After spending a lot of fruitless time fishing, I’m of the opinion that there are more than two wise fish in the ocean. Experience tells me that there are lots of fish who were canny enough to snatch bait from my line without being caught.
From our past fish shop experiences on the Gold Coast, it seems that local fish have also been smarter than fish from Asia, with lots more imported product around than local.
But those times have changed. Even some supermarkets are now marking their fish with place of origin, farmed or wild, ‘sustainability’ noted in their advertising.
Two Wise Fish is another sign of the change; a traditional fish and chip shop with modern presentation and values.
Walk in the door and you’ll see that this is not your usual fish shop. With fishing ropes draped across the ceiling, a front counter made of ‘scales’ of wood and a display of the freshest fish, this is an ‘ocean to table’ dining experience in the ‘burbs.
Owner Belinda Gates (nee Ward) is a third-generation fishmonger, growing up in her father’s fish shop in Townsville. Her grandfather, too, had been a fisherman and crabber, selling his seafood in their shop on The Strand. The heritage is evidenced by a photo on Belinda’s shop wall of her grandparents holding the day’s catch.
Returning from overseas last year, Belinda saw a gap in the market for a local fish and chip shop that sold top quality local product.
She saw that the market had moved, with consumers demanding more as well, especially after realising that imported product had been responsible for wiping out a lot of our prawn farms last year. Our choices determine our future.
Since then, Belinda has worked hard to establish rapport with local fishermen, sourcing her fish only from Australian and New Zealand waters. Her fish of the day may include Red Emperor or John Dory, cooked according to your liking with chips and salad.
Such great fish comes at a fair market price, but standard options such as Hoki or Flake are priced to go at $10 or the Two Wise Fish pack for two is great value at $32.90. Kids’ packs are just $6.50.
Two Wise Fish serves F&C standards such as prawn cutlets, sea scallops and kabana, even burgers with a grass-fed beef patty, chicken or fish ($12.50 – $14.50).
But it’s their specialties that we love the most: Award-winning sweet potato chips to die for, Grilled salmon, chips and salad for $23, and a Golden crumbed fish and salad sandwich that’s a perfect meal at $12.20. I can’t get my lips around it fast enough! Check out their prawn and oyster specials as well.
“Happiness is a big fish and a witness,” the sign in Belinda’s shop says. Now, at least, I can enjoy my big fish with a glass of BYO wine ($2pp corkage) without wasting hours on the shoreline.
Two Wise Fish is well worth a visit!
Shop 1/64 Karbunya St., Mermaid Waters, Ph: 07 55786566
Open: Tues – Sun 11am – 8pm
NOTE: Some photos credited to Two Wise Fish.