Canberra’s The Fish Shack has beaten all-comers to claim the title of the ACT’s best fish and chips.
The annual Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) Great Australian Fish & Chip Awards recognises the best fish and chippers from across the country.
The Fish Shack’s crown is the first to be awarded to an ACT venue, and it edged out the competition by just 10 votes.
The Civic store’s owner, Hai Le, says they’ve taken part in the competition for a few years but this is the first time they’ve won.
“It was great, we’re really proud,” he says.
“It’s a period of time where not every business is flourishing so it’s good news for us.”
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With a menu that includes all the regular favourites alongside plant-based veal, ‘facon’ and shitake mushrooms, The Fish Shack caters for many customer diets.
“We’ve got gluten-free fish and chips, and we’ve got regular battered fish and chips,” says Hai.
“We also cater to the vegan community with plant-based fish.”
Hai praises his staff for their continuous efforts and hard work.
“My staff all work really hard, and they’re really passionate and proud of what we’re doing,” he says. “We’re pretty unique.”
Close to 300,000 people from across Australia voted in the awards.
“In every town, across every state and territory, people spruik their fish and chips as number one,” says SIA chief executive Veronica Papacosta.
“So we’ve listened to the people and crowned the best fish and chip shops around the country.”
The awards also recognise the importance of buying fresh, local produce.
“It’s important to always ask for Aussie seafood,” she says.
“Buying Australian seafood supports Australian fishing families and the regional communities they operate in.”
Hai says he’ll definitely throw his hat in the ring again for the 2022 Great Australian Fish & Chip Awards.
“We’ve got new menus coming next year,” he says. “We always try to push it, but not just fish and chips – we do other funky stuff with the fish and chips, too.”
The awards are supported by funding from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation on behalf of the Australian Government.