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For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Archive for the tag “Mt Vic Chippery”

I raise you a Chippery

TC headerThe Thorndon Chippery recently opened in the old Le Canard premises on Murphy Street, following the same successful formula as its Mt Vic sister – pick your fish, then its coat, then its side arms and sauce.

Which got me to wondering whether this is the way of the fish’n’chip future.

The lads behind the chipperies are a chef and a fisherman, with the desire to put the focus squarely back on the fish and chips, with more than one generic offering. When asked what they’d like their customers to say at the end of the chippery experience, the answer was ‘finally, decent fish’n’chips’. They also pride themselves on total freshness from their door to yours, and so along came the pretty brown anti-sog boxes.

TC boxesAs well as a list of the day’s fresh market fish, you will find a range of burgers and both fishy and vegetarian extras to satisfy all appetites. Consider whitebait fritters, crumbed scallops, calamari or fish bites, crumbed brie, pineapple or potato fritters, salads, etc.

On our visit we went away with panko-crumbed groper, herb-crusted blue warehou, fish balls, a vegan burger, homemade tartare sauce and a range of fries. They were all judged to be above average in quality and flavour, and despite not being a tartare fan, I found myself licking every last drop from the container (I kid you not) – a delicious balance of lemon, capers and gherkins in a pleasing viscous base.

And the hand-cut agrias. Oh. My. God. There is just no other comment. The chippery staff hand cut, slice and blanch these beauties daily from bags of honest-to-TC friesgoodness agrias into big doorstoppers for the final fry (the substantial ‘small’ serve above). They go through separate gluten-free fryers at each store to prevent crumb contamination, and result in mouthfuls of crispy-exteriored, fluffy-interiored heaven (confession – there may be some Irish blood lurking in these veins…).

In terms of wait times, you can order online and then stroll along to pick up (super easy and efficient), or nestle yourself into one of the tables at each location. But beware the seating is limited, so have Plan B handy (in the case of the Mt Vic Chippery, the Black Sparrow is conveniently located across the road for a quick one while you wait – a most cunning plan!).

TC fish boardNow there’s no denying its fun doing all that choosing, and the boxes are ever so pretty, but I did wonder about losing some of the fun of unwrapping a pyramid of food, liberally dousing with Mr Wattie’s finest and undertaking a big dig. They are also more expensive than your standard fish’n’chips, and you won’t get all the traditional extras (crabsticks, spring rolls, donuts, banana fritters). So the Chippery experience may not be for everyone.

But after all that? The quality is superior, the service better, and the choices substantial.  Game on.

Mt Vic Chippery – 5 Majoribanks Street

Thorndon Chippery – 10 Murphy Street

The Mt Vic Chippery

Mt Vic ChipperyFinally.

An evening without a 60 minute wait (25 tonight and I think that was between waves if the number of people jammed into the Chippery when we went back to collect was anything to go by; since it had seemed rude not to pop across to the Black Sparrow for an ale while waiting).

The fish was fresh and tasty (although not sure I’d go the herb crumb with parmesan coating again, which turned out to be mostly herbs stuck to the fish with melted parmesan and nary a crumb in sight), the presentation suitably classy (individual branded boxes) and the hand cut agria fries outstanding (large, fleshy, crispy exterior, soft interior, and the small portion so large I shared with new friends also enjoing the evening sun down at the waterfront).

Mt Vic Chippery agria

So although not the usual fish’n’chip cheap, I was very happy to pay for a high quality and highly satisfying treat.  And I liked that my groper was line caught.

Its quite a fun process to (1) select your fish, (2) select your fish’s coat, (3) select the accompanying fries, and (4) select any sauce.  There’s at least half a dozen selections under each of those categories, as well as many other additional offerings (burgers, fish bites, etc).

Yep, I think they just might take the title for best fish’n’chips in the city.

Mt Vic Chippery box5 Majoribanks Street, Mt Victoria.

 

 

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