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Best fish and chips updated. Can anyone compete with Bernie?

By Skyring - 15 August 2011 20

On my Sunday and Thursday night taxi shifts, I hang out for fares going to West Belconnen. If someone says “Charnwood,” I look on them lovingly.

Not because of the distance, but because Charnwood is home to Bernies from the Bay, and their fish and chips are, in my junk food opinion, the finest takeaway in Canberra.

Big slabs of crumbed fish, hot and tangy with lemon juice and salt.

But the chips – handcut, irregular in size and shape, crisp and delicious and glowing gold – are what keeps me coming back. Any other place, where they simply upend a bag of precut frozen industrial grade chips into the oil, stand clear for a minute and then foist them upon a hungry cabbie, well, they don’t match up.

The next passenger in my cab gets a heady mix of fragrances: glorious but fading bass note of fish and chips, overlying touches of vanilla and pine, and a hefty wallop of Minties. Often I get a request to detour via the fast food drivein.

I know that this has been explored in the RiotACT before, but the establishments mentioned with such obvious passion in past discussion have in many cases ceased to trade. Is there any fisho to compete with Bernie?

What’s Your opinion?

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20 Responses to
Best fish and chips updated. Can anyone compete with Bernie?
blowers 11:06 am 29 Aug 11

Signs are up for a new Fish Shop @ Erindale inside and opposite Woolworths. Anyone know about this? Will they be serving up cooked fish or are they set up to be a Fish Market only?

Holden Caulfield 10:14 am 29 Aug 11

So, based on the OP, Mrs C and I went to Charnie for fish’n’chips last Friday night. I was pleased to see whiting and flake on the menu.

But, the chips were not hand cut as has been previously noted on RA and the fish itself wasn’t that great either. To be fair, perhaps the 10min+ drive back home didn’t help. The service was friendly though, and while our first impression didn’t meet the reputation we have read I’d say we might try Bernie’s again one day to see if we just caught them on a bad night.

Dacquiri 10:27 pm 21 Aug 11

I wouldn’t worry too much about Hawker takeaway’s chips (altho their ‘small’ portion is pretty substantial, if that matters to you), given that they do a creamy potato bake that’s to die for.

trickyxr 11:36 am 16 Aug 11

Ben_Dover said :

Hawker chippy does fine chips, best I’ve had in Canberra.

Wouldnt say they are a stand out

trickyxr 11:35 am 16 Aug 11

Bernies by far are the best

Sammy 10:10 pm 15 Aug 11

Dazzlar said :

Does anyone know of a chip shop that does Gluten Free fish and chips?

Not gonna happen. Do you know how hard it is to stop fish eating gluten?

LegalNut 10:05 pm 15 Aug 11

Flatheads at O’Connor has improved significantly in recent times. I hadn’t been for a couple of years due to declining quality a while back but they have now improved.

The fish was well cooked and tasted nice, the batter was light and crispy and the calamari is nearly perfect.

Naked Fish was not that good last time I was down there and Fish Shack in the City was a massive disappointment both times I’ve tried them.

Dazzlar 8:59 pm 15 Aug 11

Does anyone know of a chip shop that does Gluten Free fish and chips?

Swaggie 3:15 pm 15 Aug 11

+1 for the Yacht Club on a weekend, never having heard of Bernies but if I can find a stab proof vest I might head to Charny,

Chop71 1:46 pm 15 Aug 11

Bernies from the Bay is the best.

although we don’t need to tell everyone ….. I like it how it is.

Ben_Dover 1:35 pm 15 Aug 11

Hawker chippy does fine chips, best I’ve had in Canberra.

Classified 1:16 pm 15 Aug 11

Homebrand battered fillets in the oven. Amazing.

Holden Caulfield 12:50 pm 15 Aug 11

I love good fish’n’chips, but sadly Canberra is not a great place for quality.

I usually go to the Fish Shack in the city or the Yacht Club in Yarralumla on a Friday night (when they’re open). Both are reasonably good, but don’t match the goodness available from any number of fish’n’chip shops in my home state of South Australia. All I want is a nice bit of Flake or Whiting.

Flatheads at O’Connor Shops just isn’t the same as it used to be. Mind, I haven’t eaten there for a number of years now, so happy to hear if it’s improved lately.

allyroger 12:49 pm 15 Aug 11

Thanks for this, I am not into fish but being from Scotland where all chips from “chip shops” are hand cut or at least cut fresh on the premises by a machine I appreciate the info. IMHO the use of frozen chips is just lazy, the difference in taste is quite remarkable. I’ll need to find an excuse to go to Charnwood, hope they are open when its light out!

ThatGuy 12:34 pm 15 Aug 11

I haven’t tried Bernie’s but I feel that the Naked Fish in Mawson deserves a mention. Their chips don’t rate too highly but they have one of the nicest light batters I’ve come across for a while.

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