Even before my visit to Perth and Fremantle, I’ve heard of this great debate countless of times: Which diner serves the best fish and chips in Fremantle’s famous fishing boat harbour? Is it Cicerello’s or Kaili’s Fish Market Cafe? I’ve heard the cases put forth for both restaurants and each one seems to have their fair share of die-hard supporters. On my trip to Fremantle, I thought I shall try both and settle this dispute on my own.

Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour is a commercial marina and a well established tourism precinct with numerous restaurants and a brewery. Cicerello’s and Kaili’s are found in the buildings on the right of the picture above.

Both restaurants are next to one another (Cicerello’s is right opposite Kaili’s). I love all the umbrellas and seats around the jetty where people can choose to dine alfresco style (watch out for the seagulls and do not leave your food unattended – you have been warned).

If weather permits, the outdoor seating area provides the best view of these lovely fishing boats.


Established in 1903, Cicerello’s offers a range of family friendly dining options. The restaurant has even been featured on an Australia Post stamp issue celebrating iconic Australian tourist destinations.

I had the seafood tray in Cicerello’s and the servings was huge. It may be better suited as a meal for two people (or one very hungry person). The food was fresh and tasted very good, but it was not as great as I had hoped for.


The newer kid on the block (founded in 1928), Kaili’s offers a greater number of choices than that available at Cicerello’s. Kaili’s grilled seafood section provides several amazing options from their fresh seafood on offer.

You can pick and choose your favourite seafood, and get their chef to prepare it for you.

The lobsters look fantastic but was, unfortunately, a little out of my budget.

Having know the portion of the food that would be served, my family order the seafood platter in Kaili’s. I absolutely loved it! The fish and squid rings were crispy, and the chilli mussels delicious. Those who prefer the chilli mussels to be a little hot may be disappointed with the level of ‘spiciness’ given.

Going back to the great debate, I would have to give Kaili’s my vote. The seafood platter was perfect for me that day! Having given my five cents worth, I think it would be interesting to hear the reader’s opinion of the two restaurants. I’d really appreciate it if you can share your experience in the comments below.


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