When I speak to a true blue Aussie about British Fish and Chips; they give me a rather incredulous look. How can it be ANY different to what you’d have down at Freo’s Fishing Boat Harbour they ask?! Well, they do differ a lot, British fish and chips are made the traditional way after all!
The chips, for a start, are different. They are freshly peeled and cut every day – none of that frozen reconstituted potato rubbish. That way the chips are tasty and fluffy – not powdery and stiff like the frozen imposters. The service (in theory) is quicker too. With the fish warming in the display cabinet, service is often much faster. Which will be handy for the Great British Chippy – as I’ve heard they’ve had some LONG queues!! In their first two days of the new Currambine chippy’s operation they went through a ton and a half of chips! I’m not surprised – they are lush!
The nostalgia hits as soon as you walk in the door. A giant stainless steel frying range sits proudly as the centrepiece of the take away. For Aussies they will wonder what all the fuss is about – for the Brits they’ll feel like were suddenly transported to back to their village chippy!! The frying range is an English original, hailing from Darlington (UK) and the only one of its kind in WA. There are only a few in the whole country.
The deep fried fish is encased in a golden brown batter; it seems much crunchier than what we’d usually have in Perth too. We had cod and haddock the day we went for lunch. We took our wrapped up bundle down to a park by the sea. As soon as I opened the package and was greeted by the familiar look of pommie chips (all odd sizes and ever so slightly soggy looking) I knew they were the real deal. We ate out of the paper, using our wooden forks to dip the chips into the mushy peas and curry sauce – bliss.
Sure it was a little bit priceyer than your regular fish and chip shops, but you have to expect that with much of the produce sourced from overseas. The fish is all from the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s not something that we would have every week, so I’m happy to indulge. It had been nine years since we had been in the UK and I’ve craved a proper pommie fish supper regularly – to me it was worth every penny. Saying that Ciccarellos and Kalis are by no means cheap. As well as fish and chips they also have pies, haggis, fish cakes etc. We ate there on the opening day and it was pretty hard to fault. Personally, I always liked to eat my fish and chips “open”. Meaning, they are not wrapped, but you eat them immediately out of an open container. This way they are super fresh and don’t go soggy as they steam inside a closed wrapper. Hopefully they’ll offer this alternative in the future.
For the thousands of ex-pats that live all over Perth and in particular the Northern Coastal Suburbs near Joondalup – the Great British Chippy will be a little slice of home. As the daughter of a proud Yorkshire man, I know that they love their adopted homeland of Australia; but inevitably there will be things they miss from home. Homesickness is the worst – especially as the mother land is over 14,000kms away. From walking to the village pub to have a (warm) pint with friends, to watching the local football team play on a Saturday afternoon, to tucking into a freshly cooked pile of cod and chips. It’s often the little things that are longed for and mean the most.
The nostalgia; wooden forks, dandelion and burdock, mushy peas… Memories of eating fish n chips on the seafront in Whitby as a 10year old came flooding back. Whether it’s a trip down memory lane, or a brand new experience you’re after – trying the Great British Chippy is a must. My Aussie husband loves them too – particularly the chips! However, he didn’t let me drown the chips in malt vinegar – so I have to go back soon and get my soggy chips fix!!