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Monday, May 23, 2016

Fish & Chips (in) Bondi

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After years of hearing and seeing the popular tourist spot Bondi Beach in tv, travel magazines and online, I knew that no matter what, I would have to take some time off to visit this place if i'm ever when I'm in Sydney. 

I'm not really one for touristy places. I always believe that the little hidden gems the locals patronise are almost always better than that same one common area/place/monument of interest that 200 different brands of travel guides/books recommend. However being in Singapore, lets face it.. The quality of our beaches are pretty shitty. Coarse grimy sticky sand and murky dull waters. With clear blue skies and water as clear and bright as my future(jk) I knew I had to make it to Bondi no matter what. And I'm glad I did.


This is a mini compilation of Fish and Chip(becos aussie fish n chips are kickass) spots that I've tried around the Bondi area. This is no way a compilation guide of the best 'fish and chips around bondi' or anything because there are many, far many for me to try during the span of my trip there. But fingers crossed that I will be able to add on to this list in the future when I return to Sydney!

Now lets get started on this picture heavy post of fried fish and the sea.





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We took an uber from our place to Bondi, and when we were driving up the road/hill and we caught a little glimpse of Bondi, C and I were just gasping in awe like typical asian tourists. But when you live in Singapore, unpolluted scenic beaches with clear water against blue skies are a rare sight ok...

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Bondi is the kinda place that you know even before you go. You see so many pictures of it everywhere that when youre physically standing there taking it all in you're like ' so this is what it is..." The weather was great, windy, sunny, not too warm which made it extra nice.

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The Traditional Chip Shop- Bondi Junction

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I did some research on Fish & Chips in Sydney before I landed, and I don't know why but I chose this to be on the list. The Traditional Chip Shop serves British styled fish and chips, and reviews(the brits) said that it tastes really authentic and almost as good as the ones they get back in the UK. Maybe it's my horrible first and only experience with Brit Fish & Chips in Singapore, and after all Fish&Chips are quite a big thing in the UK, so It had to be good right?? 



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As G was also in Sydney, I thought why not bring a true blue brit to see if this place really lived up to the positive reviews? If there's anyway I wanna know if its authentic, it would be from the verdict of a British person. 

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 The store's rather tiny, having only 2-3 proper tables while the rest were bar counter style table tops. Thank god It wasn't crowded when we went or else we would have to wait for a 'proper' table..


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So we got A cod and a Haddock, a small curry to dip our fries SORRY I MEAN CHIPS... and a drink each which amounted to approx $50AUD. $50aud for fish and chips......


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Wrapped in paper, our large portion of fried fish came sitting on a generous portion of fries CHIPS. G said that it tasted very similar to the ones back in the UK so I guess this passed the authenticity test. So now that I can safely say this is brit style it was time for my taste test. 

Portions evidently were generous, the fillets were pretty huge. I guess the big difference between Brit and Regular/aussie style is the batter and of course the fries chips.

Brit style batter is thicker, denser, and crunchy mainly on the ends while regular/aussie batter is lighter, crispier and has a airy crunch throughout the fillet. 

The other obvious difference would be the fries, with Brit ones being thicker and soggier, eaten doused in malt vinegar and salt, while aussie style fish & chips come with tartare sauce and lemon.


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Er.. The curry that we got.. there's nothing much for me to say about it. Definitely not traditional asian curries that we are used to (japanese curry is not curry *chants*) but it tasted very very close to a watered down, starch thickened Japanese curry. No full flavours. But at least it was something (kinda) nice to dip the fries chips into..

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 I definitely preferred the Cod better as it was flakier and more moist, which is no surprise since Cod is a naturally fattier type of fish. The haddock was a little dry, I don't know whether its because of the the high heat or over frying. 


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If Fish & Chips ain't your thing (shame on you) The Traditional Chip Shop also has burgers, chicken and pies. But why would you go to a Fish & Chippie and NOT order that?



Address:
78 Bronte Rd, Bondi Junction
NSW 2022, Australia

Phone:
+61 1300 244 774

Menu:
thechipshop.com.au

Hours:
Friday 11:30AM–11PM
Saturday 11:30AM–11PM
Sunday 11AM–9:45PM
Monday 11:30AM–10PM
Tuesday 11:30AM–10PM
Wednesday 11:30AM–11PM
Thursday 11:30AM–11PM




North Bondi Fish


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When you have a beach, you have at least one snazzy/stylomilo resto/bar/bistro kind place. The kinda semi upscale places to be seen in with people that you flash fake simles at. In Singapore at Sentosa that is probably Tanjong Beach club. At Bondi, it's North Bondi Fish.


