Fish and chips never looked this good. When you give into temptation on a Friday night and order those greasy fish and chips it is usually an embarrassing affair. You order, you sheepishly pick up the newspaper parcel from that place down the road and you hide your embarrassment in a little tin of tomato sauce.
But Wellington, meet the Mount Vic Chippery — a place you will want to claim you know. Established in 2012, this white weatherboard haven is a deep-fried addition to Majoribanks Street. Walk inside and you won’t find your typical hot and sweaty little takeaway. There is breathing space while you order — white walls, chilled music and plenty of seating to wait on while you pick the perfect fish and chip combination.
It’s a tough decision. The Mount Vic Chippery has a wall-long blackboard that outlines their extensive range of fish, coating, chips, burgers and extras. First, you choose your fish. From your standard tarakihi ($7.50) and snapper ($9.80) to something a little more Wellington like grilled Akaroa salmon ($8.50), there is a fish fillet for everyone. When I last went there were 12 fish varieties on offer — even line-caught groper ($8.50) and skin-on John Dory ($9.50).
Second, you choose your coating. I went for the never-fail battered option), but for the health conscious there is panko crumb, tempura, gluten-free batter or grilled. But it was the Mount Vic 'chipology' that was really impressive. Shoestring, crinkle cut, wedges, kumura — these guys know their chips. Hand-cut agria (small $4.50, large $7) was a definite standout.
If you are after something more substantial, the Chippery offers a range of burgers and extras to satisfy cravings. The classic beef burger ($8) has all the trimmings, and so does the pork sandwich ($9) with slow-roasted pork shoulder, red onion, apple slaw and Virgin Mary sauce.
Order a Foxton Fizz ($4) or hand-cut slaw (small $4 large $6) to go with your F&C, and wait only 10-15 minutes for a smiling Mt Vic chipper to call out your number and hand over a little brown box. From there you can walk a short distance to the Wellington waterfront and dive into your fish and chips in Waitangi Park. Or if you can wait another 10 minutes, drive out to Princess Bay and enjoy that deep-friend goodness on rocks overlooking the Cook Strait.
Don’t forget you can order online to skip the hungry line on busy nights.