149-151 Lygon St
Carlton, VIC 3053
Remember when getting fish and chips meant walking down the road to a slightly dingy, rundown shop to get some fish, potato cakes, dim sims and minimum chips in a sweaty paper package for the family? As much as I might harbour nostalgia for those childhood memories, you won’t catch me saying no to any of the newer, cleaner, and more stylish fish and chipperies that have been cropping up in recent years.
One such recent entry is Tank Fish and Chips, having opened up shop in both Carlton on Lygon St and Emporium in the CBD. Keeping in with the modern sensibilities, the Carlton venue is a display of welcoming deep blues contrasting with the bright white sheen of the furniture, all accompanied by a neon-lit sign on the far wall. Give me this over a poorly-lit corner shop any day.
Although Tank’s menu covers off all the standard fish and chip variety and then some – including burgers, oysters, salads and sides – for this visit I decided to stick to just the essentials, starting with the Grilled Barramundi with Brown Rice and Pumpkin Feta Salad ($20.9). What struck me about this dish was the lovely crispy skin on the barramundi, and its delightful crunch before tasting the fresh, moist fish beneath. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had such perfectly crispy skin on any fish before. The piquant salad accompanying this displayed a welcome contrast between its sweet pumpkin and bitter rocket in a tangy vinaigrette, rounding out the meal’s flavours nicely.
For the other serving of fish, I chose the Battered Flake with Chips and Garden Salad ($16.9). This fish, coated in an airy beer batter, was enjoyable both with the lemon and the punchy house tartare provided on the side. The lightly herbed chips could have been crispier in my opinion, and didn’t feel like they quite lived up to the quality on show with the rest of the meal, while the garden salad exceeded my expectations. Maybe I’ve just had too many subpar pub salads, but I suppose I was expecting it to be your run-of-the-mill rendition with slightly sad, wilted greens; instead it actually had a really fresh and bright flavour to it, so much so that I was as eager to finish off the salad as I was the fish!
I’ve often been under the impression that Lygon St is good for almost naught but mediocre Italian food, but in comes Tank to show me once again that there’s more to the area than that. Give me a warm sunny day and some fish and chips to eat in the park right next door, and you can call me a happy chappy!
Rating: 12.5/20 – happiest of the chappiest.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Tank Fish and Chips.