When the folks who upped the burger game with Burger Burger move into seafood with – you guessed it – Fish Fish, you have to check it out. And so we did one lovely Sunday evening.
Fish Fish has taken over from Jimmy the Fish at Ponsonby Central, and is committed to offering ethically caught fish. You can choose to have your fish fried, beer battered or Panko crumbed, or you can select one of their other seafood dishes and sides. The menu is divided into fresh fish, sauces and salsas, sides of chips and salads, burger, pasta, vegetarian, mussels, fritter and raw, and the items change regularly so they can offer what is in season.
The fresh fish offered are the usual suspects of snapper (my least favourite), tarakihi, gurnard and salmon. Both my husband and I chose gurnard, his pan-fried and mine Panko crumbed. Portions are 120gms and prices vary according to the market. Ours worked out to $8 each. My husband would have ordered the Cloudy Bay clams with fettucine and white wine sauce ($20) but it had sold out.
The description of the tua tua fritter, made with the shellfish, smoked bacon and corn really appealed, and the chef kindly obliged me with a half-order ($7) so that I could taste it.
Tradition also called for a small serving of Jimmy’s chunky chips ($5) and a small serving of their coleslaw ($5). We could have chosen a Curious Croppers tomato and herb salad or a shaved fennel and orange salad. Not traditional but they did sound good. If you really want to go the traditional route or need a carb hit, you can order the Chip Butty ($6) made with white bread and Jimmy’s chunky chips.
We decided to “eat in”, which means sitting along a bench inside the market area or outside under shelter in The Lane. On this warm evening it was pleasant sitting outside and doing some people watching.
The food quickly arrived, and I think the Panko crumbed fish is the way to go. The lovely crunchy coating keeps the fish moist and sweet, and also makes the serving appear larger than the pan-fried fish. The fries lived up to their description of being chunky and crunchy, and were served with tomato sauce. We both really enjoyed “Adrians slaw” made of finely shredded cabbage, onion, parsley, ginger and toasted sesame seeds, with a light creamy dressing.
I loved the tua tua fritter, full of chopped tua tua flesh, the smokiest of bacon bits and fresh corn kernels.
We could have ordered home-made sodas, but we opted to stick with water. Fish Fish is awaiting its liquor licence, so you will eventually be able to enjoy a glass of wine/beer or other alcoholic refreshment with your seafood.
There are not many places in Auckland where you can enjoy quality seafood dishes at a reasonable price, and Fish Fish fills this gap admirably. It would be even better if there was more seating for dining-in, but I understand that this may be available at their Fish Fish location in Takapuna. Now if only Fish Fish was in Newmarket!