In food - as in fashion, as in life - it's all about character. Fantastic food served in boring, drab locations can only ever reach the half-way point. Where (and how, and why) you dine is almost as important as what you dine on. I said almost as important, and I mean that. The character of a place; somewhere where the waiters where stripey breton tops (this is a fish restaurant, after all), and the tables are cast-iron benches, and there's fishing wire and rope everywhere and miniature penguin figurines and it looks like the inside of some billionaire playboy from the 1970s 60-foot yacht - well, the character of the place adds to the dining experience. But it only adds, it can't create one. Because at the heart of those faux-plastic plates and baking paper swathed mains is the slippery, flip-flopping fact that good, fresh seafood is really what you'll get here. Buckets of prawns with a tartare dipping sauce, all of that good deep-fried, beer-battered shit, garlic-y cuttlefish, mussels in apple cider and much much more, depending on what they bought at the market and how they're feeling in the morning. That's the kind of seafood you want. The kind that's so fresh it still smells like the sea. The kind that's so good it leaves you feeling warm and satisfied and happy, with just enough room left over for an ice cream sandwich or a coupe of coconut sorbet and palm sugar syrup.
The Fish Shop, 22 Challis Ave Potts Point