The silky slivers of white flesh dissolve in my mouth, while the crispy golden batter encasing them gives a satisfying and surprisingly grease-free crunch.

It’s the first time I’ve ever tried a piece of flake with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and it’s a winning combination. The sour kick cuts beautifully through every mouthful, adding a modern twist to a classic holiday dish.

I’ve just stumbled upon Australia’s best fish and chips. It’s an inviting indoor/outdoor eatery, right on the water by the main shopping strip in Batemans Bay.

It’s called Innes Boathouse (though the sign simply reads “The Boathouse”), and it’s in the heart of the beautiful NSW south coast.

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Now, I’m no stranger to a local chippy, especially on coastal road trips. Like anyone who grew up holidaying at the beach, I consider myself a bit of an expert, ranking each paper-wrapped dinner by freshness, saltiness, and crispiness.

After all, a piece of fresh fish eaten right by the water, together with fat-but-crispy chips and a fruity soft drink, is one of life’s simplest pleasures.

Discovering this one was a happy accident. I was looking for the supermarket, planning to have a beachside picnic, when I spotted the collection of well-occupied tables, shaded with big black umbrellas, and pulled over to have a closer look. It’s a cloudless day, but the sting has disappeared from the sun, and a gentle breeze is rustling the fronds of the lone palm overhead.

There’s a deck outside, with well-spaced picnic tables, so I pick a spot right next to the railing. Watching the boats bobbing up and down in the water, while pelicans and seagulls compete for space on the nearby jetty, closes the loop from trawler to table.

Tomorrow, I’ll try the prawns.

Innes Boatshed is located at 1 Clyde Street, Batemans Bay. Do you think there is a better fish and chips out there? Tell us in the comments below