2 September 2023

The Fish Shack: Where fish and chips are just the veganning

| Michelle Taylor
A restaurant covered in turtles

The Fish Shack in Petrie Plaza. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

I have seen it and walked past the hexagonal structure swathed in oceanic art many times, but today I am pulling up a chair at The Fish Shack in Petrie Plaza. I know that my vegan friends enjoy the menu here and that this eatery also serves real fish dishes.

Seven years ago, owner Hai took over the original Fish Shack.

While he kept the trademark fish and chips going, he began incorporating vegan deliciousness into the menu, tasty dishes that became an instant hit.

Today, The Fish Shack’s well-honed menu boasts half a dozen burgers, a fun range of loaded fries and Korean fried chick’n.

a man stands in fron of a restaurant

Chef Sujan creates indulgent vegan deliciousness. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

A sucker for loaded fries, I am impressed with the variety available at the Fish Shack: ‘duck’-topped with hoisin sauce and fried shallots; shiitake-topped fries with gravy, melted ‘sheese’, onions and Szechuan aioli; or ‘facon’ and ‘sheese’ with garlic aioli-topped fries.

The chick’n schnitzel crumbed burger with salad and Szechuan aioli and the faux pork-belly burger sound intriguing.

Try saying ‘Sheesy veef burger’ three times. It is a mouthful and, apparently, its namesake is also. In fact, this burger is head chef Sujan’s favourite menu item.

a blackboard menu

The Fish Shack’s specials board. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Chef Sujan tells me that The Fish Shack has three regular weekly specials, each coming in at $12. Taco Tuesdays offer a generously stuffed trio of vegan tacos: prawn, chick’n and fish. If you would prefer real prawns and real fish in your tacos, that can be arranged.

He says the focus here is on house-made vegan goodness and a generous range of gluten-free options. The burger patties are all made from scratch, as are all their sauces.

Batters are gluten-free and beer batter is an option.

I am here to try some vegan deliciousness, so I order the day’s special: the seafood basket and a bowl of Korean Fried Chick’n.

The seafood basket arrives, and let me tell you, it looks just like (drumroll, please) a seafood basket. Tell me these prawns don’t look like the real deal!

deep fried vegan fish and chips

I can’t believe it’s not battered prawn! Photo: Kazuri Photography.

The calamari rings are a dead ringer for calamari! The texture, that firm rubbery-ness of the calamari ring and how it slides out of the surrounding battered crispness, is spot on and uncanny.

The pale orange stripes on the battered prawn, the shape and the texture of the resistance as you bite down- all these things tell your senses that you are eating a prawn! And the batter is crisp and yummy.

Both pieces of battered fish are delicious – one is more seafood-like than the other. However, among all my awe and wonder at how cleverly meaty this faux seafood basket is, I am truly enjoying the flavours for themselves. Each piece is tender with a crispy, well-seasoned batter. And the seasoning on the crunchy fries is great, too. I highly recommend it.

The Korean fried chick’n has me gasping at the familiar crunch, whereupon pulling apart the exterior, the flesh beneath is so tender, so chicken-esque.

vegan deep fried chick'n

The Korean Fried Chick’n has a familiar crunch. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

The batter is flavourful with a hint of heat.

If you love vegan food or are curious about vegan food, dip your tastebuds into the meaty end of vegan options at the Fish Shack.

The Fish Shack is located at 87/105 Petrie Plaza in the city centre. It is open seven days from 11 am to 8 pm. Follow The Fish Shack on Facebook and Instagram.

Original Article published by Michelle Taylor on Riotact.

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