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Yellowfin tuna cheeseburger
Photograph: Josh Niland

Josh Niland’s Charcoal Fish and Fish Butchery Paddington have now closed – but it’s not all bad news

Fingers crossed it’s not the last we see of the nostalgic fish and chip joint, home of the legendary double yellowfin tuna cheeseburger

Avril Treasure
Written by
Avril Treasure

Josh Niland changed the fish and chip game when he opened Charcoal Fish in 2021. The fast-casual diner was a nostalgic riff on an old-school fish and chip shop and charcoal chicken joint, selling a now-legendary double yellowfin tuna cheeseburger with smoked Murray cod bacon, as well as sustainably farmed rotisserie Murray cod in crusty white rolls doused in gravy. Now, Niland and his wife Julie have closed the Rose Bay eatery due to the variable seasonality of the location, a spokesperson for the couple said.

The fish bun from Charcoal Fish
Photograph: Nigel Kippers/Time Out

Fish Butchery Paddington, a fish haven selling fresh seafood and take-home meals, which opened in 2018 on the same strip as Niland’s revolutionary award-winning fine diner Saint Peter, has also now closed. Fish Butchery Waterloo remains open.

And while this news will undoubtedly come as a shock to fans of the zero-waste pioneer and seafood wizard – who else can turn the whites of fish eyes into a silky, velvety ice cream? – it’s not all bad news. Saint Peter will be relocating to a much larger space later this year to Paddington’s nearby Grand National Hotel – allowing the team to welcome even more diners to taste Niland’s wow-inducing creations. This also comes off the back of an exciting year for Niland, with the seafood gun opening his first international restaurant called Fysh in Singapore in 2023, as well as Petermen in St Leonards.

“The relocation of Saint Peter into a bigger restaurant and kitchen has allowed for more space, and all whole fish butchery will now be carried out in the kitchen and at Fish Butchery Waterloo (which remains open to the public on weekends),” the spokesperson said.

A man in a white t-shirt and black gloves carries half of a large tuna
Photograph: Supplied

“The Waterloo site is more suited to purpose and will continue to supply whole fish butchery to both the larger Saint Peter and Petermen (St Leonards) restaurants.

“Staff from both venues will be incorporated into existing businesses where possible, and any outstanding Charcoal Fish vouchers will be redirected to other venues.”

Niland also hinted on social media that this may not be the last we see of Charcoal Fish, with its Instagram bio saying: “Closed. For Now.” Safe to say we will watch this space, and we will keep you updated about the opening of Saint Peter 2.0.

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