Salty fingers, fish and chips at Sharky's, Hillarys
As the days of my childhood seem to slip further and further away from me, I keep looking back and reminiscing of those days when the exciting meal of the weekend was fish and chips. It almost seems insane when you think of the fact that I was being served up some truly incredible meals by my parents that I have to beg for now.
Though it definitely isn't the best fish and chip spot in Perth, when I think of this food type, I think of Sharky's at Hillary's Boat Harbour. This place is an institution; packed no matter what time of day you go there in summery weather. The line is long, the temperature sweltering and the price higher than what you should really be paying here.
However that said this place has a soft spot in my heart. I've eaten many a meal here, licking salt off my fingers and savouring the greasy goodness.
Meal for two
After a 40-something degree day at work, Jeremy and I have ditched the idea of cooking on this Friday night, so we head down to Hillary's and battle the crowds. The line at Sharky's actually goes out the door but we don't let it phase us and stand in the queue while we decide what we want to eat. After some deliberation we decide to let go of our usual orders (my insistence on having a pineapple fritter with everything and Jeremy's love of crab sticks) and choose the meal for two. It's $22.50 and comes with a mammoth serving of chips, two pieces of fish and a handful of squid rings. We order a serve of tomato sauce, tartare, and a couple drinks each to round out our dinner, totalling at $39 all up.
Drinks and sauces
When our buzzer goes off to signal our meal is ready, we unwrap the grease paper and reveal a steaming pile of food that smells incredible. The chips are a great combination of soft starchy texture and oily crunchiness. I like the crunchy chips myself so I dive in and steal a couple before devoting my attention to my fish.
The batter at Sharky's is not too light nor is it too heavy. It's on the sweeter side of batters which is an interesting variation to the norm for fried fish, but I actually don't mind it. The fish inside is soft and flakes apart with the slightest prod of my finger. It's greasy but that's part of the experience and when combined with the tomato sauce or the tartare it works in harmony. After awhile, like most fish and chip meals, the oiliness does start to put me off my food but that's because I'm not used to eating really greasy food that often. And that doesn't mean I wasn't enjoying each bite!
The squid rings are a bit of a different story. They're crumbed and similar to the kind that you'd buy in the frozen foods section of the supermarket. Though they're not as chewy as I expected and actually have some tenderness, they're not my cup of tea so I only eat the one.
Like all meals at Sharky's we leave a big pile of chips behind when we're full to the brim. The servings here are really decent so that's a definite plus given the price you pay for the food. And though it's nothing special, when you're there on a summer evening watching the sunset, it doesn't feel too shabby at all.
Sunset at Hillarys