The Chameleon. Lurking in the urban jungle, undetected, unknown, blending into the ever changing landscape, sampling everything from fine dining to reviewing take away joints, this lizard loves food possibly a little bit too much.

Chipper Fish

Overall score: 81/100


Going to a 'fish and chip' shop is often associated with good old fashioned greasy chips, heavily battered fish and wedges of lemon, eating out of paper wrapping next to a beautiful beach. It is thus very difficult to refer to Chipper Fish as a 'fish and chip' shop, as this title is just a very clever disguise, much like The Chameleon's, as all is not what it seems in this little shop in Toowoomba. 


Chipper Fish is a highly rated 'fish and chips' shop in a small shopping complex not far from the Toowoomba CBD, but by no means walking distance. Very much a small hole in the wall, Chipper Fish is wedged into your typical suburban shopping complex and The Chameleon noticed that the store didn't even get a mention on the large display board with the names of all the businesses protruding onto Drayton Road. This, The Chameleon believes, is a big mistake made by the managers of the complex, as this petite gastronomic marvel is the highlight. 

The shop itself is unfortunately positioned in such a location that there is no doubt, it  hinders it's potential. A fish and chip shop like this on Ruthven Street, or even in the Brisbane CBD, would have people lining up for miles and miles (that's right, miles) as the dishes claimed to be your typical 'fish and chips' from here would sit very well indeed in any of Brisbane's finest restaurants.

The shop itself is neat, but simple, a black fish sculpture is a vague attempt at creating a nautical feel and a few fishing and boating magazines also helped, but seriously it could do with a decor make over yesterday. 

The menu was very well presented. Retro cool, great colours, simple and easy, not overloaded with too many choices, basically perfect. The Chameleon found it hard not to chuckle at the "Carnival Treats" title given to the usual deep fried food that you can purchase if your heart desires. 

There was one area that unfortunately reduced what was a very pleasant experience, to a mediocre sit down; a TV, positioned above the drinks fridge was on ABC, turned to such a volume that it was neither audible, yet loud enough to be an annoyance. It was also angled awkwardly. A simple replacement of a slightly larger wall mounted unit, or even a small boombox serenading the dinners with cool laid back tunes would create an ambiance worthy of possibly staying to enjoy your meal, but as is, perhaps the TV could be turned off. This shop is unfortunately just the local "fish and chip" joint and in it's current location will no doubt serve 95% take-away and perhaps remain that little bit hidden from the potential monopoly it could have in any decent busy dining location. 


Let's get this straight: Chipper Fish is not a 'fish and chip' shop. It is a restaurant in disguise, serving up deliciousness in a flimsy paper box. No fanfare, no fancy packaging, just a lot of heart and soul going into what matters the most; great tasting fish. And The Chameleon could really go on and on about the grilled barramundi in his "Queenslander Pack", it was perfect in texture, taste and seasoning. PERFECT. 

The Chameleon was highly impressed from the first bite. The coconut encrusted prawns were a taste sensation and the Cesar salad side dish, while not very impressive, was adequate to moisten the mouthfuls (though, the fancy hard/soft croutons were quite good here). The pineapple fritter was also very well presented, with the slight acidity retained in the pineapple, and the batter, again, unique and very suitable. Perhaps a slight disappointment were the chips; although in a typical take-away they would more than suffice, they simply did not live up to the high quality of the perfectly grilled fish, prawns and pineapple fritter.

A nice little touch was a piece of grease-proof paper between the chips and the fish sitting above; you won't get a soggy mess of chips from Chipper. Well done.     


Chipper Fish deserves all the raving reviews for it's cuisine; the fish was simply superb, the uniqueness of it's side flavours very tasty and overall everything was top notch. It is a pity though that this little hidden restaurant exists only for take-aways, spending very little effort on dining or drawing in a loyal sit-down crowd. The location is atrocious and the effort going into setting up for dining was poor. Do yourself a favour Chipper: move to a decent location on Ruthven. 87/100  

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