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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.




  1. Genie wrote:

    I’m looking forward to visiting Jimmy the Fish. Do they sell fresh fish for home cooks as well as the ready to eat stuff?

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
  2. SFG wrote:

    Thanks Genie – yep, there’s a whole counter of fish, the same sort of stuff as Jimmy sells at La Cigale.

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  3. Elliot wrote:

    Jimmy the fish is amazing! freshest fish in town and there day to day specials either in the pot or out of the frying pan are very very tasty!

    Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink
  4. SFG wrote:

    Thanks Elliot, we think so too.

    Friday, February 1, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  5. Kim Meredith Melhuis wrote:

    Jimmy the Fish rocks, best fish and chips and if you’re buying fish to take home to cook, wow! Picked up some gurnard and freshest we’ve had.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink
  6. Micko wrote:

    JTF serves the freshest and tastiest seafood in town. Although the fish and chips are out of this world, everything on the menu is superb and always cooked to perfection. I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite!

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  7. Jym wrote:

    Got great fresh yellow eyed mullet to make rollmops. Also, emailed to confirm that the hours are actually 10am-7pm Monday-Thursday. 10am-8pm Friday & Saturday. 10am-6pm Sunday.

    Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  8. DYL wrote:

    I’m very interested to try this restaurant when I’m thre! May I know if they sell strictly seafood? Any other meat in their menu? Thanks in advanced! – Frm, Singapore

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink
  9. SFG wrote:

    It’s a fish shop so pretty much everything is fish!

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  10. Cameron wrote:

    Wow!!! amazing food and service 5 stars !!!

    Friday, September 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
  11. Cameron wrote:

    Wow amazing food and service 5 stars !!!

    Friday, September 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

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  1. EAT HERE NOW › JIMMY THE COOK on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 8:36 am

    […] weren’t very happy when Jimmy “the Fish” Gerard shut up shop in Ponsonby late last year: his Lion Red beer batter and gruff demeanour were the […]

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