NOT: Kiwi Fish and Chips, Tribeca Apartments, 412- 442 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne

I’d heard much positive feedback about Kiwi Fush and Chups – mainly about the quality of their produce and the fact they fried in relatively healthy canola oil. I’m certainly willing to pay more for ‘posh’ fish and chips if it’s good.

On a rainy Saturday, RM and I were in the mood for a night in so decided to give the takeaway a go. On offer was a variety of fish and seafood, battered or fried, burgers and a selection of sides from fries to salads. The menu was nothing ground-breaking but it seemed to satisfy the customers, ranging from families heading to the football to young professionals living in the nearby apartments. Service was quick and friendly and we carted our paper-wrapped goods home, salivating all the way.

Now  I’m no expert on fish and chips but I’m pretty sure the idea is to have a fillet of fish where you don’t have to pick out the bones. The batter was light and not overly oily, but every mouthful of RM’s battered King George whiting ($7.80) contained a jarring shard of bone, making for an overall fiddly and unpleasant experience.

In a concession to health I had a piece of grilled snapper ($9.80). Either the fish was overcooked, had been frozen and defrosted, or both, but it was rubbery in texture and not indicating the freshness I expect from my fish.

The positive aspects – the potato wedges ($5) were fleshy and well seasoned and the home-made tartare sauce zinged with capers ($2.50). But we’re talking about a fish and chip shop here, not a wedges and sauce shop – and for me Kiwi Fish and Chips just didn’t get the key elements right.

    Kiwi Fish and Chips, Tribeca Apartments, 412- 442 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne +61 3 9417 5494

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23 thoughts on “NOT: Kiwi Fish and Chips, Tribeca Apartments, 412- 442 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne

  1. Interesting. I haven’t been there, but I had been told good things about it.

    I usually reserve fish and chips for when we go to Lorne, so I’m no expert on local places. However, I’ve been to Hooked a couple of times recently and loved it. Guess I will keep going there rather than try this place!

    • Hi Emily

      Thanks I’ve not tried Hooked before, was a bit wary of the chain-store thing. However, I too have heard good things so maybe will give it a go especially as they’ve just opened a branch in Fitzroy. Do you have any dish you like in particular there?

      Jetsetting Joyce

  2. Shame it’s not up to scratch as there’s a shortage of really good fish’n’chip places in Melbourne. The best I’ve found so far is Aqua on Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn – worth a try if you’re ever out on that side of town.

  3. You might want to try the Olde Fish and Chip shop on St Georges road (just across Alexandra Parade) – I’ve only had their chips but they were really good and would, I suspect, leave those stodgy looking wedges for dead.

  4. I went here last night, and it was great! I’m not sure which fish we had but no problems with bones. I had my fish battered, and while it was an extremely unhealthy meal, it was tasty and crisp and I really enjoyed it.

    Hooked is a funny one – I hate to be one of “those” people, but it was much better when it first opened. They hand cut the chips and they were AMAZING. Their consistency is a bit all over the place but when they’re good they’re very good. It’s nice to be able to get healthier options too (lots of salad and bok choy and whatnot).

  5. Actually this is my local fish and chip place and the standard is usually really high. Definitely amongst the best. Too bad you got some not so nice fish.

  6. I find that surprising too, It’s my regular place and i love it. Have never had an issue with bones and i always get the grilled fish… must have been a bad day.

  7. I’m a regular at kiwi & I’ve never been disappointed with their food. The fish has always been beautiful and fresh. I’ve had the king George whiting and it does have bones. I think it’s the best fish & chips in town.

  8. Here’s an email I received from the owners of Kiwi Fish & Chips and my response – a very good example of how to deal with a negative review.

    Hi Joyce.

    My name is Michael, the owner of Kiwi Fish and Chips. I have just read your blog about our fish & chips and I am extremely disappointed that you didn’t enjoy our food as I strive to deliver good quality food and excellent service.

    In response to your comment about the snapper being frozen, we have never used frozen snapper as our fish is delivered fresh 6 days a week. King george whiting is one of those fish that is very hard to debone because the bones are really small so it will always have bones in it, especially if the fish is of a smaller size.

    As a small business, my family and I have worked really hard to maintain high standards, deliver good quality food and to always satisfy customers. I apologise that your experience at Kiwi Fish wasn’t up to standard and I really hope you give us a chance to prove to you in the near future that our fish and chips is one of the best fish and chips around.



    Hi Michael.

    Thanks for your email. I appreciate your willingness to respond to the review in an open and positive way and thank you for providing more information regarding the fish that we had with you. As some of the comments have said, maybe we caught you on a bad day and I would be happy to come back to try some of your other fish in the near future.

    Thanks Joyce

  9. Dear Joyce

    You are right about one comment in your review,that comment being; “Now I’m no expert on fish”! And your not! It is very interesting how someone who is no expert on fish can make such a statement!

    I have been here many times and have always enjoyed the atmosphere, the FISH, the people and the occasional glass of wine!

    It is very rare to find a fish and chippery in melbourne that takes pride in the product they are delivering! Not only do they take pride in the food and the staff and the menu, Michael has even invited you back to Kiwi!

    I think in future before writing a review, I suggest that you take some time out and do “a little research”!!!!

    Be greatful that you have a second chance to go back to KIWI! as if you didn’t you would be truly missing out on GREAT quality food. And truth be told if you don’t find it great quality, Then sorry to say and it must be said….you may need to also educate yourself on the difference between good quality food and great quality food!

