D’Lish Fish


105 Beach St, Port Melbourne. Phone 9646 0660

There’s the weekend product of an afternoon’s cooking in the form of a no-doubt tasty mixed legume and vegetable soup awaiting in the freezer.

There’s good Italian cheese, excellent sourdough bread and olive oil to make it sing even more sweetly.

But a lusty must-be-obeyed desire for fish and chips has stolen in and mugged me.

Trouble is, it’s Monday night, and I trust none of the usual suspects in either Williamstown or Moonee Ponds to be open, so it’s over the bridge I go.

The ritzed-up Port Melbourne neighbourhood around the ferry terminal has been around a long time now, but it still has an air of artificiality about it – a bit like the Docklands waterfront precinct closer to the CBD.

Melbourne and its bay? Not a relationship that ever seems to prosper and thrive, is it?

In any case, we’ve never had much use for Port Melbourne, despite it being so close, really, to our western suburbs base. Although we have some good meals at Waterfront Station Pier Restaurant, which is just adjacent D’Lish Fish.

I’m delighted, however, to find this fish and chippery not only open early on a Monday night but actually quite busy. The sun is shining across the bay from Williamstown, there’s grandparents and grandkids coming and going; cyclists and joggers, of course.

It so feels like much later in the week – a Friday night when work and school are over, perhaps, or a lazy Sunday evening – that the effect is quite disorienting.

I seem to recall from a previous visit that what is now D’Lish Fish once bore the name of a famous, mouthy member of the AFL community. I’m glad that’s no longer the case.

Despite the flash surrounds there’s nothing flashy about D’Lish Fish – it’s a straight-up fish and chip place, rudimentary seating available inside and out. If the prices are just a smidgeon higher than our usual suspects, then it’s by so little as to be of no account.

In fact, my lunch pack – chosen from the menu behind the ordering counter at the entrance – is a pretty good deal.

Flake, four calamari rings, one prawn cutlet, chips – $13.

Throw in  tartare sauce and a can of that Coca Cola stuff and the damage is $17.50 – a little more than I was planning on spending on my dinner, but it’s just the ticket.

The calamari is superb – so tender and unchewy. It tastes of the sea!

The prawn cutlet, unusual for me, is pretty good, too.

The fish is excellent, firm and flavoursome. I really appreciate the fact it doesn’t leak oil on to the chips below, as is so often the case. It’s a little over-salted, though.

The chips are just good rather than great, and a little under-salted.

All in all, a fine meal – a spur of the moment decision come good.

In fact, I am pleased to note on my way back over the bridge that my tummy feels contentedly like it’s enjoyed a regulation meal – as opposed to the “Oh my God – what did I do that for?” feeling that sometimes follows the impulsive consumption of fish and chips, pizza and the like.

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