Gold Coast’s best fish and chips winner revealed
The Gold Coast is hooked on fish and chips, but who fries the best of all? Amber Macpherson has reeled in the top 10 as voted by you.
10. Fish Face Fryer
20 Siganto Drive, Helensvale
This shop pays tribute to the original home of the fish and chip with an English twist on the takeaway staple. UK ex-pat Andy Smalley says customers often comment they've waited years to taste the fried food of the motherland. "At night time people from the UK come from all over to order from my shop," he says. "We're a traditional fish and chip shop, we try to cater for Australians so we have flake and that as well, but our best fish is North Atlantic cod and haddock. It's premium fish I have to pay a premium price for. It's so nice and tender, it comes from the clearest waters on the planet. It gets frozen at sea and sent over here. I cut all my own potatoes, I have a potato peeler I imported from the UK."
9. Fish Mongers
7/9 James St, Burleigh Heads
The landscape might have changed since this shop opened in the 1940s but the service has remained the same at Fish Mongers. "Customers like the fact that we wrap the fish and chips up in paper, sort of old school," manager Doug Penlington says. "We try and stay to the traditional fish and chips, the way we cook, crumb, batter and grill." The beachside fryer has a strong focus on fresh, local seafood, including oysters and prawns, and uses sunflower seed oil to make the perfect serve of crispy potato chips. "One of the main things which we use is an expensive oil, a sunflower seed oil, which has got the Heart Smart tick."
8. Charis Seafood
371 Marine Pde, Labrador
This Labrador restaurant is an institution on the Gold Coast, offering a huge range of fresh fish fillets, whole fish, prawns, oysters, bugs, octopus and more. Co-owner Jim Stamoudis says the shop is known for providing something for everyone. "Our most popular meal would be our calamari and chips, everyone likes calamari and chips," he says. "We've got family deals as well, there's a variety from hamburgers to vegetarian dishes, snacks and gluten free meals. We use vegetable oil for our chips which are Australian as well. We've got to try to support what we've got here."
7. The Jolly Roger
3/110 Mountain View Ave, Miami
This new Miami haunt is not your average fish and chip shop. In just over four weeks The Jolly Roger has reeled in schools of customers for its unique fish and chip options, beers on tap and comfortable fit out. Co-owner Isa Ham runs the business with his partner Emily Liu, their first venture together. "With the menu, what we wanted to do was shy away from the traditional fish and chip shop," he said. "We wanted to have something on the menu for everyone. There's gluten friendly options, vegetarian options, a tofu-based product, and the biggest hit has been the keto fish and chips. We've now got people travelling from around the country to sample the keto fish and chips."
6. Red Hot Cod
1716 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
With a menu full of wild-caught fish you'll be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive the options are at this Burleigh Heads shop. "We're known as the home of the $5 fish and chips lunch special, with wild caught New Zealand fish and chips," co-owner Simon Scott says. The quality doesn't end there, though. "We've got really good clean oil, the beer batter is super crispy and popular, and we're really proud we use chips not fries," Simon says. "The sauces are all handmade in house, and we sell a massive amount of salad and Indonesian street food, something different to offer as well to our wild caught fish and chips."
5. Rio Vista Seafoods
67 Rio Vista Blvd, Broadbeach Waters
Rio Vista Seafood owner Maria Barrow says you only need two things to make the perfect crispy chip: "nice, fresh, hot oil and a really good quality potato," she says. The Broadbeach Waters takeaway shop is described by customers as a hidden gem, with a strong following of locals that love the range of fresh seafood. "We do fish and chips and burgers and fresh seafood, local prawns, fresh oysters, and a decent sized variety of Australian fish," Maria says. "We do awesome burgers. The fish and chips and calamari sells really well, then flathead and calamari and the standard fish and chips. We have a really good local consistent trade, we look after the locals."
4. Sorrento Seafoods
Sorrento Shopping Village, Bundall Rd, Bundall
Sorrento Seafoods takes a traditional approach to its fried fare. "We're old school, we make everything from scratch," manager Lee Kliendienst says. "We make all our own potato scallops, fish cakes, chowder, meat, everything." Sorrento Seafoods has been operating in Bundall for more than 30 years, with Lee putting its longevity down to "consistency, good oil and good quality food". "We always have fresh local fish every day, always good service and we know all of our customers. You can get fish and chips for $10.50, and you can also get a great hamburger meal for $13."
3. Mudgeeraba Seafoods on School Street
Shop 2/51 Railway St, Mudgeeraba
Every good business needs two prongs - the face of the operation and a worker behind the scenes. "My wife, she's the culinary expert. She cooks and designs the menus and recipes we do," Mudgeeraba Seafoods owner Peter Hawkes says. "As for me, I enjoy talking to people and being generally friendly. Everybody calls me the good-looking check out chick." Mudgeeraba Seafoods is a regular top 10 finalist in our best fish and chips vote, with customers praising the "melt in your mouth" calamari curls and fresh hoki. "Our turnover's increased 25 per cent since last year, and we're BYO now," Pete says.
2. Scales Seafood
47 Kennedy Dr, Tweed Heads
Fish and chips might be fast food but the process is far from hurried at Scales Seafood. Supervisor Bryce 'Big Brycey' Freeman says the Tweed Heads shop's product is fresh and local. "You can't really make short cuts in seafood, it's very easily told," he says. "We take a lot of pride in a very good product. Our local crumbed prawn cutlets are peeled and cut and butterflied and hand-crumbed each day. What we sell mostly is our fresh local prawns from the trawlers unloaded daily. We're well known for our local fresh mullet as well."
1. Chevron Island Seafoods
48-50 Thomas Dr, Surfers Paradise
The co-owner of Chevron Island Seafoods might soon be immortalised for his service to the salty delicacy.
"The shop has been here since at least 1971, we've had it for the last 25 years. They're going to put a bronze statue of me out the front," Frank Vayonitis laughs.
With an almost 50-year history serving up fish and chips, the team must be doing something right to continue netting fans of its fry-up.
"We've been lucky - we've been the only fish and chip shop in the area," Frank says.
"We have heaps of local trade. A lot of customers can walk here. We have friendly service, a variety of food - not just fish and chips, but burgers and kebabs, too.
"The biggest sellers these days are our grilled fish, like grilled salmon and snapper, with Greek salad and veggies."
For a classic crispy treat, Frank says to try the calamari and chips or fish and chips pack deal.