  10. As a regular reader of your blog I too was shocked by your negative review. I am not a regular fish and chips eater because I find it to be usually greasy and heavy. Kiwi, however, is neither. We lived in the Tribeca for our first two months in Melbourne and grew to love Kiwi. The batter is delightfully light and the fish clearly fresh.
    Honestly, your review has made me take all of your other views with a rather large rock of salt!

    • Hi Mark

      Thanks for your comment. I too had heard great things about Kiwi and so was disappointed by our experience. It seems that most people give Kiwi a thumbs up and I’m happy to be in the minority in this case (I also accept that regular readers will not agree with my view every single time, but thanks for reading :–)). But the review is an honest account of the fish and chips that RM and I had – we talked about whether to give it a HOT or NOT and came to the same conclusion.

      Jetsetting Joyce

  11. Joyce.
    Tucked away underneath the Tribeca Apartments on Victoria Parade, Kiwi Fish & Chips is kept busy by a steady stream of locals. The shop continues the ANZAC spirit with a selection of local and New Zealand beers and trimmings, but this friendly family-run fish and chippery also does some of the best flake in town: eaten in, and ordered battered (a grilled option is also available), it’s a spear of golden, tempura-style batter that contains flake that’s done just right – not too mushy, not too dry. Their salads are fresh and tasty, too, and the dessert fritters (pineapple and the temporarily unavailable banana) rightfully have local legend status.
    Shop 9b, 412-442 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne; 9417 5494.

    Read more:
    If you dont belive me here is the link.

    So people that follow this little amateur website should think twice about what you say because the age says otherwise. Owned…
    Ps stick to your fried rice and dim sims.

  12. Sheesh, is this thread still going? The owners and/or friends of owners really need to relax a little. Joyce’s article simply expressed an honest opinion. If you don’t agree, fine, but it would be pretty sad if all blogs were afraid to ever offend anyone. If you like reading PR puff pieces, head on over to Broadsheet.

    And yes, that remark of yours certainly is borderline racist (and I’m being charitable with the borderline bit), unless you’re suggesting that white people should never be allowed to review Asian food either.

  13. Matt, in denigrating Joyce you render your opinion of little worth.

    That said, funny that this thread comes alive again. I wrote last December to disagree with Joyce about Kiwi’s merits. When we arrived in Melbourne from Toronto we lived in the Tribeca for the first six weeks and became regulars at Kiwi which we found to be excellent.

    However, two of the last three times we had take away, the fish was greasy, soggy, and, well, fishy. The first time we were shocked, the second had us seriously reconsidering the trip (we moved to Clifton Hill). To be fair, the other time it was as excellent as we had known it.

    This is all to say that maybe Joyce wasn’t so off in her review after all. I would have never suspected inconsistency but now we must. We’ll give it one more try but if there is one more disappointment, we’ll stick with our other place on Queen’s Parade beside Degani.

  14. I am totally shocked by some people’s comments on here. This reviewer had a bad experience at Kiwi fish and chips—so what, it happens.

    Kiwi fish and chips is my local too, and while the fish is usually fresh and batter is light, I have been served very average fish on occasion. Must say their chips are excellent, as are their burgers. They tend to use way too much oil though, particularly on their potato cakes.

    ps I’ve had king george whiting with bones in it too. Call me fussy but I won’t be ordering that again.

  15. hahahahahahaha mat and jude take a chiil pill u dont have to write a whole lecture to him.
    Ohh yea the food, its very nice :) she just must of had a bad experience with the fish but i wouldnt stop going here therer is no other fish and chips thats good

  16. Hi there, We live in the tribeca  apartments and we used to be regulars at kiwi. We would visit at least once or twice a week. And have gotten to know the owners.   However, to our disappointment – its a real hit and miss now- and quality is inconsistent. 
    We decided to give it one last go a couple of nights ago.  Yet again disappointed!!!
    I had the king george whiting – to my disappointment it had a real bad smell, that I couldnt even stomach it. Chips and potato cakes were really greazy, soggy, fishy and just not what you expect. I had the Greek Salad – and it definitely was not fresh!!!!
    My wife bought the kiwi burger and a few hours later was inseparable from the toilet.  So we will not be going back there ever a again which is a huge shame because it’s so conveniently close.  
    And again we found the place to be really dirty – it wasn’t even busy when we went. Floors looked like they hadn’t been wiped in weeks. 
    The Owners are arrogant and rude. There always muttering in some lingo of there own. There are 2 brothers there – one always appears ” somewhere else” and the other one is simply arrogant and could use with some customer service help.      
    Interestingly, I was having a read of the other ” great ” reviews on this place. I’m almost certain the reviews made by these people are people who have worked there – or family and friends. Not a smart group hey!!!

    I’m with you Joyce!!!


  17. By the way I wrote this same review on
    urbanspoon and I just noticed its been deleted?
    Can anyone see the review above on urbanspoon?
    If not, confirms my suspicion! They are writing there own
    Reviews. Disgusting!

  18. Hi I have been coming to your shop since it opened and since the new owners ,have been disappointed a few times now . as the quality is just not there anymore since the takeover .Last night again the flake was overcooked and quarter of the usual size and completely dried out , the standard in the past has been so high and consistent, it looks like the new cooks were thrown in the deep end with very little or no training at all . I used to recommend this place to all our neighbors in east Melbourne, but not any more . Please train your cooks and supervise the quality and I wish you to stay in your new business a long time

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