Recently I noticed a fish and chip shop, located in Christchurch, promoting themselves on Twitter. I heartily endorse companies getting in touch with their customers, and think social media provides a great forum for this - and it seemed pretty novel for a fish and chip shop to be into that, and since they happen to be not that far from my parents' place and that's where I am today, I informed my family that fish and chips were on the menu. ;-)
The shop is lime green so you really can't miss it - very distinctive. I think there have been takeaway shops there for most of my lifetime but all the others had that very dingy, average fish and chip looking frontages so I had never actually visited any of them. Wassup definitely have a fresh look - much more appealing.
It's also really nice inside - clean and neat, with the staff dressed in branded t-shirts and the spic-and-span kitchen area looked pretty appealing for a chippie - they had timers on the vats, which I liked as I hate over- and under-cooked chips, and having worked at McD's back in the day have seen the difference a few extra seconds in the vat can make. The prices are a bit higher than your regular neighbourhood fish and chip shop - all the 'normal' menu items are $2.20, including a scoop (or 'bach', as they call it) of chips. Mind you, a feed still works out cheaper than most other sorts of takeaways - and I would happily pay a little bit more to get good chips every time (because if I'm going accept that quantity of calories for my dinner it has to be good!).
The service was super friendly, and when they figured out they didn't have enough kumara chips to fill Mr Cake's order they apologised profusely, and he chose a crumbed red cod instead and got the few kumara chips they did have left thrown in.
We were ordering for seven, so had a pretty big variety of items. As well as the standard items, they have a range of burgers, the basic one being customisable, and a selection of gluten free items (fish, chips, hot dog, meat pattie, pineapple ring, donut) which are cooked separately. They also have the choice of lemon pepper, chicken salt, garlic salt or regular salt for your chips.
As you'd expect, the photos aren't spectacular - but the taste test is always the true indicator of fish and chips. Sadly, about the time we started tasting we realised we were missing a bundle - we'd asked for our chips to be a variety of chicken salt, lemon pepper, and regular salt, so we could compare (there were seven of us so we had ordered four scoops to make sure there were loads to go around), and noticed on unwrapping the various packages we had that we didn't have any chicken salt chips, nor did we have the meat patties and spring roll we had ordered. Oops...
I rang them up and as soon as I identified myself Nathan, the owner, gushed his apologies, which definitely does help fix this sort of thing! I said we'd send my dad down and he promised to cook up the patties, spring roll and chips fresh for us and have them ready. When Dad came back he had a very large package of chips, which were really fresh and hot, and plenty of them! He also had been given a bottle of soft drink to compensate - which I think is a pretty good way of resolving this sort of problem. We had a pretty big order, and I think the shop is pretty new, so the odd mistake is inevitable and good resolution is important.
So, how was it? Well, we all felt everything was fresh and hot, and well cooked - the normal fish was slightly on the dry side, but the batter was crisp and not bogged down with oil. The pieces weren't enormous but were certainly not too small. The chips were all perfectly cooked, and the lemon pepper was really yummy. Mr Cake's red cod was delicious - he really enjoyed it, which is high praise since he is not usually a fish and chip fan at all! My Dad's burger was good, he gave it 9/10, with it losing marks for the bun not being very hot. He was definitely pleased, though. The meat patties were fantastic - I don't normally get these but shared one with my sister and they were pleasingly non-greasy, tasty and meaty. The let-down of the night was the spring roll - this was still cold in the middle, and the pastry was perhaps a bit overcooked. We also don't think we got our chicken salt on our chips - but all in all we were pretty pleased, though obviously it would be improved by not having to re-visit the chip shop midway through dinner. ;-) Next time, perhaps? I do recommend them, though, if you like a good bundle of chips - next time I'm in Christchurch and in the mood for a [not unnecessarily] greasy feed I'll give them another go, and I'll definitely be having a meat pattie with my order!
Wassup is located at 202 Waltham Road, Christchurch, ph 03 366 9679, www.wassuponline.co.nz