The Fish Shop
New Fish Shop right on the money
Let’s be honest; for a place that prides itself on great seafood, standout fish restaurants in Sydney are still pretty scarce. In fact, we can easily count worthwhile seafood joints with our digits, excluding those purveyors of sad-looking seafood platters.
So we’re just about as excited as a Deadliest Catch skipper in a king crab orgy to discover The Fish Shop in Potts Point, the kind of funky, affordable and creatively comforting seafood joint we’ve always wanted. The eatery – which looks like a cross between a Montauk fish shack and Maine lobster pound – is the latest by Justin Hemmes’ Merivale restaurant empire, and like its recent predecessors (El Loco and Ms G’s), it’s right on the money.
In the former Lotus space, ex-Bistrode and current Bistrode CBD chef Jeremy Strode is using sustainable fish in pared-back dishes that have just enough flair. Fitting the current dining trend, it’s a relaxed spot: there are no bookings and there’s plenty of communal seating. Kensington’s gaudy Grotta Capri may just have fallen to demolition, but The Fish Shop seems to embrace that style of daggy fishing décor, and somehow refreshes it to combine fishing tackle, hooks, sailing knots (as door handles to the “Buoys” and “Gulls” rooms) and shells into something stylish.
As for the menu, let’s start with our favourite: the fish burger with crumbed and fried fillet, soft bun, chilli and topped with crisp bacon. It’s simple, just greasy enough and oh-so-satisfying. It’s best paired with the roughly hand-cut chips, abetted by tomato sauce and malt vinegar bottles gracing each table. Other basics also please: beer-battered fish and chips, fried dim sims, and the only holdover from Lotus – Dan Hong’s signature cheeseburger.
This ain’t no fish-n-chip shop, however, so seek out the specials board for a changing array of fresh-shucked oysters and skilled platings of mahi mahi to butterflied garfish. The main menu also features creative pairings like hiramasa kingfish with spicy kimchi. Finish with the housemade ice-cream sandwich, drizzled with caramel.
Lotus fans will welcome the retention of the sousing space, albeit less private and swanky. So grab a soursoup daiquiris, oyster shots, or rum-infused coconut juice, and enjoy this new regular for your fishing expeditions.
Where: 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point
Hours: Mon-Sun, noon-11pm
Phone: (02) 9326 9000