Paper Fish is the first offering of the revitalised Stokehouse Precinct on St Kilda Beach since the iconic site’s devastating fire in 2014. In a few months Paper Fish will be joined by a relaxed ground-floor bar and grill, Pontoon and the trademark Stokehouse restaurant, lounge, bar and terrace upstairs.
It’s incredible to think that for decades St Kilda Beach, Melbourne’s most famous and most frequently visited beach, hasn’t had a fish and chippery. Now Paper Fish serves high quality fresh fish and chips and other beach bites such as fresh salads, calamari and fritto misto is a giant paper cone. For drinks you can chill out with granitas, Balter beer or even Barokes wine in a can.
Paper Fish location can’t be beaten. You don’t even need to dust the sand off as you stroll in directly off the St Kilda boardwalk to order and you can grab a wooden block stool under the palm trees or take away your fish and chips to the beach.
The panoramic view of Port Phillip Bay is stunning, with a soundtrack of chortling seagulls and swishing of bike tyres on the path.
Head chef Ollie Hansford and executive chef Richard Ousby are the masters of the all the Stokehouse Precinct kitchens. Thus the fish and chips at Paper Fish uses sustainable seafood, the crinkle cut chips are spiked with smoky paprika and you can go off-piste with a coconut prawn taco or soft-shelled crab in a milk bun.
They are aiming to be a healthier alternative to your traditional fish and ships which means you can choose to have your fish grilled or a in a light tempura batter. I highly recommend the grilled blue grenadier, so fresh and flaky, all served in a cute recyclable box with a fish design. I found the chips a little soggy, so I hope that they are able to up the crunch factor a bit more as the kitchen settles in.
The popularity of Paper Fish in its first weeks means that I predict the Stokehouse Precinct and St Kilda’s foreshore will be THE place to hang out in Melbourne this summer. If you’re not up for queuing then Paper Fish is launching an ordering app so you can have your food delivered to your spot on the beach! Plus Pontoon is slated to open in the next few weeks and top-floor Stokehouse will open all-day dining from December 6. Catch you there!