Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fish Bone Fish + Chips and Chateau du Cléray-Sauvion 2007 Muscadet Sèrve et Maine

When I was a kid, Friday nights in the warmer months (most of them cos’ I grew up in Fremantle) meant extended games of cricket at the park, or if we were lucky, extended stays at the beach. These were days when kids could freely do their stuff without a nervous parent watching their every move. For me though, the real clincher was when mum would pull up in her beaten up Renault, change from her nurses outfit and walk out to the veranda and call my name to come in – the park and beach were both within hollering distance. My goodbyes done to Elias and Gabe, I would meet my mum, and sometimes my older sisters, at the Renault where we would head off in to town for F+C – Fish and Chips!!

In those days, Fremantle was over-run by that wild gang of hippies, ‘The Orange People’. It was also a place where local families could walk down South Terrace or The Esplanade without being run down by a tourist tram or three wheeler scooters. And it was also a time where the buskers would let you pass on by without threat of harm if you did not empty your pocket of coins in to the guitar case.

But Freo on Friday for me was all about Fish and Chips. And the two destinations were either The Freo Markets or Ciccerellos in Fisherman’s Harbour. Today the F+C at the Markets is now some craft stall and Ciccerellos is now a vast fast food styli outfit, but still producing the F+C that I remember – heaps of salt and heaps of vinegar!

Fast forward 30 years to last night where it was my turn to take the kids to get F+C. It has been quite some time since I have seen the butchers paper wrapping, with these days your order coming in a sought of rectangle box in a bag. And it is Fish Bone on Lygon Street Brunswick where my kids get their F+C in abox and an introduction to excess salt and vinegar.

Now there are not many F+C outlets in this area, with a few of them still using oil from when Ricky Martin was living ‘da vida loca’ or something like that. You know when someone is doing the right thing though when at 6pm on a Friday there are about 25 people waiting for their lot. I am not sure what cottonseed oil does in the frying process, apart from frying of course, but I gotta say that Fish Bone, for the last four years or so, easily has it over some of the more hoy-fa-loyting fryers south of the Yarra. And you know it is good when your four year old eats everything, including the fish.

On the crowds, it would definitely be smart to phone your order through, this way it gives you plenty of time to wonder up the road to ‘Blackheart and Sparrows’ and get yourself some refreshments. Now when I was a kid, the staple beverage with F+C was a Coke ice-cream spider – a scoop of vanilla ice-cream with Coke poured over the top; way cool I tell ya.

So with my palate evolving a little bit, the question is what type of wine will soak up all that salt and vinegar. Beer is always good with F+C, but for this exercise we are drinking wine. There has been a lot of discussion on the appropriate wine match to F+C on the web I have noticed, with some gerbil in the UK recommending Malbec. I think we will just leave that one alone. To me F+C need something that is light and fresh with a little bit of residual salt about it. This leaves you Semillon, Savvy B (last resort people), and what we had, Muscadet; in particular the Chateau du Cléray-Sauvion 2007 Muscadet Sèrve et Maine from Vallet in the Loire Valley.

Made ‘sur lie’, or on lees, and under the ‘Haute Culture’ label, the name of the maison, the Chateau du Cléray-Sauvion 2007 Muscadet Sèrve et Maine is exactly what you should drink with F+C. The colour is quite light – bone straw, which is what you would expect from a young Muscadet. The nose is quite complex with subtle oyster shell and grapefruit – the real salty citrus scent you look for I guess. The mouth is quite soft, with tingly acid opening up to more citrus in the way of grapefruit and lemon to soak up the salt and vinegar as needed.

With so many wines to choose from, Muscadet and F+C is definitely a ‘Susan’ match i.e. ‘this goes with that at Susan’ styli. And if you can get some oysters from your F+C, do it; Muscadet and oysters is a ‘Susan’ no-brainer also.

Fish Bone gets Two Birks
Drink till 2014

1 comment:

  1. Fi - fwoglegs.blogspot.comAugust 22, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    Hey, we nearly bumped into you last night. We were considering having F&C from Fishbone for dinner but then changed our minds at the last minute.

    It's good to see that someone else loves a huge dose of salt and vinegar on their chippies. Shazzi's not crash hot on those additions... I like to call them "essential ingredients".

    One more thing... I went to Blackhearts and Sparrows to finally grab a bottle of Squids Fist and I was gutted to find out they'd sold out! True story. DAMN. Must now track a bottle down somewhere... don't care if it has content, I just want the labelled bottle.
    Am keeping my eye out for the "Double Trouble" release...