Who serves the best fish and chips in New York City? A Singaporean chef, according to New York Post

Writer Steve Cuozzo calls the dish a “masterpiece”.

Sherlyn Sim

Considers knowing how to use a rice cooker an achievement.

Published: 20 December 2022, 9:35 AM

The best fish and chips in New York City can be found not at British-styled restaurants but, apparently, at a hawker store selling Singaporean cuisine.

Or at least according to a New York Post article from Friday (Dec 16).

Calling it a plate of masterpiece, writer Steven Cuzzo wrote that the Singapore-styled fish and chips that consist of two generic-looking breaded fillets on a pile of fries with a side of coleslaw “blew (him) away, to the point where (he) had to come back for it three days in a row, just to be sure”.

The plate of fish and chips in question is sold by Smokin’ Joe, a vendor part of Singaporean-themed food hall Urban Hawker. Opened on Sep 21 at 135 West 50th Street in New York City, the food hall spanning 14,000 sq ft mimics the experiences of Singapore’s hawker centres.

It is spearheaded by Singaporean KF Seetoh, who runs Makansutra.

Urban Hawker currently has 17 vendors, with 11 – including Smokin’ Joe – run by Singapore hawker and chefs. Smokin’ Joe is run by Singaporean Joseph Yeo.

In his piece, Steven added that Yeo’s fish and chips is “a miraculously moist cut of swai, a neutral-flavoured fish from Vietnam that’s ideally suited to absorb and project the rotating multitude of Asian and Western spices and seasonings used in the marination”.

Comparing it to the renditions dished out by restaurants from the Upper East Side or in Brooklyn, Smokin’ Joe’s version of fish and chips does not taste mainly of oil like those typically found in New York.

“Smokin’ Joe, finally, does the job right. And the chips — salty, seasoned fries that don’t need ketchup or anything else — stand up to the fish. Yeo’s signature dish is Hainanese curry rice topped with chicken or fish, a Singapore favorite, but I’ll put my dough on the chips every time,” wrote Steven.

Smokin’ Joe’s fish and chips costs US$16 ($21.71) per plate.

If you’re keen to give their “masterpiece” a try, Smokin’ Joe has an outlet in Singapore at Yishun Park Hawker Centre, at 51 Yishun Ave 11.

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