5 mins with Eddie Willoughby-Smith

Name: Eddie Willoughby-Smith
Business and location: Frying Nemo, Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin

Can you share a happy fish and chip memory?
Fish and chips were a part of my childhood. Mum would take us down to the fish and chip shop in Adelaide on Friday nights and we’d choose King George Whiting – that was a real treat for us as kids.

Where have you eaten the best fish and chips?
Frying Nemo, of course!

In your business, how do you cook your fish and chips?
Quality product is the most important. At Frying Nemo we’re committed to sourcing quality local Northern Territory and Australian seafood. We only buy Australian fish and seafood as we believe the quality is superior to anything that’s imported.

Our regular menu offers 10 different varieties of fish and a further six different seafood items, including prawns, calamari, mussels, octopus, scallops and oysters. Seasonal specials also further showcase the best of what’s available from the local area.

Similarly, we’ve gone through a process of quality selection to choose the four different varieties of chips we offer.

We like to provide customers with choice, and this extends to a selection of cooking styles. We do grilled, Panko crumbed, rice dusted and a range of house-made batters including beer batter, tempura batter and a gluten-free batter.

The correct temperature of oil and timing of cooking are all important. We use high-grade canola oil that’s verified as GM free, and pay special attention that it’s filtered daily and changed frequently.

What seems to be your customers’ favourite fish choice?

Being in Darwin, Barramundi is definitely the most requested variety of fish by visitors to the Territory.

Darwin locals and our regular customers make the most of the opportunity to experience and taste the full range of seafood we have available. Some favourites include King Threadfin, Spanish mackerel and Golden snapper.

Throughout the year we feature more than two dozen different species of Australian seafood, and people really enjoy experiencing the variety of flavours and tastes.

What is your personal favourite fish to use for fish and chips?
Barramundi and Jewfish – they’re subtle tasting with a fantastic structure and texture.
Different fish match more appropriately to different cooking styles – for example, Barramundi tastes fantastic with beer batter, and Garfish tastes best with Tempura batter.

Do you have a favourite condiment or salad?
The traditional favourite of Tartare sauce is perfect with fish and chips – we have our own house-made. It’s a simple combination which allows the flavours of the seafood to be enhanced. Delicious, quality fish and chips shouldn’t be complicated.

What Australian wine (or other beverage) would you match with your fish and chips?
Pale ales are a personal preference, and lagers can also brilliantly compliment the right choice of fish. We have a wide selection of craft beers – more than 50 different craft, local and imported beers to choose from, and we also pour Asahi and Mountain Goat on tap. People really enjoy matching the different fish with the different beers.

Similarly, we have an extensive wine list that also gives customers the opportunity to food match. A favourite is Riesling with oysters, and sauvignon blanc is extremely popular as it’s a refreshing choice with fish and chips in the warmth and tropical climate of Darwin.

How long have you been making/serving fish and chips?
Since Frying Nemo began more than three and a half years ago now.