FRESHEST FISH: Judy Maguire, Colin Hambly and Nicole Paul hang onto a large red emperror at Naeco after the shop was named the Clarence Valley's best fish and chips.
FRESHEST FISH: Judy Maguire, Colin Hambly and Nicole Paul hang onto a large red emperror at Naeco after the shop was named the Clarence Valley's best fish and chips. Adam Hourigan

Freshest fish and chips once again a winner at Naeco Blue

THERE'S more on the menu at Naeco Blue and the customers are lapping it up for all it's worth.

Not for the first time, the family business has been voted the number one place for fish and chips in the Clarence Valley.

However, major changes have taken place at the South Grafton seafood takeaway since it first won The Daily Examiner's Facebook poll 12 months ago.

"We've extended the shop into what used to be the pie shop next door," owner Vicki Hambly said. "It's made us doubly busy but we're managing."

The expansion in space coincided with an expansion on the menu - Naeco Blue offers much more than the traditional fish and chips.

"We're now able to do smoked fish in house, we do a lot more prawn rolls and wraps, all different salads, sushi, pies and seafood chowder, and we're getting pretty famous for our prawn curry."

Vicki accredits the creative additions to her son Adam and husband Colin.

"They're probably the instigators of those sorts of things," she said.

Fresh fish cooked while you wait

However, the real point of difference proving to be a hit with customers is the freshness of the fish.

"It's the ability to be able to choose fresh local fish that's in the window. It's all cooked while they wait, not pre-battered or anything like that.

"And we don't have much imported fish at all. It's mostly sourced from Coffs Harbour and Yamba."

Vicki's other son Nathan is the chief filleter, while the business now employs a total of 10 people.

Naeco Blue was a clear winner in the Facebook poll, with many regular customers getting behind the business to finish ahead of the likes of Kezas On Bent, also in South Grafton, and the Clarence River Fisherman's Co-Op in Maclean.

Here's a selection of the Facebook comments from those who voted for Naeco Blue:

Kyle Summers: "Naeco Blue for sure. Not only is it the best fish and chips in town but all the staff are always happy and full of smiles. Always a pleasure to go there."

Annie Bella: "Definitely Naeco Blue. Fresh, delicious fish and other foods with friendly professional staff. A pleasure to do business with."

Les McLennan: "Naeco Blue simply the best. Check it out for yourself. Best on the North Coast."

Sherree Bale: "Has to be Naeco Blue. Best fish and chips I have ever had. It is the quality I measure all others by."

Melissa West: "Naeco Blue hands down. Fresh selection of fish always perfectly cooked."

Grace McGirr: "Naeco Blue in South Grafton sells the best crumbed snapper, thick chips and lemon. Great service."

BEST FISH'N'CHIPS IN THE CLARENCE VALLEY

1. Naeco Blue, Sth Grafton

2. Kezas On Bent, Sth Grafton

3. Clarence River Co-Op - Maclean

4. Hooked On Seafood, Maclean

5. Joey's Takeaway, Grafton

6. Clarence River Co-Op - Iluka

7. Clarence River Co-Op - Yamba

8. Captain Cook's, Sth Grafton

9. Crabbyjacks, Grafton

10. The Golden Dog, Glenreagh



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