Chef's Recipes

Saint Peter's fish and chips

"It's so important at Saint Peter that the fish and chips gets put on a pedestal as a dish of importance and luxury," says Josh Niland.

By Josh & Julie Niland
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus soaking, drying
  • Serves 4 - 6
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"There are few other dishes that come with so much expectation and nostalgia. It's so important at Saint Peter that the fish and chips gets put on a pedestal as a dish of importance and luxury," says Josh Niland. "Gone are the days of having wishy-washy defrosted white fish in limp pale batter and frozen chips. The key to fantastic fish and chips is obviously a great fish that's suited to coating in a batter and deep-frying. Fresh pink ling is a perfect fish for battering - it's robust, has a dense compact flesh with little sinew, good amount of fat, sweet-tasting flesh, few pin bones and can be readily found. The batter is also hugely important. Having worked with Heston Blumenthal as a stagiaire, I got to see his fish and chips and was blown away by the logic of using vodka in a batter. It makes sense - more alcohol content means it burns away faster, resulting in a very crisp and delicious batter. Fish and chips would be incomplete without a good tartare sauce; our tartare, made with yoghurt instead of mayonnaise, is a much cleaner, lighter sauce." Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the chips.


  • 600gm pink ling fillet, cut into 7cm x 3cm pieces, drained on paper towels
  • Rice flour, for dusting
  • Dill pickles and lemon cheeks, to serve
Potato chips
  • 1.5kg sebago potatoes, scrubbed, skin on, cut into 1cm-thick chips, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • Cottonseed oil, for deep-frying
Yoghurt tartare sauce
  • 300gm natural yoghurt
  • 2 large golden shallots, finely chopped
  • 80 gm cornichons, finely chopped
  • 80 gm drained tiny capers in brine, finely chopped
  • 200gm rice flour
  • 105gm self-raising flour
  • 5gm baking powder (1 tsp)
  • 170ml vodka (preferably with 37% alcohol)
  • 20gm honey
  • 275 ml beer (Josh Niland uses VB)


  • 1
    For potato chips, heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 140C. Pat the chips dry in a tea towel and deep-fry in batches without colouring until they blister and small bubbles appear on the surface (9-10 minutes). Drain, place on a wire rack over a tray and refrigerate to dry (1-2 hours).
  • 2
    For yoghurt tartare sauce, combine ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate covered until serving.
  • 3
    For batter, combine flours and baking powder in a large bowl. In a jug, whisk vodka and honey together, then add to flours along with beer and whisk until the batter has the consistency of heavy cream. If it becomes too thick add a little more beer.
  • 4
    Preheat oven to 120C and heat oil to 180C. Deep-fry chips in batches until very crisp and golden (5-6 minutes; be careful, hot oil may spit). Drain on paper towels and season with fine table salt. Place in oven on an oven tray lined with baking paper while you fry the fish.
  • 5
    Dust fish lightly in rice flour, shake off excess and coat in batter. Fry fish in the oil in batches until golden brown (2-3 minutes; you may need to turn fish over midway so it colours evenly). Drain on paper towels and season. Serve fish and chips with yoghurt tartare, pickles and lemons.


Drink Suggestion: Steam Ale from Victoria. Drink suggestion by Wimmy Winkler

  • undefined: Josh & Julie Niland