Creating a summertime favourite

Many of us have experienced of pleasure of eating fish and chips at the beach. Sand between your toes, unwrapping the paper, hands diving like seagulls into those hot salty chips, scattered between a couple of potato scallops and some nice fish; there’s nothing better!

How do you cook the perfect fish and chips?

We asked Maxie Hill, former Head Chef at Rick Stein’s Bannisters, and menu designer for Sandbar Restaurant overlooking Surfers Paradise beach, to give us some tips.

After first telling us to grab a rod and head to the beach, Maxie gave us the real story. Maxie’s chips are influenced by Heston Blumenthal, the first to attempt triple-cooked chips, light and crispy but soft in the centre.

Rick Stein is the fish influencer, Maxie says, insisting on the use of fresh local produce.

Next most important is the batter, which must just lightly coat the fish, not too thick and not too thin. The trick is in how much beer you use. Batter consistency needs to be a light coating of the finger, not too thick but not completely dripping off.

Sandbar’s Fish and Chips

180 grams of Saltwater Barramundi, skin off, pin boned (freshwater barra is too muddy)

Roll fish in salt and pepper seasoned flour. Coat fish well and shake off excess.

Maxie’s Triple Cooked Chips

Desiree potatoes, not too waxy, not too floury

Peel potato, cut into chunky batons, 6 chips minimum from one potato.

Boil chips until soft and cooked, then place on a tray to cool.

Set fryer to 130 degrees. Fry chips for 6 minutes until light golden and then return to the tray and cool.

Return to the fryer at 170 degrees for a further 6 minutes. Drain and then serve.

Batter Recipe

350 grams of plain flour, sieved

2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder

Roughly one stubbie of light bodied ale (Maxie uses Gage Roads Single Fin Beer)

Place the fish gently in the deep fryer (don’t let it touch the bottom) and fry at 170 degrees (about 5 minutes) until golden brown. DONE!

Serve with pea purée, and fresh tartare.


Visit Sandbar at 52 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise


NOTE: This article was published in The Sun on 20 December 2017.

SANDBAR, The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise QLD, Australia