I love fish’n’chips, so much so that it’s my Death Row meal. If I have to die then let it be after one last paper-wrapped feast of deep fried heaven. Fish of the day and half a scoop, no need to be greedy, all a man or a lady needs especially so if it’s by the sea.
Last night was one such night, sitting on the sea wall in Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand. A balmy late Spring evening, expectant seagulls gathering for the glorious unwrapping and wow, Burger Stop delivers once again. The chips are crisp, dry and just the right size, like childrens’ building blocks only made of potato.
The fish oh the fish, bright white elephant meat, firm filling for crisp golden batter worthy of the colours in any picture postcard sunset. All for $5.20 (NZ).
What can I say? Is there any point going anywhere else, are these the best fish’n’chips in the world? There’s a place on Bower Avenue where the lady sings what sounds like Chinese Opera in the most beautiful voice, a shop in Kaikoura that should have Michelin Stars for it’s Blue Cod Bites, and a lovely wee place in Hokitika, the setting for Booker Man prizewinner Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries.
I grew up eating fish’n’chips, I’ve had them on Brighton Pier, they used to be wrapped in newspaper, I’ve tried a lot around the world but I’m sure the greatest are here.
German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (Mies van der Roe?) is credited as coining the phrase “God is in the details” and at Burger Stop (36 Nayland Street, Sumner) you will find God in a last, subtle, almost unnoticeable touch, just after the wrapping and prior to the presentation to the customer. It is a nick with a knife in the paper, letting out a little of the heat, but really I think it’s for the incredible smell to get you there faster for your tea by the sea.