It might be lacking an ocean view, but it certainly feels like the sea breeze has somehow made its way into Surry Hills when dining at Fish Place. In a neighbourhood mottled with sandwich joints and cafes galore, it's refreshing to see a place that is serving up some fine fish and chips.
Situated on the corner block of Foveaux and Waterloo, it's hard to miss Fish Place; the outside wall sports a mural of old sardine tins as a tribute to the family's business back in France and makes the place instantly recognisable. And it's encouraging to see the family still together in the game; owner Adam de Launay's dad is hot-smoking the fish in the kitchen out the back every day. And there's nothing fancy about the menu either, which isn't a bad thing. Just straightforward honest fish.
For those avoiding the classic grease hit, hot-smoked salmon or ocean trout ($12.50) comes grilled, so too does the fish of the day. Then it's your choice between potato bake or a colourful array of healthy sides ($12.50), such as beetroot and mint salad with a lemon dressing or a green papaya mix with a hint of chilli. There's even mashed peas for the English amongst us who feel like the ultimate nostalgic meal.
The comforting fish pie ($8.50) adds a real homely touch to the menu; enjoy this with your BYO beer and you'll feel right at home. Yes that's right, we said BYO beer! For a trip to New York, the smoked salmon bagel ($8.50) comes in as a winner too. The spread of cream cheese is just the right amount.
But what you're really here for is the quintessential beer-battered favourite. They seem to have perfected the art of not overdoing the batter; it's agreeably crispy, unlike some places where you seem to be dining on deep fried flour instead. And the chippy cup ($3.50) is generously filled with firm stems of potato, not soggy strands of mush.
If you're not hurrying back to the office, the sunlit courtyard is the perfect place to sit on the wooden stools and tuck into the goods with your recyclable wooden cutlery. And, as aforementioned, the bonus of BYO means that sneaking off to the pub on your lunch break won't have to happen anymore. Certainly nothing fishy about that.