A note about fish and chips
Fresh fish and chips should be a hallmark of the Tasmanian tourism experience. The island is surrounded by cool ocean waters that harbour many different species of fish and potatoes are a favourite vegetable grown in all parts of the state.
The problem is that there are too few fishing boats that dedicate themselves to supplying a local shops and restaurants. It is easier for most to sell all their catch to the Melbourne fish markets in one transaction, rather than filling in multiple forms for multiple customers.
This is a perfect case of where Government regulation diminishes the experience that tourists and locals can enjoy due to the lack of fresh fish in this state.
We also avoid eating fish that has been frozen. This is not to say that under certain circumstances (such as when a boat goes to sea for a week or more) that it is advisable to freeze the fish. However we find that very few restaurants that thaw fish can do it in such a way that the fish retains the texture that you get from fish caught the same day.
Having said this, there are a handful of places around the state where the boats do go out every day to supply the fresh fish required for the perfect fish and chips experience.
Some good places for fish and chips in Tasmania
We are thinking here of places such as the idiosyncratic Dunalley Fish Market, where fresh fish is served every day and you don’t get to choose what you want, you simply order for the number of people and they choose the fish you get.
Another is the fish and chip establishment at the Gulch in Bicheno called The Wharf. Here the fish is always fresh and they cook everything to order, even the lobsters.
And, hidden away in a suburban street in Devonport is the business called Strait Off the Boat which refers to the fish that they catch using their own boat (the Mary H) which harvests fish from Bass Strait.
Our advice is to order the “Gummy” which is gummy shark, a long running favourite in Tasmania and a feature of the fish that they use at this great venue.
There are six tables here and we would recommend that you eat in rather than take away to ensure that the batter is crisp and the fish freshly cooked.
You can inspect the fillets of fish before you order and the staff are happy to engage in a discussion about the freshness of each. They definitely recommended the “gummy” when we asked about which type of fish we should order. It is a long running Tasmanian favourite.
Street: 17 Forbes St
Town/Suburb: Devonport, 7310
Phone number: +61 3 64232397
Opening hours: Daily
You can read more about Strait off the Boat on their Web site by clicking on the link below: