[Photographs: David Straight]
Finally, Auckland has a seafood joint that matches the quality of our fish. But that comes as no surprise: owner Jimmy “The Fish” Gerard is something of an Auckland seafood legend. Until recently he was one of the owners of Harbourside, he buys fish for a bunch of restaurants around Auckland, and he’s been running a stall at La Cigale for the past few years, dishing up fish, recipes and wisecracks in that order.
Now, he and son Tom have moved into Ponsonby Central, where you’ll find him in a rustic sort of fish shack, all raw timber and functional metal that looks like it’s been there for decades: there are pots and pans hanging above the kitchen, and a servery into the lane outside. You can buy fish from the counter, of course – and you should – but it’s the changing blackboard menu that we love.
We stopped by for lunch the other day: “Lion Red” battered terakihi ($7) and handcut chips ($6) – beautifully fresh fish, cooked perfectly, with chunky chips, some of the best we’ve eaten – and a terrific Tuscan seafood risotto ($18). It was perfect, verging on soupy, packed with clams, mussels, prawns and skin-on John Dory. About bloody time. SFG
HOURS 9am to 8.30pm, seven days.
ADDRESS Shop 8, Ponsonby Central, 136 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, ph 360-1554. No website, but there’s a Facebook page here.