North Melbourne Fish & Chips (Formerly Snapper Heads)

27 Sep

North Melbourne Fish & Chips
38 Haines street, North Melbourne

For a long time I have been searching for a great fish and chip place nearby. Top Catch on Errol street is okay in a pinch, but I’m still on the hunt for something better. James and I tried Bottom of the Harbour on Lygon street, and although the fish and chips were better than Top Catch, it was more expensive, much more of a hassle to get to, and the portions were ridiculously tiny.

The other night it was time for North Melbourne Fish & Chips to step up to the batting plate. All the online reviews I could find were very positive, with several saying that these guys made the best fish and chips in Melbourne, so I was feeling pretty optimistic.

Look at James in the photo above – he is all calm, waiting for our order, but I was outside taking photos and practically vibrating with anticipation.

Also adding to my optimism was the fact that it was pretty busy the whole time we were there. See? A line of impatient locals!

All the signage calls it North Melbourne Fish and Chips but online it seems to be referred to as Snapper Heads Fish and Chips. I’m guessing there was an ownership change or something.

James ordered a flake ($4.70), burger with the lot ($6.50) and minimum chips ($3.30), and I ordered the Lunch Box which had flake, chips, 2 dim sims and 2 potato cakes ($8.50). Chip portions were probably on the smaller side, but not egregiously so like Bottom of the Harbour.

So … the best fish and chips in Melbourne?



Not even close.

The batter on the fish was waaay too thick, the fish was overcooked, and everything collapsed as soon as I bit into it. The chips were overcooked – hard on the outside and soggy on the inside. And stale tasting, even though I’d seen them fry everything up in front of me. Everything was also oddly flavourless – I used up so much salt trying to get it to taste like something other than grease, batter, and crushing disappointment

The dim sims and potato cakes were awful as well, but I don’t really judge fish and chip places on the non-fish non-chip parts.

I don’t know if it was the worst fish and chips ever, but it was definitely the worst I’ve had in recent memory. I think there’s one other place in North Melbourne I haven’t tried, but it’s not a dedicated fish and chips place, more of a general “fried takeout” store. I think if I want excellent fish and chips I’m going to have to expand my radius a little.

7 Responses to “North Melbourne Fish & Chips (Formerly Snapper Heads)”

  1. polittacking September 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    north melbourne fails as a suburb in many ways 😦

    • pamperedhousewife September 27, 2011 at 11:31 am #

      I KNEW you were going to use this post as a platform to hate on North Melbourne! H8r!

  2. polittacking September 27, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    i don’t hate north melbourne… its more pity

  3. Kate June 9, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    This changed owners last year, used to be much better 🙂

    • pamperedhousewife June 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      I remember there was a fantastic fish and chip place in Coolaroo of all places. It was run by an old Greek couple and the fish and chips were just out of this world. But same story – they sold it and the fish and chips were terrible after that and apparently business dropped heaps.

  4. Bukko Boomeranger March 29, 2015 at 1:09 am #

    Almost four years after you posted this and their name is still a mystery. I was by there indulging in my hobby of making listings for restos and snapping photos for Urbanspoon (it’s a great way to explore a city; makes one focus on corners you’d never go to otherwise) and I tripped across this joint. No name on the sign — still. Online Yellow Pages has it listed as “Snapper Heads” so I’m going with that. Not that I was tempted to go inside but your review cinched it for me. This looks like one of those daggy chip shops from the yucky Anglo-centric “White Australia” days, before the rest of the world taught Aussies how to cook. Who would eat there, except drongos from the shonky apartment blocks in this beat-down part of North Melb? And no, I don’t hate the suburb. I just prefer the Errol/Victoria Street section.

    • pamperedhousewife March 29, 2015 at 11:35 am #

      Maybe there will be another ownership change and things will start looking up! Bummer to hear that part of North Melb is still sketch though.

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