Fish, chips, excellence


Batterbing, 60 Douglas Parade, Williamstown. Phone: 9397 1227

Batterbing is located in a Douglas Parade premises that has been home to fish and chips for a long, long time.

Decades, I’m guessing.

Can any Williamstown readers tell us?

In any case, these days – under its newish name – it’s being run by John McMonagle, whose work we loved so much at Dough! in Newport.

His Williamstown location is superior – it’s handily placed for more drop-in and foot traffic.

And that’s great – it means more people can enjoy the super work being done by John and his team.

The place remains very much an old-school fish and chip shop, with rudimentary dine-in facilities – a bench and stools inside, a few tables and chairs on the footpath outside.

But none of that matters.

Here be made – and happily consumed – what are, in our opinions and experience, the best fish and chips in the western suburbs.

(Matched mind, you, by Ebi in Essex Street, Footscray – very different style, equally fine outcome.)

The Batterbing art starts with chips.

Here the potatoes are hand-cut and tumbled – and are wonderful.

Real spuds make for hip chips.

I go with my never-fail arrangement carried over from the Dough! days – now officially called Combo for 1 ($15, top photograph).

Those chips, a handful of tender calamari rings and a nice chunk of juicy, delicious and expertly deep-fried blue grenadier.

So very fine!

Unlike Dough!, there are no pizzas at Batterbing.

But there are burgers – so we take one of them for a run, too.

The Lil Jerry Seinfeld – is there some in-joke I’m missing? – is a doozy.

Crisp and deeply tanned deep-fried chicken thigh is joined in burger harmony by just the right amount of slaw and mayo in a purple bun.

Like all the Batterbing burgers, it comes with a side of those chips – and that makes the $13 entry fee a dead-set bargain.

114 thoughts on “Fish, chips, excellence

  1. The real “old school” fish shop goes back at least as far as 1970s, probably longer, and its demise was within the last decade.
    The next iteration was fancy but there were usually more staff than customers whenever I walked by so its relatively quick demise was assured.
    I suspect it is not a particularly good location anymore when you consider the limited parking. It is probably frequented by school kids more than the bigger spending family purchases.
    The fish shop that is probably closer to your “old school” shop is the one halfway down the shopping strip in Ferguson St – it seems to do a roaring trade and the smell that wafts out of there is enticing.

    Unfortunately I don’t eat F&C anymore as I always feel bilious afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

      • OK, better location than Blackshaws Rd for the dedicated F&C enthusiast but more competition than the former location.

        Now that I think about it, the Dougie Pde shop was operating back when I was a child in the 1960s. I can recall it really was a typical F&C shop of the era as I remember it had water running down the inside of the window – something you just don’t see anymore.


      • Well Kenny, it took several years and a pandemic but Batterbing is no more. Been watching the shop intently over the last few months as a study into small businesses for my VCE business classes. What I had been seeing up until a month ago was the lone proprietor, an Asian guy, propped up inside the counter playing with his iPhone. Not a customer in sight and this was the usual sighting for months on end – and at prime time for fish and chips – around 5 – 6pm. Only once did I see anyone on the tables and chairs outside having a feast – pity is the stuff looked pretty good.
        The fact remains that there are so many fast food in Willy including what I regard as an oversupply of F&C shops. Two in Nelson Pl virtually across the road from each other, one in Ferguson St, one on the Strand near the roundabout, one at the Rifle Range and the Rotunda at the beach in good weather as well as one up Melbourne Rd on the south side of the junction. Have I missed any?
        On a different matter, what I do find quite curious is the amount of men’s barber shops that have popped up in Willy in recent years – last count was five or is it six? Given that the recent census showed that Willy’s demographics pointed to an older than average population then wouldn’t it be reasonable to deduce a higher than average hirsute challenged blokes in the catchment area?


      • Hi Pablo! Interesting comments. Sad about Batterbing, but while it had the same name for the past few years, it’s a long time since original boss John was there. He now runs Here Fishy Fishy on Blackshaws Rd and we like it. During lockdowns and since I have once again been going to Top Of The Bay for my F&C fix. I also like the kiosk at Willy Beach for the same. The hipster barber shops? Mate, they’re all over. I get a “0” buzz cut every couple of weeks. But I get mine at any one of several Vietnamese hairdressers in Footscray. They charge $10-15 – I’ll go with that, even if it is about five minutes’ work. 10 at the most! The new wave barber joints charge $20+! The hipster barber shops, I reckon, are as much about a vibe as hair matters. That’s fine – I kinda get it. But it’ll be interesting to see how that lay of the land looks in five or so years!


