Frydays Fish and Chippery, Cairns

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New on the scene on the corner of Shields and Abbott Street in the Cairns CBD is Frydays Fish and Chippery which has been open for a few weeks now.  Driving along Abbott Street it’s a little hard not to notice the bright blue neon signs advertising the new eatery.  After driving around and around for a park early last week so I could grab some groceries from Woolies I ended up finding a park near Frydays and went over to have a look at their menu.  The menu at Frydays Fish and Chippery is pretty much stock standard for what you would normally find at a Fish and Chip shop with a few more gourmet options like Sweet Potato Chips and Tempura Batter thrown in.  There is everything from burgers to salads to Coconut Crumbed Prawns with over 10 different types of sauce to choose from including Nahm Jim and Goats Cheese Aioli (yum!).  The prices on the menu at Frydays are also very reasonable and it’s nice to see somewhere not charging through the roof just because of their location.

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Looking for somewhere to grab a quick dinner before I flew out for work last Friday and so I didn’t have to rely on the ‘Curry or the Pasta’ on the plane MS and I went to Frydays.  We went in for dinner at about 6.30pm, just in time to catch all the bats leaving for the evening much to the delight of the tourists.  The corner of Abbott and Shields Street is a very busy corner and certainly a prime position for a Fish and Chip Shop, although obviously not a prime position for just any cafe since the last two (Harry’s and some New York Pizza place didn’t last very long).  MS and I sat down at one of the communal type benches on the Abbott Street side of Frydays and had a look over the menus.  MS had whinged and complained that he didn’t want to go somewhere with greasy food for dinner but since it was my so called ‘last supper’ he didn’t really have a choice.

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In the end he found something on the menu that he wanted and I went up to the counter to order – Two pieces of Spanish Mackerel with Tempura Batter (AU$8 each), two serves of Sweet Potato Chips (AU$5 each) and a ‘Tasty Tempter’ of Lemon and Parmesan Herb Crumbed Calamari (AU$9.50) with some Garlic Aioli for MS and some Cocktail Sauce for me.  In the end it came to just over AU$36 which I thought was fairly reasonable.  The guy that served me at the counter was helpful and friendly and I noticed about 5 or 6 staff in the back.  The place looks to be pretty much entirely run by backpackers and although the owners are locals they weren’t anywhere to be seen.  I sat back down at our communal table and noticed a couple of American tourists at the table next to us, a backpacker waiting for his takeaway at the end of our table and a couple of locals (I think) sitting at a small table on the Shield Street side.

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After about five minutes a waitress bought out a glass of ice with a can of Coke for MS and then about five minutes later our food arrived – each fillet served on a bamboo cutting board alongside the a bowl of Sweet Potato Chips with a small bowl of green salad.  The Lemon and Parmesan Herb Crumbed Calamari came out on a separate board inside a small deep fryer serving basket, a super cute way of serving it.  On the side was the small dish of Tartare Sauce and another small bowl of green salad.

Lemon and Parmesan Herb Crumbed Calamari - Tender and tasty with good old fashioned homemade tartare and fresh lemon wedges (AU$9.50)

Lemon and Parmesan Herb Crumbed Calamari – Tender and tasty with good old fashioned homemade tartare and fresh lemon wedges (AU$9.50)

Firstly, I noticed that both of our Mackerel fillets had the wrong batter.  The batter that we had on our fish was more like the other option of Beer Batter rather than the light and crisp Tempura Batter that we had ordered.  It was thick and greasy, as you would expect Beer Batter to be but we didn’t take it back since we were pushed for time with me having to fly out in the next hour.  It was nice but like I said it was too greasy and I couldn’t finish all of my fish (I always finish my fish) since the grease filled me up too much.  The Sweet Potato Chips were beautiful and sweet with just a slight crispness to them.  Although I thought the serving size was a little bit small for AU$5 in the end I couldn’t finish them all anyway.  The sauces that we ordered were stuffed up and instead we received one Tartare (so that meant we had two because one came with the Calamari) and one Garlic Aioli.  I caught one of the waitresses attention as she walked past and off she went to fetch a small dish of Cocktail Sauce.  She replaced a Tartare with the Cocktail Sauce and took away the extra Tartare.  She could have at least left it.  What if I had already dipped one of my chips in that spare Tartare?  Was it going to someone else for them to dip their chips in it or down the drain?  My guess is the first one.

