No stone will be left unturned, no neighbourhood fish ‘n’ chippery left ‘unhaunted’ in this epic quest to discover the answer to the age old question: “Where are the best hot chips in Melbourne’s West?”
Nando’s Peri Peri Chips with Creamy Chip Dip
What makes the perfect hot chip? Is it the integrity of the crunch? The fluffiness of the potato? Does seasoning come into it? Should we be rating chips based on their dipping sauce?
If these are the criteria on which we’re rating these delightful chunks of fried potato, Nando’s Peri-Peri chips with Creamy Chip Dip may be the perfect chip.
But, it depends on where you get them.
It is a little known secret that, contrary to public belief, not all chain fast food restaurants are created equal. While Nando’s Yarraville (8 Anderson St, Yarraville) may not put their chips in a chip bag – the quality of their crunch is second to none. Nando’s Werribee (203/205 Watton St, Werribee) has a surprisingly high quality of chip for such a painful-to-get-to location, but Altona Nando’s (Altona Gate) fails on the crunch count and takes a strangely long time to cook their chips.
Nando’s Yarraville 9/10
Nando’s Werribee 9/10
Nando’s Altona Gate 6/10
Dough! Hand Cut Chips
In their own words, Dough! is a “hip restaurant that offers fish and chips and pizza cuisines” in Newport (115 Blackshaws Rd, Newport). Their chips are hand-cut and they have an 81% rating on Urbanspoon, which as far as Inner-West Fish and Chip cuisine goes, is surprisingly not particularly high.
They do, however, offer something different – their chips appear to be made out of real potatoes! While the bigger specimens don’t quite offer the crunch required to make the perfect chip, the end-of-dinner scavenger hunt through the remains turns up a trove of crunchy little off-cuts lurking in the crumpled grease proof paper.
Dough! chips hold their own whether dipped in the conveniently supplied tartare sauce or not. They taste like actual potato which is a rarity in the world of fast-food hot chips and they are surprisingly good value for money. Hot tip – DO NOT order the large serve for two people, even if one of them is 6’6” and is the reigning champion of making sure there is no leftovers.
Charles St Fish & Chip Shop Chips
The Charles St Fish & Chip Shop Shark is about as iconic a landmark as we have in these suburbs, and now that the sun is shining, the locals are flocking to Charles St for their balmy evening fish ‘n’ chip fix.
While it may seem to the uninformed and uneducated general public that this hot chip tasting and rating gig seems very easy and/or pointless, now may be the time to point out that it’s actually tougher than it seems!
How to compare a classic f’n’c chip to the perfect crunch of Nando’s or the actual potato flavour of “hip” Dough!? But the answer is clear – each chip must be judged on its own merit -comparison is useless.
Charles St offers a classic chip – no frills, no fancy dipping sauces. Try a squeeze of lemon and maybe a splash of vinegar if you are willing. If you’re nostalgic for the chips of your childhood, that certain combination of sogginess and crunch that seems impossible to recreate, a true treasure hunt through the pile to claim the “best chips” for your own, then these are the chips for you.
Charles St Fish & Chip Shop 8/10