      • Yeah I get shorn in Footscray too.

        As for these hipster joints, I recall giving a business assignment to Y11 some years ago. One of the boys came up with a business plan to open a hip barber shop complete with a cigar room and serving alcohol. I told him he had some great ideas but the cigars won’t pass the local or state laws and also it was doubtful that a barbers shop would get an alcohol licence.
        Fast forward to London Pride on the corner of Electra St and Fergie St (formerly a chemist) and they have spent a zillion dollars on doing it up to a theme. And they have a bar so you can have a beer while you wait for a haircut or maybe you can just have a beer.
        Just shows you how little imagination I have …….


      • The competition I refer to are all the f&c shops in Willy. Remember that much of Willy is in easy walking distance to anywhere.

        So let me think:

        Rifle Range Shops
        Ferguson St
        The Strand
        Nelson Pl X 2
        plus the rebirth of Dougie Pde

        And don’t forget the Newport shop, south of the overpass.

        I’m not here to spruik one over the other, and I have disclosed that I don’t eat F&C anymore. But from a business/commercial perspective I just wonder if they have done their homework. There are better locations in Willy to set up a fast food business. Now if they do have a superior product and know how to drag in the customers then the location will be of secondary importance.

        On a broader perspective, if you kept up with a recent set of articles in The AGE, they looked at the liveability factors of various suburbs and the amount of fastfood outlets as well as liquor outlets were a target. It was no surprise to me that Willy, despite its upwardly mobile demographic, scored very poorly on both counts.

        On the other hand, if they had have counted the amount of Mercs, Beemers and Audis per capita in Willy, then Willy would have stood proud (ahem!!) with the likes of Sth Yarra and all those other fancy places.


  2. she takes recipes and cooks in her place then visits family to eat,that is how it goes anna’s show,but i think she got some help how to cook malawah 😊


  3. i was telling them that ok his son is white but the eat was aiming asian community although bennie liked it heaps. sorry my sentence was really bad worded.apology. your son is bennie. sorry considerthe sauce


  4. very good nene introducing chips,burgers for aussy taste in australia.broadsheet review was good but hinted change needed(they noticed who is the target)so they can feel its their joint. “2 owner i would advice him to reduce ethnic ,the asian population is large enough in australia,but flexibility is necessary in australia. give some of the franchises flexibility i would say.


  5. media will report as ethnic the nene chicken while the titlle is “korean” and they will not be shy to mention korean population in australia but don’t waste non asian customers,


  6. melting pot song😁😁😁 it doesn’t matter if you are black or white old themed songs,i am going to have yellow and brown biscuits with my coffee to have world class coffee experience😃😃😃


    • she may not feel comfortable goat but beef suqaar she could.malawah is similar to french crepes,and less intimidating,her show is mainstream higher end,i ate goat or liver curry is not going down well with australian general public,but she done her best.well recieved by her folowers


  7. even the curry vegetable was not suqaar without meat,it was’t somali suqaar just without meat,she cooked completely different and no water was used but was roasted vegetables like pizza! it was lets cook somali in french way.😯😞


    • what i was saying was she done well the malawah cook and she chose the dish without fork/spoon,but i also thought its was cheap shot giving the omar’s family a somali food that is not somali dish.


      • but we don’t what really happen there,if omar said goat ONLY when she asked him about curry then we can’t blame her serving roasted vegetables. also omar may accepted the roasted vege,and he it is normal to make people comfortable when they are interested a cuisine they never eaten.she appears enjoying cooking malawah.somali cuisine is too exotic for aussie taste


      • she said ‘inspired” ,she was careful not to say somali dish, the only mistake i can think of is when she use words like somali feast.


      • she was a little too excited about new thing malawah she learned can be eaten with many things, i think what happen was she wasn’t aware the presence of somali community in melbourne,and they may be watching.


    • i would go that far using appropriation thomas,i doubt of most of these cab drivers can cook,they told her probably their fav dish through oral words or conversation and she created the recipes on her head may be.


