Fish n Chips on Mandurah Cruises

IMG_7068On a sunny day in Mandurah we enjoyed a sightseeing cruise with a difference… a fish and chip lunch on-board the “dolphin and scenic canal cruise” by Mandurah Cruises, which sail out of the Mandurah Boardwalk most days of the week. The calm inland waters of the Mandurah Estuary and canals make it a great introduction to boats for little ones or people that are prone to sea sickness.IMG_7178

The cruise was part of our May weekend staycation in Mandurah, and we’d been invited to enjoy a tasty lunch and cruise aboard Mandurah Cruises’ modern boat by Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation.

Firstly, we picked up our tickets from the ticket office found at the Mandurah Boardwalk, behind Dome Café. You can purchase tickets online from www.mandurahcruises.com.au or buy them in person from the Mandurah Cruise and gift shop at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time.IMG_7228

We boarded the boat about 20 minutes before departure, to ensure we got a perfect vantage point from our seats. There’s a choice to sit upstairs, which is quite open (and where the captain sits) or downstairs which is more enclosed. For the best views and chances of spotting dolphins, I recommend that you go to the front of the boat. The skipper will let you know when dolphins have been sighted over the loud speaker.IMG_7080

While Mandurah Cruises can’t guarantee dolphin sightings (they are wild creatures after all!), there are between 75 and 100 bottlenose dolphins in the area, giving you a pretty good chance. We’d only been moving for a matter of minutes before we spotted out first pod of dolphins! During our cruise we spotted two or three separate pods.IMG_7198

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UPDATE Great British Chippy – Currumbine

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Great British Chippy on Urbanspoon

For British ex-pats in Perth, the Great British Chippy in Currambine is like an oasis in a sea of frozen chips.

If you have been to the Great British Chippy, the chances are that you encountered it’s teething problems first hand. The first authentic pommie chip shop in WA has been open about a year now. Their frying range was brought over from “Chumly Warners”, Queensland’s answer to “Harry Ramsden’s”. The second hand range didn’t prove to be very efficient, which lead to enormous queues.

GBC was shut for a month long refurbishment in July – incredible since it hadn’t yet been open a year. A brand new range has now been imported and installed from the UK. The shop’s new layout gives better organization too. You can sit on benches whilst waiting for your order. There’s also a small dining area – in case you don’t want to wait till you get home to eat. We ate in, whilst the cod and chips were still piping hot.

The verdict from the new range… the fish and chips are great! The thick, flaky cod was moist and coated in a crisp golden batter. The delicious chips are perfectly imperfect – all different shapes and sizes. Our sides of chip shop curry sauce and mushy peas were spot on too. I’d love to try the scampi – a fave of mine. We’ll be back for sure. I may even try a deep fried Mars Bar – for “research” of course! My recommendation is that you take advantage of the new seating at GBC and eat in. Nothing can compare to fish fresh out of the fryer.20140904_174021

With our English holiday and copious amounts of fish and chip suppers still fresh in our minds – this is certainly authentic British fare at GBC and even better than some of the chippy’s we visited in England.

Chef and I had craved pommie fish and chips for the best part of a decade. We certainly made the most of being in the UK recently, with many trips down to the local chippy. Because, quite frankly, there’s nowt like a bit of North Sea Cod.

For the most part the fish and chips in England were just as we remembered.

Tony's Fish and Chips on Urbanspoon

IMG_4320The best of the lot was a recommendation from my very own Dad. He considers himself somewhat of a chippy connoisseur and during his trip back home to Yorkshire in 2013 he made many lunchtime trips to Tony’s – widely regarded to be Sheffield’s best fish n chips. Chef and I made a special trip to Tony’s, in Mosborough and the traditional fish and chips were excellent. There was a queue out the door, but they food was well worth waiting for. The fish and chips there been cooked to a “secret” recipe for over 100 years.IMG_4324

Eagle Bay Brewing Co

IMG_0294Eagle Bay Brewing Co on Urbanspoon

First impressions are so important – in all aspects of life.

