5 mins with Fonda Tzaninis

Victorian Industry Award Winner – Trident Fish Bar, Queenscliff

Name: Fonda Tzaninis

Business and location: Trident Fish Bar, Queenscliff, Victoria

Can you share a happy fish and chip memory?

I love looking in our visitor book, kept in the shop. My happiest moments are when I see that overseas or interstate customers, who have written messages in the book, are back a few years later, and then again. It’s really pleasing as a business owner and creates happy memories for us.

Where have you eaten the best fish and chips?

We have the best fish and chips here at Trident. However, I’ve also had decent fish and chips at the Mooloolaba fish markets in Queensland.

In your business, what do you consider to be the best fish to use for fish and chips?

We have an exclusive contract to purchase Flinders Island Gummy Shark (flake) and it makes the best fish for fish and chips. I’m not sure if it’s to do with the deep, clean water around the island or something to do with what the fish eat there, but it produces a pink, soft flesh. We buy it whole and process it here. It’s an A-class product.

And how do customers enjoy it?

Customers normally ask for their flake to be battered and order it severed with chips or our special calamari. Our third-generation family business is renowned for its real calamari – we pioneered that about 20 years ago – and with our special marinating technique, it is still a hit.

Do you have a personal favourite?

Personally, I like Gummy Shark or Rock Ling, which is very soft, white and boneless. It’s also a ‘primo’ fish.

What Australian wine (or other beverage) would you match with your fish and chips? 

I’d suggest a Prickly Moses cider, from a local brewhouse. Or a Queenscliff Ale or Point Lonsdale Lager. Again, both are locally made and have been made to pair with fried food.

How long have you been making/serving fish and chips?

The business is a third-generation business, which started 30 years ago, when I was only four. My grandparents and parents are still involved but I bought the business from them seven years ago. Before that, I’d been working in the business, buying filleting, and preparing seafood for about 15 years.

What value does winning the award have for you?

The media we’ve had is incredible, so that’s great for promoting the business and our local area.

Do you think it can help to promote the consumption of seafood in Australia? 

Definitely. We only serve Australian product and if people are attracted to award-winning food, then they will start to value local food even more.