closed, and a recent trip to Ebi failed to excite.  Gordon Street, with its friendly, family-run vibe, fabulous fish and more-ish chips, is our new spiritual home.

Happy birthday, special girl!!!

UPDATE: I walked past 1/5/10 and the shop was closed, the fryer totally dismantled, no sign in the window or any signs of life.  If anyone knows what is going on, leave a comment and let me know!  Very disappointing if they have shut down, and very puzzling too!

Gordon Street Fish & Chips (map)
140 Gordon St, Footscray
Phone: 9317 3303
Hours: 10.00am - 9.00pm, 7 days

Gordon Street Fish and Chips on Urbanspoon


  1. Yes we want them back they were the best Fish N Chip shop. Please someone post a update

  2. I think they might have changed management again. It looks like some Chinese/Viet owners now. I cant say whether are they better or worse because I have not tried the previous owners.

  3. Carlin, do you mean Fresh Bite across the road? Had fish and chips from there last Sunday - gross!!!

  4. I meant the fish and chips shop opposite the hospital. the exterior looks like the one in your picture. Went there couple of weeks ago with my friend for lunch. Fish was alright, but the chips were probably alittle too oily.

  5. I'm so sorry that I was referring to Fresh Bite.


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