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We went to North Bondi Fish on Anzac day, which was an Australian national holiday so unsurprisingly, the place was packed. We tried to get a table but due to the happy boozing chillaxing influx of patrons there was none, so we were told to just hang around the bar and the wait staff would inform us when there's available seating. 

Maybe it's Asian hospitality, or Singaporeans are not as bo-chup as our fellow Aussie friends but the staff here certainly exuded the 'don't disturb me pls' kinda vibe. Unapproachable and we don't even feel obliged or entitled as patrons to ask for something. Instead, we tried our best not to approach or seek for their assistance.



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While the service wasn't impeccable, the food did make up for it. Lamb cutlets were fatty and tender, not overcooked or dried out. 



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The fish and chips here are pretty legit. And by legit I mean really yum. My perfect kind of fish and chips are when the batter is light, crunchy enough without being overly dense, and crisp. The fillets of fish would have to be moist, hot, and flaky. Biting into a layer of crunch and then soft, clean tasting fresh fish hits the spot for me and If the fish is done to that standard, I can totally overlook and forgive substandard fries. 



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Bondi Icebergs

Located at the OTHER end of bondi beach was the Bondi Icebergs. 
This is the famous swimming pool facing the water that you see on instagram. 
There are 2 main restaurants at the icebergs and I thought it would be really nice to have some grub and beer with this view, and Of course I wasn't wrong!


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I'm not sure if the pool looks big to others in pictures but it did to me. When I was standing there right in front of it I felt that it was smaller than what I had expected. Still a beautiful place though.
There is also a coast walk right next to the icebergs called Bondi To Bronte, which makes great photo taking, selfies, romantic shots, scenic shots and if you are basic, OOTD ;p


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Bondi Icebergs Club

I knew for sure that I wanted Fish n Chips. I really don't know whats up with me and fish & chips in aussie. I think it's just that they do it so much better in Aussie than back home so I had to just stuff my face with great ones while I still could.

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Fish & Chips
 AUD $26

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Beer battered Flathead (it seems like a popular type for fish and chips in aussie)
Great generous portions, and finally a place that serves a salad with it! Most places are just fries, fish & tartare sauce so I did appreciate the little salad that came along with this plate. 

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The fish were a little under what I was expecting quality wise. I thought that it was a little bit overdone in terms of the tenderness of the fish. It wasn't burnt or overcooked in anyway, it's just that the fish was maybe heated too long or too high that it was not as moist as I would like it to be, and it was borderline dry. 

But for a great big portion I couldn't really complain. Batter was not as airy and light, but still ok for the price that you are paying. 

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Tartare sauce came in a scallop shell, which had a good amount of it. Some places are quite stingy with sauce and additional sauces are chargeable.

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Porterhouse 
AUD $29

Intially G wanted fish and chips too but when I saw Porterhouse for only $29 I told him he HAD to get it.  
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Requested for med-rare but the steak came out medium well.. I was expecting something really bloody, flavourful , juicy and tender but it just tasted like an amateur home cooked steak. The outside sears were tough and dry and the centre yielded minimal juice. Mash was dense, clumpy and stodgy. I guess when it comes to meat you really pay for what you get. 

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But overall, I think I would still return to this place based on the fact that it has such great views, they have great ciders and beers on tap for cheap, and the food is reasonably priced portion wise. 
Out of all the fish and chips I've tasted in this post I guess the winner would have to be North Bondi Fish for now. Untill I come back to sydney again and expand this list that is!


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Address: 
1 Notts Ave, Bondi NSW 2026, Australia

Phone:
 +61 2 9130 3120

Hours:
Friday 6AM–6:30PM
Saturday 6:30AM–6:30PM
Sunday 6:30AM–6:30PM
Monday 6AM–6:30PM
Tuesday 6AM–6:30PM
Wednesday 6AM–6:30PM
Thursday 6AM–6:30PM



Now some random pictures of Bondi Beach because it's just that gorgeous.. Decided to trot along the Bondi to Bronte Coastal walk. Not the whole thing of course, just enough to take some photos..


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Had to climb like a baby gorilla on some rocks for these pics but it was worth it!

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Deep blue waters and skies... Ok la this is edited so the intensity is exaggerated. But even in real the sight was really pretty.

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Sydney, I'll be back!! 


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