I received an invitation from Aaron, the owner of The Groper and His Wife a few weeks ago to try his fish and chips. And today I was craving fish & chips big time as I had seen a tweet about it in the morning, so my friend Mahara and I ventured out to City Beach to see what The Groper had to offer.
As we walked towards the store, we checked out the capsicums and cherry tomatoes growing outside the store…and eyed off our preferred alfresco bench.
As we walked into The Groper and His Wife, we saw an amazing array of food on display.
There was a selection of fresh filleted seafood (fish, prawns, squid) you could buy…
A range of appetizers on offer including feta stuffed arancini balls, croquets, thai fish cakes….
What caught our eyes the most was the massive piece of home-made rocky road…
I had The Groper’s peri peri lightly battered snapper and chips. The peri peri seasoning was also an option for my chips but even as intrigued as I was, I couldn’t trade it for my usual chicken salt.
When my snapper arrived, at first glance I thought the batter was going to be quite oily and that it was too deep fried but that thought fast faded with my first bite, it was very light, there were lots of air in the batter and the peri peri flavouring was subtle which was great as I’m not very good with my spice!
The triple cooked hand cut chips were very crispy, Mahara could hear the crunch when I bit into my first chip. It reminded me of Heston’s three-times cooked chips on the recent Masterchef episode.
Mahara had the grilled peri peri snapper and chips, it tasted as amazing as it looked. The fish was grilled perfectly and unlike the battered fish, you could really taste the peri peri flavour. For me I always associate peri peri with chicken so I thought fish and peri peri was a strange combo but it worked! If you love peri peri the grilled fish is the way to go.
The fish can be cooked in 6 different ways:
- Deep fried with a (1) light peri peri batter as I had or (2) plain
- Grilled (3) peri peri like Mahara’s or (4) plain
- Crumbed with (5) traditional bread crumbs or (6) the Groper’s special ‘crunchy spicy’
Fish & chips is not complete without tartare sauce! The Groper and His Wife make their own tartare sauce. It was really light (much lighter than any I’ve had before) and you can really taste the pickle & dill which Mahara loved.
We also shared a garden salad and I’m not usually a big salad person but I really enjoyed it. The vegetables were really crisp & fresh, and the vinaigrette dressing with mustard seeds was light but tasty. There were vegetables in the salad I only ever eat warm like broccoli and beans because I really don’t like it when veggies aren’t cooked enough and have that real raw taste. But they were cooked long enough that there wasn’t that raw taste, but quick enough that it was still crisp so I was happy. I thought the inclusions of these veggies gave a nice variation to the usual garden salad.
We were completely stuffed and still trying to finish off our chips, when Aaron came out with brownies. As tempting as they were, we took them away and had them with our coffee half an hour later, surprisingly the brownies were still warm when we had it. They were moist, had a nice firm texture and tasted chocolicious. The sauce drizzled over the top was amazing – I would have never imagined that I’d be eating a brownie from a fish & chip shop, let alone a delicious home-made one. (side note – it’s going to be a very brownie filled weekend, Donna Hay posted me her Molten Chocolate Chunk Brownie mix which I’m testing out later – will post about it in the next few days!).
Aaron and his friend took over The Groper and His Wife 14 months ago and from what I hear and have read, they have turned it right around. The Groper and His Wife has been around for almost 20 years but rumour has it the service had slipped during the previous owners’ time.
The Groper and His Wife use quality products sourced right here in WA and their fish comes straight off the fishing boats, filleted in their store and cooked fresh! And the personable customer service I experienced and observed whilst we were having our lunch today I’m sure will keep the locals coming back.
If you live in City Beach or happen to be in the area, I highly recommend trying The Groper and His Wife. Price-wise it isn’t cheap (one serve of fish & chips costs $17.90, guess it’s like what you pay in a pub/bar) but if you like quality fresh fish and chips which are gourmet/a bit different it is well worth every cent. You can find The Groper and His Wife’s menu on their website www.groperandhiswife.com.au.
Big thank you to Aaron for inviting us – we had a lovely lunch, it was worth the drive!