Once upon a time the fish and chip shop in Hataitai (our local) did excellent fish and chips. Sometime between the second-to-last time and the last time I bought dinner there it changed hands. I probably won’t buy from there again.
The other day, with a friend visiting, I paid a premium for grilled fish and beer battered chips from the new upmarket fish and chip shop down on the waterfront, The Port Café. Yuk. Overpriced, definitely. The beer battered chips were pretty good, the fish was horrible. It was a smallish portion but I couldn’t even eat it all. The fish was dry, except for a couple of flakes in the middle that were acceptable.
My friend said she enjoyed her meal, including the salad. Except that we had to remind them to bring the salad. I watched as they took a bowl of salad that had been sitting in the chiller for an unknown time, slathered some dressing on it and plunked it on the table. It didn’t look so good to me.
My body seems to be telling me to eat fish and chips, so yesterday’s craving was fulfilled by the Wellington Trawling Company’s shop in Cuba Street. We ate in. Yum. The crumbed fish fillets were very hot, very fresh and perfectly cooked. The chips delicious.
There were a couple of problems though:
- We ordered 1 fillet each. The fillets were enormous — we ended up sharing one and bringing the other home. I had half for lunch today.
- I find these days that I don’t know what to order. I want fish and chip shops to carry Forest and Bird’s Best Fish Guide, though, of course, they’d go out of business if they did:
These rankings are based on an assessment of information about and management of the stocks: the amount of habitat and ecological damage caused by the fishery; and levels of seabird, marine mammal and other bycatch.
The problem is, the Best Fish Guide assigns fish to one of 3 categories. The rankings reflect the state of each fishery from Green (Best choice), to Amber (Concerns), to Red (Worst choice). The Green column is empty. But how to remember which is the least worst choice of fish to buy? I’m not going to carry a wallet guide on paper around with me. I’d like the places where I’m buying fish to put the guide on the wall.
They never will, so I’m finding ways to transfer the names of some of the ‘amber’ fish to my cellphone or iPod touch, as I generally have them with me. Be nice if you could text a special phone number to get a list of ‘orange’ fish back …
[It’d be even better, of course, for all fish to fall into the ‘Green’ category.]