Andrew Wong with father Kent Wong of Busy Bee Fish Bar on Targo St.
Andrew Wong with father Kent Wong of Busy Bee Fish Bar on Targo St. Katie Hall

Revealing the secrets behind Bundy's favourite hot chips

IF THERE'S one thing Bundaberg people love it's a good hot, crispy chip.

When the NewsMail asked its Facebook readers to reveal their favourite place for chips in the region one eatery bubbled to the top above all others - the ever-iconic Busy Bee Fish Bar.

Andrew Wong, whose parents Kent and Lyn have owned the CBD fish and chip shop for decades, said the reason for their chip success was down to several important factors.

Mr Wong said there wasn't a frozen chip to be seen in their humble shop and said his family got in local spuds whenever possible.

If they couldn't get Bundaberg region potatoes, they still used Aussie produce.

"Our chips are made fresh every morning on premises from Australian growers," Mr Wong said.

"Every week we get a whole truck-load of potatoes."

 

Kent Wong, owner of Busy Bee Fish Bar, makes the best damn chips you will ever eat.
Kent Wong, owner of Busy Bee Fish Bar, makes the best damn chips you will ever eat. Ashley Clark

The potatoes are then washed, trimmed and cut to perfection.

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the family can go through about 20 buckets of potatoes a day.

On a weekday, it's about 10 buckets.

"Our chips are made nice and thick and long," Mr Wong said.

"They're like bigger than your fingers."

There's another secret to Busy Bee's chips that many people wouldn't know about and that's the Belgian cooking method.

Mr Wong said the French method involved cutting and frying chips, but the Belgian method saw them fried twice - once at a lower heat, rested then finished off at a high heat for maximum crunch.

"They get crispy outside and get a moist centre," he said.

 

Kent Wong takes an order.
Kent Wong takes an order. Katie Hall

The batter recipe is a long-held secret, dating back original Busy Bee owners Douglas and Stella Lung, who handed it down to the Wongs.

It makes the special recipe about 90 years old, according to Mr Wong.

"They taught us the method of the Busy Bee battered chips," he said.

There's also a secret to enjoying the chips.

Mr Wong said they should either be eaten entirely plain or with a little plain salt.

He said chicken salt, sauces or vinegars could upset the crisp, natural flavour of the chips and batter.

While many people wouldn't realise it, Mr Wong said the unbleached butchers' paper wrapping paper his family used came with a clever hack - the lack of a need for serviettes.

"When your hands get all greasy you use it as your napkin to wipe your greasy hands on," he said.

"By serving them in the butchers' paper it keeps the chips warm and the butchers' paper is environmentally friendly."

Mr Wong said, ultimately, small businesses needed the Bundaberg community's support.

 

When former NewsMail editor Craig Warhurst got a taste of Busy Bee he couldn't believe how great the chips were.
When former NewsMail editor Craig Warhurst got a taste of Busy Bee he couldn't believe how great the chips were. Max Fleet BUN181215BEE4

"Big multi-nationals are pushing mum and pop out of the market and other places buy their chips snap frozen," he said.

"I encourage local residents to support local businesses so we can keep jobs in the local economy."

But there could be some sad moments for lovers of the special Busy Bee chips.

Having owned Busy Bee for more than 50 years, the Wongs announced in January they would be winding down business as they prepared to retire.



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