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Fishy Fridays on the Sunshine Coast #1: Rise Courtyard Cafe, Port Alfred

Every Friday we have fish and chips for lunch at a different venue along the Sunshine Coast, from Port Elizabeth to East London. (That's a looong way to travel, so sorry if we seem to favour the Port Alfred area, it's only because we live here.) We then rate each place, so you can know where to find the best fish and chips!

We've been going to Rise Courtyard Cafe since we moved to the Eastern Cape almost two years ago. It's probably the cosiest little eatery in Port Alfred, and the omelette they serve is what kept me going back ever since. However this was the first time we had the fish and chips for lunch.

We had our usual seat in the restored little cottage that used to serve, we were told, as the kiosk at the Grahamstown rail station before it was hauled off and reinstalled here in Port Alfred. Most of the seats at Rise is outdoors in the courtyard, but there's more than enough seats indoors too. All in all, I also feel at home when we eat at rise.

Unfortunately our table wasn't clean when we arrived - a total no-no in times of Covid. This was remedied when we asked for the surface to be wiped, but it still makes one feel a bit uneasy.

Service is quick and friendly however, and today was no exception.

Fish and chips at Rise Courtyard Cafe

Our food duly arrived, and the presentation is clearly a cut above your corner-cafe, newspaper-wrapped fish and chips. It's clear that Rise is run by a chef with an eye for style that resulted in a rather fancy presentation. It's also the first time I've ever had fish and chips with two sauces, one a tartar and the other a garnished xxx. Both were freshly made, and definitely not decanted from one of those ten litre buckets of sauce some restaurants serve. The lemon slice was also fresh and generous.

The fish isn't fresh from the sea, but it's nicely coated in a crispy xxx and lay on top of a smallish portion of equally crispy chips, rather than traditional 'slap chips'. The portions are well-sized - even if you arrive hungry your appetite will be satisfied after the meal.

Rise's fish and chips are on special on a Friday, so the bill came to a very reasonable R66 each. If you haven't visited Rise, it's well worth doing so. The food is quality across the board. If you've been to Rise and not had the fish and chips, it's highly recommended.

Score is out of a total of ten:

Ambience: 7

Service: 6

Presentation: 9

Value for money: 10

Taste and presentation: 9

Overall: 82%

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