Brighton Street Takeaway was recommended to us when we were in Ballina for a weekend and looking for a tasty meal. Located in Shaws Bay, it has the typical appearance of a neighbourhood takeaway shop. Fish & chips, pizza, coffee, and ice cream, the signboard announces, just under its name, in case there was any confusion about what might be on offer. The store is partitioned into two, and you order and pick up the hot food from one side, and order and pick up drinks and ice cream from the other side.
There was a steady flow of customers in and out when we were there at about six in the evening. There were a few tables off to the side, and counter seats along the walkway just across from the store front. Most patrons seemed to be there to get their food to go though.
After scanning the chalk boards above the service counter, we decided to get a couple of their Seafood Baskets. For those who either can’t decide or want a bit of everything, this is a good option. You get fish, chips, crumbed calamari, prawn cutlets, and lemon and tartare to accompany it.
While waiting for our food, given the warmth of the day, we also decided to get a couple of smoothies. The smoothie menu is short and sweet, essentially a berry smoothie, a banana smoothie, a mango smoothie, or a mix of them all. They come in either dairy or non-dairy options, with the non-dairy having either other milks (soy or almond) or apple or pineapple juice as the base. These are more options than you generally get, as the popular chains certainly don’t offer these.
We had a Mango Madness (the mango smoothie) with a soy base and a Brighton Blitz (the mix) with a regular dairy base. They had honey drizzled around the base and around the sides of the cup. The smoothies were cold and viscous. They weren’t too sweet despite the honey, which didn’t really mix in..until you got a lump of it. The Mango Madness didn’t taste very strongly of mango, however, and was sort of a generic, mildly sweet, just faintly mango flavour. We could taste the berries and banana in the Brighton Blitz though, and it was an alright mix, not tart despite the berries.
Our seafood packs were packaged in brown paper bags when ready, and we took them out to eat near the water. There weren’t available benches, so we just sat in the grass..with the equally hungry ants. The fish that day was flake, and there was a good-sized serve of it. It had good, firm flesh, and a crunchy batter coating that was just the right thickness. There were two pieces of crumbed calamari per person, and these were tender, with just enough spring in the bite, also lightly coated with crunchy batter. There were two prawn cutlets per person as well, coated in a panko crumb-like crust, with a fall-apart texture. There was a squeeze pack of tartare sauce per person, and a wedge of lemon. You did have to be a bit judicious with use to make sure you had enough to last through the ingredients. The chips forming a base to it all were, well, chips. They weren’t the best ever, but they were alright, more squishy for the most part than crunchy.
Overall, we found Brighton Street Takeaway’s food tasty. The seafood was fresh and prepared well, and good value for the price. The setting by the sea is a pleasant one too, if a bit weather-dependent. Certainly worth a stop by if you are in the area.
Price point: Seafood basket for one $14, Seafood basket for two $26. Smoothies $6.50 small, $8 large (ours were the large size).
Value: Not bad for the seafood baskets.
Address: 1-2/5 Brighton Street, East Ballina
Phone: 02 6681 3326
Website: Brighton Street Takeaway