Heathcote Fish & Chips named winner of best potato scallops in NSW

Best of the best: Ethan Kashi with a batch of his potato scallops, voted the best in NSW. Picture: John Veage
Best of the best: Ethan Kashi with a batch of his potato scallops, voted the best in NSW. Picture: John Veage

The search for the best potato scallop in NSW has led to a Sutherland Shire takeaway shop.

Heathcote Fish & Chips was given the honour of 'Best Potato Scallop in NSW' by travel site, Wotif, as part of its annual Uniquely Aussie Awards.

While state winners are not normally announced, Wotif said the current COVID-19 travel restrictions meant it was more important than ever to discover hidden gems close to home.

The people's choice awards are described as an "annual guide to the country's most underrated gems".

Other notable NSW winners included Clovelly Bowls Club (Best Bowls Club); The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour (Best Big Thing); BIG4 Batemans Bay Beach Resort (Best Holiday Park) and Una's, Darlinghurst (Best Schnitty).

The award for Best Potato Scallop in Australia went to Blue Lips Fish & Chips, in Exmouth, Western Australia.

Ethan Kashi bought Heathcote Fish & Chips seven years ago. He said the store has been the site of a fish and chips shop for 60 years, and the secret to his success was fresh ingredients cooked to order.

He said the potato scallops were prepared fresh each morning using medium-sized potatoes sourced from the markets.

"We only use Scorpion potatoes. Every week we get two 20kg bags from Flemington markets at Homebush," he said.

"We peel and slice the potatoes every morning and put them in batter. We prepare trays and trays of them."

While many of their customers were travelling up and down the Princes Highway to the South Coast, he said they also had many regulars - both locals and others who had moved away.

"We have got a lot of older people who used to live in Sutherland Shire but they have retired down the coast and every week they come and see their grandchildren and come in here," he said.

"We have got very supportive customers."

While Mr Kashi said "we always said we had the best fish and chips this side of the Harbour Bridge", now it was official.

According to Wotif, voters said potato scallops must be crisp and fluffy, should melt in your mouth, but shouldn't be too greasy.

The awards aim to inspire Australians to plan their next holiday. With COVID-19 travel restrictions still in place, Wotif said new research showed 70 per cent of Australians were planning to take a road trip.

Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said thousands of votes were received for this year's awards.

"By now, many Aussies have realised travelling further afield is currently off the cards, however, what 2020 has highlighted is the incredible local hospitality available in their own backyard," he said.

"The bowlo, fish and chip shop and 'big things' may not be as far flung and worldly as a trip overseas, but they sure are uniquely Aussie experiences that Aussies are privileged to have in.

"With summer in reach, many of these businesses need Australia's support so for those that can, now is the time to start planning your next local state-cation."