    • a roasted vegetable! how is it inspired somali,no somali spices was used,the ingredients are so general,not meat,this could be done any by anybody who never seen somali cuisine,it just looked like thanks giving sunday toast without the bird,we don’t have dish you oven cooking in somali cuisine. i don’t think its food appropriation,she did highlight she was using one item in this case malawah and clearly said its somali inspired,she didn’t claim the dish,which is different


  8. this is some one cooking ethnic foods,normally it doesn’t go well around the world,lets look this way,she whiped a very good malawah,good try from her


  9. well anna said inspired atleast,unlike those before her who owned something isn’t their. with globalisation and social media its geting harder to steal cuisines of another culture


      • but english laws can slowly change,in somalia people are fishs animals in the sea,once animal we exported and taboo to eat and now in our restaurant in major cities of somali world.


      • goat and camel is ethnic ,the only time white people will eat ethnic very often in ethnic cafes is when you give them no options on menu like ethiopian cafes or vietnames, bu somali and indian cafes there are western familiar dishes like rice and meat,but to this day its very very small white people who eat goat or camel in somali cafes or curry chapati plates , goat and lanb is so similar,many white people can not tell the difference if you test them,but how people eat is to associated culture. culture plays alot on food.


      • caalim there is yemeni restaurant near newmarket,house mandi,people who love middle eatern rice eat there often,but food is it doesn’t matter taste of food, name and culture is more important, i have tricked my old friends of european background and gaive them goat ,non of them noticed,all of them though lamb, goat is ethnic to western caucasians not because of taste but cultural psychic.its all depends if the cuisine is cultural norm in the society. cultural expectation influence theur behavours.that is why caucasians will always say lamb is better than goat. some examples..somalis they love camel better than any other meat and culture has alot to do their judgement not taste,the other example try to give non-muslim person an non-alcholic bear and you will see even if the non alcoholic bear taste like the alcoholic bear ,they will still say alcoholic bear is better non alcoholic bear because of the cultural expectation from their society they have to say alcoholic how we judge food is not always based taste its culture.


      • it doesn’t matter how well you cook goat,white people will always say lamb is superior to goat in their judgment. i see white people who say i like lamb better than goat in somalieats,they are absolutely liars if they say because of taste


  10. the blogerr could make so amazing food show,its dizzy world dealing rating stuf and may struggle dealing with popularity side of media i think


  11. ha😁 mahamuud they are lying if they say lamb taste better goat in hashagsomali restaurant,they say that from their cultural prospective. i have seen people who say such cultural appropriate the beer😁 they say alcohol beer taste better than non alcoholic bear😁😁😁 i like that example,cultural custom to lie, very good example.look this video they took to laboratory,my food(lamb) is superior,cultural war force them to visit laboratory .


    • dude i tried on a white friend,gave lamb but told him it was goat,the whole night he was talking about delicious somali ethnic meat.but did told him later it was just lamb.he even said goat is better than lamb but its all lie because i was the host haha their cultural background plays key role what is ok to say and not ok.


      • these animals that have similar body shape can not be told the difference,those who say they can are 100% liars. but that youtube posted is a little honesty,they atleast went lab to do testing gene, all this i like this better us based on history culture views,its all lies,i can serve lion meat and it will taste no different beef in reality and i don’t to eat lion to know that. its rubbish when i see people who say lamb is better than that, if new somali kitchen swap names goat and lamb in their reataurant,non can tell the difference.


      • food has always been politic,but its not as bad as old days, eg; you can say i like goat meat but it may still be hard to say i like goat better compared to lamb on cultural pressure,but its more relaxed these days mustafa what can or can’t say.


    • Hi Gerry! Good question! For the past few years, Consider The Sauce has spent quite a lot of time writing about – and eating! – Somalian food, particularly in Flemington. In the process, we have attracted quite a following – in the Somalian community and from elsewhere. As such, there have been numerous rambling, entertaining discussions. And often the discussions/conversations get going on a posts/stories that have nothing to do with the ensuing talk. And that’s fine by me! I love it that CTS has become a focal point in the community for this kind of discourse, especially when the majority of blogs get little or no comments or feedback!


      • Ok, that’s cool, i thought it was just me wondering where this was going, i thought you’d been hijacked by some sort of bot with all those ramblings, cheers!


  12. Would love to see a review of Smiley Fish & Chips in St Albans. It is new and took over the previous Kiwi Fish & Chips store.

    It appears to be getting good ratings online!

    Would like to see your take on it 🙂


  13. London Pride also has a pool table, or at least it did at one stage, and the other cool barber shop in Cole Street, Williamstown, next to Burger Culture also has a liquor licence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s