Although I have always known the concept of fish and chips to be a truly British one, the Antipodeans seem to be trying to claim the crown of Hong Kong’s most authentic fish and chips. For too long, there was barely a fish and chip shop in sight; now there are two, within very close proximity to each other. The latest on the scene is Hooked, bringing “the traditional fish ‘n’ chip experience” to Caine Road.
Only months after Aussie-style fish and chip shop Seasalt opened on Mosque Street, New Zealand-style Hooked cropped up a mere 200 metres below it, which is bound to cause a little bit of competition, particularly for those in search of some mushy peas!
Hooked, opened by very friendly New Zealand native Matthew, is no more than a hole in the wall, designed only for takeaway customers. Despite being located between a Circle K and an employment centre, this simple white and blue themed shop is reminiscent of the kind of place you’d find back home (even if ‘home’ is the UK, rather than NZ).
What I particularly like about Hooked is that it is actually going for authenticity. It is unpretentious, serves its fish and chips wrapped in paper, and doesn’t care about changing itself for the more figure-conscious amongst us. Fish and chips are fish and chips, after all; although you can get grilled fish if you insist, if you want health food, go and buy a salad elsewhere.
There are also pies, (battered) sausages and chicken nuggets on the menu, but at the time we visited, with it having been open only three days, these were not yet available.
We were impressed by the batter and the quality of the fish, even if it was just a little dry. The batter was flavoursome without being too greasy, and maintained its crispiness even after a slow walk home.
The chips, on the other hand, didn’t maintain any crispiness whatsoever and were soggy by the time we got them home. There are times, however (and eating fish and chips straight out of the paper is certainly one of them), when soggy chips, provided they are well seasoned, are exactly what you need. If you’re going to have mushy peas, you can’t be too selective about the firmness of your chips.
I’m not always a mushy pea kind of girl, preferring my peas in full, rounded form, but these were pretty tasty with a subtle hint of mint.
The wait for a couple of pieces of blue nose (cod was already sold out), half a scoop of chips, some squid rings and some mushy peas was less than 15 minutes, and cost only $160. Your choice of salt (from standard to Cajun) is included in the price, but disappointingly a pot of sauce (be it tartare, tomato or curry) is not. Not that I’m comparing good old fashioned fish and chips to that nasty fast-food chain further up the road, but if they can thrown in a couple of packets of sauce for free, then surely it isn’t too much to expect from Hooked?
I think there is definitely potential for this little newcomer. I’m going to put its minor mishaps (such as forgetting our potato fritters) to the fact that it is new and understaffed, and hope that in time it could become everyone’s go-to spot for some tasty, fuss-free, traditional fish ‘n’ chips.
80-88 Caine Road
+852 2915 1118