Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sometimes it's the little things.

There's a new fish and chip shop in Kingsland, calling themselves "Kiwiana". Which in some ways is good, because I've been wanting a fish and chip shop here for ages, we've got multiple kebab shops, thai, chinese (Canton, definitely one of the best in Auckland), japanese, burgers, mexican, but until now, no fish and chips. So I should be happy. It's not that the new guys are bad, they're not. They aren't anything special though. The fish was good, the chips were fine, but they forgot my hot dog, the pineapple fritters had no cinnamon sugar (and were in with the fish) and the thickshakes appeared to be made with some soft serve thickener stuff rather than actual ice cream. Where they went horribly wrong, is in their marketing. Look at the bottom half of their logo. "The best fish and chip experience in the world". I realise I'm being a bit of a pedant here, but fish and chips is a classic meal here, most New Zealanders have some form of misty eyed nostalgia for good fish and chips. That nostalgia, I would hazard, normally involves the food being good but greasy, it being quick, and not hideously expensive. When you make a rather large claim such as "best in the world" you're setting yourself a pretty high benchmark especially when there's large amount of nostalgia held by your customer base. In terms of actual fish and chips, not bad, I'd be tempted to give it another go if it wasn't so pricey. In terms of how they're marketing themselves, major fail. And no, I'm not going to cut them any slack for it being "cheeky" kiwi humour, seriously, a sheep in gumboots? It's ... depressing. 

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion though, that you just can't get good fish and chips in Auckland. Every time I've had good fish and chips over the past few years, it's been in Coromandel or along the coast somewhere. The fish and chips in Auckland seem to fall invariably into two camps, cheap and nasty or expensive and not worth what they're charging for it. I realise costs have gone up over the past few years, but while the good shops outside Auckland aren't playing on some false idea of kiwiness or charging huge amounts for everything because they have a shiny shop or trying to do fancy things with their fish and chips, they aren't being cheap either. They're reasonably priced, not cheap, not hideously expensive, doing good fresh food and the classics well. We seriously don't appear to have anyone of that description in Auckland. <mope>

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