Spanish Mackerel with Tempura Batter (?) and Sweet Potato Chips (AU$13)

Spanish Mackerel with Tempura Batter (?) and Sweet Potato Chips (AU$13) (yes I know this photo is crap)

The Calamari was lovely and tender with a really yummy Lemon and Parmesan Herb Crumb enveloped around it.  Upon ordering at the counter I asked the guy serving me if it was local squid to which the other guy listening in the background replied that it wasn’t sourced in Cairns but it was indeed Australian squid.  That’s all I wanted to know and I was more than happy with that answer.  I thought that the serving size for the squid was very reasonable for AU$9.50 and although MS and I did our best to eat it all we couldn’t finish it.  I think the fish took up just a little too much room in both of our stomachs.  The one thing that I must comment on is the dire state of the three green salads served to us.  Each of them looked like they had been sitting in the little bowls all day and looked very withered and tiresome.  Neither MS or I touched our salads and I kind of got the feeling that we weren’t the only ones that hadn’t touched those particular salads on that particular day.  I had a look at the salads in the window and there are a few other salads to choose from with your Fish and Chips like Potato Salad and Cous Cous Salad.  I am pretty sure these ones cost extra which is why we just ended up with the plain old green salad (with an emphasis on old).

Tired Green Salad

Tired Green Salad

Despite the greasy fish and the ordinary salad I did actually enjoy my meal, MS however did not.  He claimed that the food was too greasy.  I tried to remind him that we did in fact just dine at a Fish and Chip shop so technically it was always going to be greasy.  What does he know about tasty food anyway?  Most of all I enjoyed the proximity of Frydays in relation to everything that was going on.  It’s a great spot to people watch especially, as I said, in the early evening when the bats are flying over.  Tourists really are absolutely captivated by them.  I like the fresh and vibrant design of the place and the communal benches out the front (there are tables for those that don’t want to sit at a communal bench).  The service was good although we did get asked by two waitstaff how everything was within about five minutes of each other.  That will all iron out over time.  I think with few minor tweaks with the food and service and the owners of Frydays Fish and Chippery are most certainly onto a winner.  Up until Frydays turned up Cairns CBD was lacking in the fish and chip shop department so it’s opening can only mean good news for locals and tourists that enjoy a bit a fried food (I know I do).

Frydays Fish and Chippery

Cnr Shields and Abbott Streets, Cairns QLD 4870

Ph: (07) 4041 1918

Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 9am – 10pm

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Posted on January 25, 2013, in Cairns and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. I hardly ever have fish and chips, but sometimes I crave them so badly!! I will give this place a try next time the craving hits. Have you tried that Fish Fry & Latte place in Martyn St? The name kind of puts me off..

  2. I wouldn’t bother with Fish Fry & Latte, Baking. I work near there and have been in there a few times with clients to pick up a soda and its more like dodgy convenience store food than an actual fish and chip shop……Everything looked kinda of withered under heating lamps.. But that was just my experience!

    • Thanks for the tip! Sounds like I can probably give it a miss then…

      • I would say the exact opposite! If you want something fresh just ask politely :). Their chips are the best and their fish is amazing. Really, Bain Marie food is convenience. Order off the menu, you won’t be disappointed. When we travel to cairns from Townsville, we eat here as its fresh, and I know that the owner/manager is a stickler for quality, having run a number of successful places around cairns.
        I think they’re great 🙂
        Rita (Townsville)

  3. My housemate and i saw Frydays the other night while in town, and thought about going there one night.. the thought of it being run by backpackers kinda puts me off though.. not to be rude, but they just always seem to stuff everything up and don’t stick to the standards the owners put in place. :/

  4. I managed to convince my boyfy to have fish and chips for dinner last night, so we got takeaway from Frydays and had a little picnic on the Esplanade.
    We had the Mackerel (1 grilled & 1 lemon/herb crumbed), the smashed chats with lemon thyme, cous cous salad, tomato & onion chutney and chilli & coriander aioli.
    We were impressed – the fish was delicious and not greasy/oily (the crumbs on mine were so GOOD), the chats were crispy and the dipping sauces tasted great. Only complaints were that the salad was pretty average (like it had been sitting there for quite a while) and the dipping sauce portions were teeny tiny. Will definitely go back! (Uh oh, I now have the taste for fish and chips again…)

    • Yum! Sounds good BMH 🙂 I think a picnic is the way to go. I agree about the sauces tho, small and tasteless. Might have to head back for round 2 when I get back 🙂

  5. Kelly Inverardi

    Hi there, I actually own Fish,Fry & Latte and would like to say that Pickypoot is incorrect in their assumption that we are a dodgy convenience store, as for withered food under a heating lamp,those food items are cooked fresh and placed in the hot box and are there for convenience, however we have and always will cook to order at anytime of the day. As for dodgy, my husband and I run our business with pride and would never consider our business to be dodgy or not clean if that was your inference by any means. I find it disrespectful that you would rubbish our business without ever having tried our food to begin with, so Pickypoot by all means please come and try our fish and chips and Baking myself happy please do not be put off by Pickypoot after all you don’t even know what you are missing out on. By the way please feel free to contact myself, Kelly or my husband Anthony at any time to discuss your comments on 40411553.
    A note about our name Baking myself happy, we thought it was catchy and defined our menu a bit better, but you are welcome to your own opinion.

