Tucked away from the main street, nestled amongst a gridlock of streets with names to match Sunset Boulevard, The Hangi Pit is located on Studio Drive just down the road from Warner Bros Studios. Humble by appearance, like a marae, is a perfect façade to accommodate the gathering of whanau, all channeling the Maori spirit whilst waiting for their order numbers to be called.
If someone told me Johnny Depp agreed to shoot the latest installment of Pirates of the Caribbean on the Gold Coast just so that he could eat The Hangi Pit’s battered fish each day I would probably believe it. $4.50 gets you a big piece of battered hoki, deep fried to perfection. But if that same person told me that the reason for Depp’s sudden departure from the film’s production was The Hangi Pit’s limp chips, I would definitely believe that also.
When I went from my first bite of the fish to my first bite of the chips, it was like a food induced bi-polar episode. Instant mood swings the second I tried a chip. The fried bread induced further rollercoaster-like emotions, texture similar to a crumpet, screaming out to be doused in melted maple butter or gravy for taste. As for the rest of the menu, I can’t bring myself to discuss it, I’m too distracted by the chips. They need to get the chips right first, then perhaps we can discuss the rest of their menu.
The Hangi Pit caters well to local sensibilities. Zero ambience but hey, it’s a fish and chip shop. At an outlet such as this, service is neutral, so doesn’t really add or detract from what really is just a takeaway transaction.
Although locals and king size Kiwis flock here, I was waiting for the buzz of scooters carrying hipsters to fill the carpark but it didn’t happen. I guess the decor just lacked the irony our undercut, bearded friends crave. Sometimes a plastic chair is just a plastic chair.
Yes, I would go back again just to eat the battered fish. But their chips? The horror, the horror…
Angela is a service standards advocate with an airline background proudly endorsing Peranakan food and culture. Find her Tweets @servicefeedback