Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published August 10th 2016
Vegan fish and chips found in Newtown
In the heart of Sydney's Newtown, many vegetarian and vegan eateries have emerged. As a result, Newtown is now attracting visitors, both local and afar, at its foodie hotspots for vegan favourites. From high-end restaurants with above-average price-tags, to quick treats and takeaway bundles, Newtown is forging the way for vegan locations serving up myriad cuisines to satisfy varying budgets. Enter its first 'fish and chip shop' Bliss & Chips.
Some would ask why vegans would want to eat foods that resemble or imitate meat. As a vegan, I can understand the argument. Yet, this is where the fun actually starts. The reason to become vegan is long and varied between individuals. For many, the opportunity to eat takeaway 'fish and chips' can be enjoyed without killing real fish in the process. It's about preserving life and Bliss & Chips provides a vegan alternative to an Australian takeaway favourite.
Whether, you prefer a 'bliss fish' burger, or you're more of a traditional 'fishless' and chip fan, Bliss & Chips has almost every takeaway taste covered. Bliss & Chips' 'fish' burger is loaded with mock 'fish' pieces derived from soy protein, battered then deep-fried in typical Aussie chip shop style. Together with a bed of mixed salad and a generous smothering of vegan tartae sauce on a baguette style burger, this is a decent-sized meal to tame the lunchtime hunger pains. If you want extras, just add a serve of chips, coleslaw or tabouli to your order; vegan, of course.
Fishless fish and chips with tartae sauce and a wedge of lemon.
For those who prefer the simpler, traditional 'fish' and chip pack, then a fillet-sized slab of 'fishless' atop crispy chips is a tummy pleaser. A wedge of lemon and pot of vegan tartare sauce don't go overlooked, complementing the lunchtime order perfectly. Who can't eat a pack without these compulsory condiments, vegan style? Even the humble potato scallop (or, potato cake to this Melburnian) gets a highly sought over makeover – the sweet potato scallop.
Lifelong fans of potato scallops will find this 'sweet' cousin a more-ish experience – soft and mushy sweet potato slices neatly encased by a crispy, deep-fried batter. Topped by a light sprinkling of salt, many traditionalists may be persuaded to declare allegiances to this new-found alternative. Even customers will find alternatives to 'prawns, 'calamari' and 'crabsticks'. Those with gluten intolerances will find menu items gluten-free; an added bonus. The menu is above the counter, and items are listed in big blue texta – fish and chip style.
Munching on a takeaway bundle steaming with deep-fried treats on a beach does bring back many childhood memories. However, Bliss & Chips offers enough sitting space indoors to experience their takeaway trade in cardboard boxes, sans greedy seagulls and skin-burning weather. Eat-in meals can be enjoyed on crockery if takeaway isn't your style.
Those who are curious may ask: "How does it compare to the real thing?" There are similarities, of course there are. For example, similar tastes and texture (replicated by ingredients like seaweed flavours and soy-based protein. The upside is that Bliss & Chips delivers casual dining for Aussie takeaway favourites that boasts underlying differences. One that can't be ignored? No animals were killed in the making of my meal. And it's this difference that's celebrated wholeheartedly by the folk at Bliss & Chips.
Wow, what a great article! Thank you Justine - I am definitely putting this on my must-do-in-Sydney list. I'm vegetarian but still miss the good old fish and chips of my younger days. Now I know it can still be enjoyed - humanely. Thank you!