    Foodvixen, please come on down and try our fish and chips, we think we do a fine job at fish and chips and are repeatedly told so by our many repeat customers. My apologies for tacking this on to the end of your post on another business.

    Happy eating,

    Kelly

    • Hi Kelly, no apology required. I haven’t been to Fish, Fry and Latte but I will certainly make an effort to get down and give your Fish and Chips a go since you are literally just down the road from me! It is hard to find good Fish and Chips in town. I just had some from Captain Cooks Diner on Sheridan Street and it was pretty ordinary that’s for sure.

      • I really enjoyed Fish Fry and Latte FoodVixen when I went with FW, GW and MS and I also think the name is really catchy.

  6. Kelly, Sorry that you are offended, but as I said- that is my experience of being in your establishment. Personally it isn’t a place I would eat or be attracted to and the food I have seen there wasn’t appealing to me, the place comes across as over priced and ordinary, but as I said that is simply my opinion from dining around Australia and Internationally on a regular basis.

    • Hi, as a regular traveller of Australia and abroad, I would like to add I really enjoyed my coffee and delicious fresh sandwich I ate at lunch with my friend and her daughter while I was visiting Cairns.
      Dear Pickypoot, I agree it is disrespectful to bad mouth a business especially after you haven’t actually tried their food and have been invited to by the owner. Don’t judge a book by its cover. By the way, so what if you have eaten all over the world, even food critics don’t criticise food they haven’t tried. Sounds personal to me, Pickypoot…
      Support local business’!

    • Hi Pickypoot, here’s the thing, we are takeaway, not a fine dining establishment…nor are we trying to be, sorry we don’t appeal to you in an asthetic way. Our prices are based on their wholesale and preparation costs, we do check our prices against our competitors and believe that we are very fairly priced. We use local fish, we make all our own hamburger patties, crumb our own prawns, make most of our cakes, make our own batter and the list goes on. Please know that our business is everything to my husband and I, financially and otherwise; we have worked long and hard to make it a success. We know that we can’t please everyone but we do our best everyday 🙂

      Kelly

  7. CountessVonFishen

    I think it’s the best fish and chips in Cairns! I get a grilled fish burger regularly from there and omg it is amazing! I would encourage anyone to give their food a go, you wouldn’t be disappointed. I live in Townsville now and wish Fish, Fry and Latte would move here!

  8. Just stating again that it is just my opinion- nothing personal. Kelly I wish your business the best, as I said it just doesn’t appeal to me. That’s the great thing about having an opinion online, everyone has different thoughts and experiences and we can all express them in an open forum.

  9. @Pickypoot, yes, we have heard your opinion, repeatedly. It is great that we all have different thoughts and experiences, but then, you really haven’t really had an experience, have you? Other than going in there to get a soda? This is a forum for food, isn’t it? And you haven’t actually tried the food… I think if you really did wish the owner the best with her business you would stop citing “it doesn’t appeal to me”
    On a brighter note, one of the top fish and chip shops in Cairns! Kudos to Fish, Fry and Latte!

  10. Pickypoot, can I just say that I agree to the extreme that people should never judge a book by it’s cover, especially without personally experiencing the food or service on offer. I have travelled Australia extensively over the years and have eaten at many café’s and take away outlets. Surprisingly enough I have actually eaten at Fish, Fry & Latte and found not only the service to be outstanding but the food, presentation and cleanliness to also be of an extremely high standard. I keep record of any food outlet that has these qualities so as to make sure I return should I ever visit that city again. I am starting to wonder if perhaps you are confusing them for a different business as your comments are so grossly incorrect and unjustified…..

  11. You just might make someone’s day. Old Maid Cards and Uno are also perfect options. G0 homemade.

  12. Captain Cooks Diner is awesome..have new people in there running it..have been there every friday night for the last 3 months for my weekly fix..great value and the most cleanest fried food ever..

    • Thanks Jacko! I’m still in search of the best fish and chips in town, maybe the Captain Cooks Diner could be on the money. I could smash a serve of fish, chips and calamari right now 😉

  13. be prepared to wait 20 minutes on friday nights(not that long really)as the line is constantly out the door..had lunch there today again,beautiful..these guys just do it simple and clean.

  14. Never been to Fish,Fry & Latte but I certainly will now- I look forward to trying it out! Love me some fish n chips

  15. The best fish and chips are in Clifton beach next to the petrol station and super reasonable price.

  16. Fish, Fry and Latte are the best fish and chips in Cairns. On the plus side, there are several other great fish and chips places in Cairns, including Frydays and Captain Cook’s and the Freshwater butcher, it just depends where I am at the time. But if I had to rate them, FF&L is number one.

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