It’s a windy old Thursday night. Cooking is not an option. Neither is dining out. Fish and chips seem like the only sensible answer. So we jump in my mate’s car and head to Herne Bay, of all places.
FishSmith sits on Jervois Road, right next to the Elbow Room. It has an identical layout to any other Fish And Chip shop in New Zealand, but being a Herne Bay resident, it takes pride in its appearance, and is a little trendier than those residing in neighboring suburbs. An awesome mural of a scuba diver covers the white tiles on the wall.
We wander in, probably looking a little dazed and confused. The lady on the counter is super friendly and makes us feel at home straight away. She runs us through the menu, there’s the old classics, fish of the day $5, hand cut chips $5, along with plenty of options that you wouldn’t be used to; A range of salads, fried pickled mussels, and spicy chickpea bites.
I decide to go with the grilled fish, pickled fennel, lettuce & tartare sauce bun $10 and a serving of chips. Expecting a burger, I’m surprised, when we get back to the flat and it turns out to be a hot dog bun. Its quite genius though, the fish is fresh, and the tartare sauce is ridiculously tasty. The others get the fish of the day with salad, the feedback is all positive and the wrappers aren’t covered in grease.
With bigger servings than usual, a fun menu that is cheap as chips, and a homely vibe, FishSmith might just become the Thursday regular.