Week 19: Fish n chips (fush n chups)

Posted on 2013 / 05 / 15
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The Fish Shop

Fush and Chups are the quintessential NZ take away meal. Most homes around the country will have that one night of the week that is dedicated to steamy hot chips and battered fish wrapped in old newspaper with some sort of sauce (just what kind of sauce, however, can divide the tightest knit family.)

Nutrition- 8
Taste- 8
Service- 3 (order let down- see below)
Ambience- 6
Extra mile- 6
Budget – Medium (expensive relative to standard fish & chips shops)

*Scores are out of 10

The Fish Shop: Overall rating – /50 on a medium budget

Reel news- the menu cover, giving it the used ewspaper feel

Nards

It should come as no surprise that on occasion I hanker for some good ol’ greasy fish and chips, the kind that I can get from home; fresh, hot and delicious.

Now, please don’t get offended by the following, but it is fair to say that New Zealand fish and chips are far superior to Aussie ones, so craving them, in a place that doesn’t offer a great solution, is not overly ideal. I hate being disappointed by poor food choices, particularly when I have a specific craving for something (and no, this is not a girl thing).

After racking our brains trying to figure out where to get some quality fish and chips, we came across The Fish Shop in Potts Point. Funnily enough we have walked past it on many occasions, and every single time the place has been super busy. A good sign I would say.

The menu

We turned up at exactly 12.05 (5 minutes after opening), and joined 2 other full tables in the restaurant. We were greeted with “Hello, don’t you two look all sporty-spice like?” Ah yes, I haven’t mentioned that we had turned up to eat Fish and Chips straight after a gym workout (well that is the best time to eat them!)

The Fish shop is a cosy little beach themed restaurant, which is owned by the Merivale group (Sydney based peeps think Ivy, Est, Establishment, Felix etc…). What this means is that the food is going to be pretty good. (As an aside, many of the restaurants that make up the Merivale group are fortunate to have well experienced chefs, who continuously come up with exciting menus and great drink selections – as you may guess I am a fan!)

Once we had perused the menu, it was decided that I was going to get the Salmon Fillet on a bed of mash with Asparagus sprinkles. I did have every intention of ordering plain ol’fish and chips, but when I heard about the Salmon it sounded too good to pass up.

Salmon & mash

The question has to be asked then; why did I choose the Salmon in the end? Was it because I felt guilty about the fried food? Was I being overly conscious of my health? Or was it something else along those lines?

The truth is that it was one of those situations where I actually listened to what my body was telling me. Yes, I had been craving Fish and Chips, and I would’ve happily eaten them if that’s what I was actually craving for, but as it turned out, what my body really wanted and needed was nurturing, fatty and salty food.

Now be forewarned, I’m about to get a bit esoteric on you, but read on, as it will make sense – I promise.

With the change in season, comes a change in our metabolism and food choices. Before supermarkets, frozen food and importing we only ate food that was seasonal and local. Coming into winter the body naturally starts to hanker food that is going to help you through the colder months – energy dense foods. We are hardwired that way, so you can’t, nor should you, try and resist it. There is no point fighting your body, so learn to go with it.

Secondly, when we are facing periods of emotional stress (such as working too hard, or experiencing financial stress etc..) you turn to food groups that are representative of a time when you felt safe and experienced pleasure – for most, this is when you were a child surrounded by loved ones – think your traditional family fun meal. This is an important point to understand. Food is not just about fuel – food is nutrition – nutrition for your body, being and soul. It is emotional, which is why so many people struggle with their weight, and experience a huge array of feelings when eating. Being able to acknowledge this will help you identify what your cravings mean:

  • Are you craving because you are psychologically missing something,
  • Are you craving because you are physically missing something, or
  • Are you craving because your body is changing and adapting to its environment?

Whilst these points seem a little ‘far out’ for some of you, by identifying with it, you will be in a much far better position to work out what is going on with your body, further enhancing your bodies intuition which ultimately makes it easy for you to navigate good health.

And this is what this blog is about – educating you and exposing you to different points of view that enhance good health.

For me, I went with the Salmon because I was craving nurturing, quality fats and salt that in turn helped to calm my nervous system. I didn’t want the ‘fish and chips’; I just wanted to feel better.

Deep.

Apologies, for the long post from me…. Let’s see how MC backs that up? J

The specials

Mike

Right. Yes, deep. Deep indeed.

But then to hide that side of food, eating, health and us, would be to hide, umm, us. To a degree.

Steamed snapper

Personally I didn’t get anywhere near that deep with my meal choice. I just listened intently when the waiter rattle off the specials. Decided instantly that I wanted the steamed snapper with tomato and chilli and to share some mussels with NN to start.

I am a simple creature though, perhaps this speaks volumes of our relationship……

Anyway, I digress.

Sustainability

One thing I liked here instantly was the conscientious approach of The Fish Shop. They source and use sustainable fish, they offer the standard fried fish & chips, however, they also offer healthier (and tastier) options like the steamed snapper I had. They were friendly and could rattle off the entire specials board in full details off hand and provide a nice dining experience.

However, what pissed me off, and doesn’t impress me ever, is when wait staff insist on remembering your order without noting it down- and then stuffing it up.

We didn’t get out mussels to start, they were completely forgotten. That grinds my gears.

Admittedly in the end we didn’t need them, my meal was brilliant and filling, however, I ordered them and I wanted to at least try a few. So definite marks off for that f**k up.

You’ll notice the restaurant main menu prices on the specials- that’s because that’s what it was- awesome quality, great tasting food.

In the end my key message here is- fresh fish is amazing for you and just because you’re faced with the local fish shop that certainly does not mean you have to order the battered and deep fried option. Ask if they have grilled, baked or steamed options and do yourself a favour.

Perhaps even on an incredibly deep level…

NN and MC


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