On a trip to WA’s south west, in 2011, we happened upon the newly opened Eagle Bay Brewing Co. We had already had lunch that day, but popped to EBB for a drink. Unfortunately at that time, you weren’t able to be served alcohol without a meal there, as they had a very limited liquor licence. We were disappointed as it looked lovely. We’d just sat down and our 2 year old had stated to play on the playground. He was pretty upset that we were leaving so suddenly. The lady in charge gave him a little toy crocodile, which cheered him up and stopped the floods of tears. It was a simple gesture, but one I never forgot and I always had in mind that we’d come back here again.IMG_0317

UntitledebFast forward two and a half years… We were in the South West with our English cousins. They were visiting Perth for 2 weeks. They enjoyed brilliant weather for most of the time – except this one day. The gloomy drizzle that blankets Britain had popped over to say “hiya”. We sat overlooking the beer garden and we could appreciate, that on a sunny day, we would have a spectacular view. To be fair, even in the gloom the view was pretty nice! Eagle Bay Brewing Co is surrounded by a working sheep and cattle property (Run by farmer John). His children, Nick, Astrid and Adrian, run the EBB Co.IMG_0310

The menu is pretty simple, but the food is tasty and well executed. We ate;

Italian Sausage, Mushroom, Spinach and Fontina Cheese ($24)Untitledpebb

Friend sweet corn bread, black bean salsa and guacamole ($20)Untitledee

Beer Battered Fish n Chips ($28)ebbc

Beef burger with bacon, cheddar, garlic mayo, beetroot, tomato, lettuce & fries ($22)Untitledebbcb

IMG_0316We enjoyed Eagle Bay Brewing a lot. The men among us really loved the beer too! There is a large sandpit for the kids and they can have a kick about on the grassed area or a wander around the flower and veggie patch. The outlook is stunning, rain, hail or shine. IMG_0313

The Goose – Bussleton

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Goose Cafe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A couple of years ago a few of us got caught in a torrential downpour walking on Busselton Jetty. We could have quite easily been on Brighton or Blackpool Pier that day, it was so wild and woolly. The Goose provided a warm, dry escape and HOT COFFEE! We made a note that it would be a grand place for lunch if we were in the area again.

IMG_9833The dining room is very inviting, though it would seem most people there would rather dine alfresco. Well, with a view overlooking the crystal clear waters of Geographe bay and the Jetty – why wouldn’t you? I do have to admit (and you may have noticed), that I am a bit of a sucker for a funky light fitting – and the Goose has it’s very own row boat light shade. But it’s not the only one in the South West – Arivina Winery does too!!IMG_9834

UntitledfcgMost of us ordered Fish n Chips ($29.50). It was WA fish, served with chunky chips and a garden salad. About 4 or more of the people on our table ordered it and they all really enjoyed their lunch. I had a “bloggers moment”, I choose something different (even though I quite fancied Fish n Chips), just so there was something else to photograph! Silly Me. Well, no – I actually really enjoyed the Thai Beef Salad ($28.50). It was sweet and nutty; the crunchy Asian veg was covered with a hot and sour dressing.IMG_9837

IMG_9836Exmouth Prawns, pistachio & coconut curry. My lovely cousin, Mrs L (the Gluten-free vego) enjoyed this very much!

UntitledggWe like the Goose a lot. The service was good and very unobtrusive. They were very accommodating given we were a group of 10 “walk-ins”. The dining room was fresh and modern, with a view to die for. My cousins loved The Goose so much that they returned again for lunch a few days later on the way back to Perth!Untitledbg

Great British Chippy – Currambine

Great British Chippy – Currambine

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Great British Chippy on Urbanspoon

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!Untitledalal

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!IMG_20131017_160715

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. Untitledgbc

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. photo 3

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.photo 4

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!!photo 1a