Serenity Blu, Shop 4/29-35 Lake St, Caroline Springs. Phone: 8390 1700
A few days after eating at Serenity Blu, a friend asked what there was to write about a fish and chip shop.
Turns out she was not familiar with the new-school F&C joints that have come on the scene in the past decade or so – somewhat in tandem with the similar burger places.
For her, fish and chips meant wrapped in paper and always takeaway.
The places we like, by contrast and featured many times here on Consider The Sauce, are quite different.
So what do we seek or want from flash F&C places?
We want a nice, bright, clean setting.
We expect to eat in-house.
We want cooks/chefs who look like they know what they are about – if they’re dressed smartly, so much the better.
We like seeing a nice line-up of at least a couple of good salads.
We most definitely expect to use real cutlery to eat food that is on real plates (or, in the case of Serenity Blu, boards).
We want to see a good range of seafood available, both grilled and fried.
Most of all, we’ve come to expect to be able to get fish, chips and salad, well presented, for under $20 – that is, at least $10 less than the same meal would cost in a restaurant proper or pub.
Serenity Blu, a new operation in Caroline Springs housed in what was formerly Ocean’s D’Lish, scores well on all those counts.
Though we’re equally happy to see they are enough grounded in F&C tradition to offer potato cakes and chips with gravy!
My mid-week lunch companion is Conan of the Yo India Food Truck, a Caroline Springs local.
As we talk shop and other matters of mutual interest, we enjoy a very nice lunch.
Conan chooses the grilled salmon with chips and salad ($17.50).
The fish is well cooked through but still very good.
My flathead fillet with chips and salad ($16.50) is every bit as fine.
The fish is well battered and cooked, and of a good size.
In both our cases, the chips are good but fall short of great.
My coleslaw – the serve is smaller, by my choice, than would’ve normally been provided – is fresh and lovely.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is Conan’s quinoa/melon/grape salad.
Normally, I’d be suspicious of anything so redolent of hipster wellness, but this really does taste wonderful.
Serenity Blu is the baby of Aydin.
That’s her in the middle, with nephew Tarkan on the left and son Yakup on the right.
Tarkan has previously worked at Nobu and that sort of breeding shows in the food preparation and presentation at Serenity Blu.
Perhaps I should keep a closer eye on Caroline Springs.
In some spare time I had before meeting Conan, I spied restaurants of the Japanese and Malaysian varieties that I did not know were there.
Then, in the shopping centre proper, I ran into Jacqui The Urban Ma and her kids.
Finally, as I entered Serenity Blu itself, I met Natalie Galea Ahmet.
Natalie runs Garden of Eden Photography, and through that has somewhat accidentally fallen into doing social media work for eatries she has shot – including this one!
It was through contact she made with a Star Weekly colleague that I learned about this new F&C place.
I love how connections work.
Photo: Garden of Eden Photography