Fish and Chips

You walk past the sliding doors and to your left and right is a coffee shop and charcoal chicken like shop. But that’s not what you came to the plaza for in Langwarrin. You see a short distance away a yellow glow that is very familiar to you. The glow is from the heat lamp behind the window keeping a few small assortment of food at the ready.

You think about getting these chips at least once a week. Something so good shouldn’t be had every day but a part of you doesn’t care as you know that what you are about to have is more than worth the effort to burn it off, not that you would want to burn it off.

You are greeted by the owner. An Asian man – you don’t know if he’s Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese. It doesn’t matter as such, but you are curious, as you would like to know more about the man that makes the best fish and chips you have ever had in your life. He is very focused. Greet, take the order, give change, give the ticket and straight to cooking. He doesn’t mind a bit of conversation but he knows where to put his time and he doesn’t waste it. To him, it might seem just another day going through the steps of cooking fish and chips. He watches the clock and times it for when the food is ready. To him its ratios of flour, water and time cooking.

It’s first come first served without exception, if it’s a twenty-five-minute wait then it’s a twenty-five-minute wait. You can sit and wait, and maybe chat or explore the shops a little bit or grab some food from Coles. While at Coles all you think about is the time before you can be rest assured that when the time is up the food is ready.

You can be a picky eater at the best of times but because the food is so good it makes you feel guilty for only getting chips but you bite the bullet and try a junior flake. One thing that you have never had before.

Time is finally up, he put the chips in a cardboard tray and the man asks if you want chicken salt or normal, either are good but you prefer normal. He shakes the salt canister over your chips; the salt raining down over your chips like fine snow. He wraps the chips in paper like its origami and he does it like it is nothing.

You get home, you have sauce and plat ready to go and you go to your room and unwrap your present to yourself. The chips are a golden yellow; not some brown, or some burnt. They are all the same. The junior flake is the same golden yellow. Since you’ve never had one before it looks odd to you, like an oddly shaped island that was covered in a golden layer of light crispy batter.

You go for the fish. The batter is light even though it looks heavy because of the size of the fish. It’s not what you would call junior but you are glad it wasn’t. The texture of the fish is like cream, it is so tender you could spread it with a butter knife. The batter is like grounded down rock candy; light and subtle. The crispy crunch as you bite down wakes your mouth up and makes you want to scarf it down like a animal that hasn’t been fed all week, and the chips are just as good. Golden fingers that looked like they were cut by a master samurai. The soft mash like potato on the inside. Heston Blumenthal would spend three days refrying the same batch of chips and will mash the potatoes from a tool that dwarfed the imagination. The Asian man at the fish and chip shop will cut the chips with a standards kitchen tool used for quickly cutting chips and he’s will be better than Heston Blumenthal. You don’t how much Heston would charge for chips but seven dollars for fish and chips is a steal and it is something that even the average joe can enjoy.

There are few pleasures in life, most people want the big one like wealth and glory. Like they say “the small things matter” and although fish and chips might seem small to certain people. If you were to be asked what is the meaning of life you would say fish and chips.

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