IT'S a bit of a hike from Omanawa Rd in the Kaimai Range to the waterfront in central Tauranga - but some things are worth travelling for.

Every couple of weeks Elisabeth Carter and her family head to Bobby's Fresh Fish Market in Dive Crescent for their favourite fish 'n chips, and a chance for 10-year-old Billy to go fishing off the wharf.

Making the most of the school holidays, the family were enjoying lunch at a waterfront picnic table in the winter sun this week, before heading for a hot dip at Fernland Spa.

They choose Bobby's because they only eat fresh fish - not pre-frozen - and bypass a lot of fish 'n chip shops on the way to Tauranga's renowned waterfront tourist attraction.

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They occasionally buy from Greerton Fresh Fish Market too.

For Ms Carter, the secret to a great batch of fish 'n chips is fresh fish - not too greasy or salty - with soft chips, rather than crunchy. "I just ask for fish because I always know it's fresh. Last time it was bluenose and that was yum."

Big seafood fans, the family occasionally add oysters, crabsticks and scallops to their order and are planning on a paua fritter next time they visit.

Fish 'n chips is not a cheap meal any more, costing $27 for the trio's lunch - including some tartare sauce and a small drink.

Experienced diners, they bring their own white bread for chip sandwiches and lemon to squeeze over the fish.

Bobby's lunchtime popularity also means it takes a little longer than most to get your order.

"You have to wait quite a long time, but it's worth it."

Then there's the beautiful view and entertainment. "You can just buy a bag of bait for a dollar so it doesn't really get any better."

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Not a scrap of the meal gets wasted either.

"The other good thing is we can take the leftovers home to feed the chooks."

RATINGS:
Fresh Fish Market Greerton Rating 9
Bobby's Fresh Fish Market Rating 8.5
Master Fish 'n' Chicken, Bureta Rating 7
15th Ave Takeaways Rating 7
Paoamoa Domain Takeaways Rating 5
Brookfield Fish& Chinese Rating 4
Shell Seeker Takeaways Rating 3
Mount Fish & Chips Rating 2
Fish'n'chip shop owners respond to results
Bobby's Fresh Fish Market Bobby's Fresh Fish Market co-owner Mag Palmer, sister to Bobby, said coming second to their other brother and panel winner Phillip was "so funny".
"[Bobby] is going to be so upset his brother beat him," laughed Ms Palmer.
"He buys his fish from us."
Ms Palmer was happy with the result.

Mount Fish and Chips Mount Fish and Chips owner Jackie Wang was confused at their rating of two, but said they had been having "problems with product". "The fat we use has a little bit of a problem and the chips we use has a little bit of a problem," said Mr Wang.
"But all my customers who come back are still regulars, I didn't miss any customers."

Papamoa Domain Takeaways and Fast Food Papamoa Domain Takeaways and Fast Food worker Crystal Ye said some customers had said their chips were too salty and the fish was too oily, but mostly had given positive feedback. "Mostly the customers come back and they say it was the best fish and chips they've ever had."

Brookfield Fish and Chinese Brookfield Fish and Chinese manager Michael Yang was away from work the day the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend taste-tested their food and said he was not able to "keep an eye on it".

Master Fish 'N' Chicken Master Fish 'N' Chicken owner Dike Mai said he was happy with his store's rating.

15th Ave Takeaways 15th Ave Takeaways owner Eddy declined to give a comment.
Shell Seeker Takeaways Shell Seeker Takeaways owner could not be reached for comment.