It’s fairly safe to say that fish in it’s gefilte or spicy Moroccan guises would feature far higher on most people’s lists of Israeli foods than English style fish ‘n’ chips. This could be considered surprising however, given the fact that deep frying is part of Israeli street food – most obviously (but not exclusively) in the form of the humble felafel ball, and given the fact that Israel has ancient ports on it’s Mediterrenean coastline as well as an outlet to the Red Sea.
Fishenchips has become a major attraction in the shuk and always seems to be doing brisk business – so much so that the first time I went the wait just to order was long enough to make me consider moving on. My parents always taught me to eat street food where the lines are longest and I persevered – wise advice which proved correct once again!
Situated on the junction of HaEgoz and HaTut streets in the covered shuk, it’s part of an ad hoc food court which includes the excellent Pasta Basta, Meurav Yerushalmi which serves huge portions of excellent mixed meats (if you’re not familiar and/or squeamish then don’t investigate the contents too closely – just eat and enjoy!), Kubeh from Ima and many more options.
The menu offers a variety of battered, deep fried fish including cod, tuna, salmon and, barbunia. At this point I’ve tried 2 variations of the cod (one of which is pictured below) and the tuna. The fish, served in generous portions, is fried to order, comes out of the fryer piping hot and wonderfully crispy with almost no trace of oil – a sign that they know what they’re doing. The cod was succulent and flaky, whilst the tuna was an appropriate deep pink colour. Chips are also freshly fried and delicious, especially when dunked in one of the little tubs containing ketchup and one each of garlic, spicy and curry mayonnaise that accompany each order.
Prices are NIS 35 for cod and chips – rising to NIS 45 for tuna or salmon and chips. There is a small variety of salads and other dishes but why would you do that? Adding a beer is a great idea and highly recommended but will sadly almost double your outlay.
Seating is available but the place is very busy. I ordered mine as a take away (sadly encased in styrofoam rather than yesterday’s newspaper), walked across Agrippas and ate in the Bustan Sefaradi garden, a little corner of calm in the middle of the city.