The NSW Competition
2017 New South Wales People's Choice Winner
Terrigal Beach Fish & Chips Co.
Name: Sabina Kelley
Business and location: 108 Terrigal Esplande, Terrigal NSW
Can you share a happy fish and chip memory?
My grandmother liked to recount a story about one of my first fish-and-chip meals. Apparently I was eating only the chips and she suggested I eat the fish too. I told her I hated it but tucked in nonetheless. After asking for more fish, she said: “But I thought you hated it?” And I replied: “I do, I ‘hated’ it all up.” She loved to tell that story. It was retold for decades!
Where have you eaten the best fish and chips?
Apart from our place, we’ve had some great seafood in New Zealand. We’ve just come back from there and tried many different fish and chip shops and had some lovely flounder.
In your business, what do you consider to be the best fish to use for fish and chips?
Anything skinless. I really hate battered fish with the skin left on. It gets all slimy. We do all the filleting but buy Blue Grenadier for our ‘fish of the day’. All that remains is lovely fish. We also sell flathead and Barramundi and have daily specials.
And how do customers enjoy it?
Most customers choose battered fish and chips. Second choice is grilled, with a crumbed option third. The fish is served with homemade tartare sauce. Homemade products are a labour of love for me.
Do you have a personal favourite?
I love battered flathead with chips, salad and homemade tartare sauce. And our grilled Barramundi with chips.
What Australian wine (or other beverage) would you match with your fish and chips? A nice chardonnay goes well with the fish and chips.
How long have you been making fish and chips?
I’ve been working in the industry since I was 13. I began an after-school job at my local fish and chip shop and stayed for 19 years. About six years ago, I decided to go out on my own. So with my husband, Ben, and our young daughter in tow, we opened the Terrigal Beach Fish and Chip Co. [in 2014]
What value does winning the award have for you?
When you deal with customers on a daily basis, it’s not always easy. It can be quite busy in the shop, but you want to make all customers feel special. So, when we found out that our customers had been nominating us for the award, it felt great. I loved it. We didn’t even know we were in the competition until we were in one of the top spots. I think our friendliness, customer service and good food paid off.
Do you think it can help to promote the consumption of seafood in Australia?
I think the awards help to highlight Australian product. When we started in the business, we’d have people leave because they thought we were too expensive. But I think people are becoming more savvy about where their food is coming from, which is not only good for my business, but for the industry generally.
Winner of Judged Best Fish and Chips Industry Award
Pelican Rocks Cafe.
Fish & Chips Public Voting for People's Choice Awards closed at 5pm 7 July 2017.
Winners were announced at the NSW state awards 20 July 2017
The top five shops in the peoples choice as they finished at 5pm outlined below:
1. Terrigal Beach Fish & Chips Co.
2. Pelican Rocks Cafe
3. Mark's Fish Shop
4. Avoca Beach Seafoods
5. The Fishbox & Co.