"The best Fish & Chips in the Universe" is a big claim. Ocean Foods claims just that. Not just Sydney, not just NSW or Australia, or the World but the Universe. It almost throws out a challenge to the stomach inclined to test it out. So one swelteringly hot Sunday this Summer we did just that. Awarded the best outstanding seafood outlet 15 years in a row, is Ocean Foods situated in Lyons Road in Drummoyne (if only it were closer to a beach!).
The lines are almost as famous as the fish & chips with reports of the line snaking around the counter down to the cafe two doors down. We're lucky this Sunday night, well in a relative sense, in that the line doesn't stretch quite that far but it's still long nevertheless and standing in the queue which is about 30 people deep I'm waiting for about 10 minutes for my order to be taken and 5-10 minutes for the order itself. I take the time to examine the menu. It's huge, ranging from sushi and sashimi and cold seafood to the deep fried stuff with almost everything you could deep fry except for the Mars Bars. There's also a whole grilled fish which I wanted to order (from $12.95-$15.95) but am persuaded to order the salt and pepper calamari ($8.90). The guy behind the counter tells me "it's smaller but I enjoy it so much more". I also have stomach capacity for salt and pepper calamari and will go almost to the ends of the earth to find a good one. I also order the classic Fish & Chips ($10.50) and 2 potato scallops (one of my childhood favourite treats) $1.20 each or 4 for $4.40.
I stand off to the side, there's much yelling, clanking and organised chaos. Well actually I wasn't sure if it were organised and for a moment there I actually wondered whether I would get my order or not. The owner yells out to the guy that took my order about his forgotten calamari (mine) and he appears. He puts it all together and I get my steaming hot packets of fish. I take these outside to my husband who has been patiently holding a table outside for us and we tear open the paper bags.
The crowd outside is mixed, there are some families but it's mostly guys who drive doof doof cars. The outside tables and chairs are clean but situated very close together who despite the no smoking signs light up after their meals.
The salt and pepper calamari, little tubes cut with little ridges are delicious. Melt in the mouth and absolutely perfectly seasoned I am glad that I ordered these. They're tinged slightly orange although they are bereft of a chili taste.
The fish & chips are a large serve of delicious chips and 1 long piece of battered fish. The fish is a bit on the side of bland (I often find this with fish that's used for Fish and chips) but the chips are delicious. The potato scallops are good although my husband finds these a bit too greasy. He's a potato scallop aficionado having had many after a surf growing up. It is a bit greasy but nicely battered and fresh.
I strike a deal with my husband that he can have the rest of the fish and chips in exchange for what little is left of the Salt and pepper calamari. Reluctantly he agrees and I blissfully pop the last pieces in my waiting mouth.
154 Lyons Road, Drummoyne, NSW (corner Gipps Street)
Tel: +61 (02) 9181 4336