Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published December 6th 2010
London has many fish and chip restaurants and 'chippys' worth their salt, and every Londoner has a favourite they'll swear by. Apparently one in every four potatoes consumed in the UK becomes a chip and one pound in every hundred is spent on food in the UK is spent in a chippy. This selection includes those most often publicly salivated over.
McDermott's Fish & Chips: McDermott's has won the Seafish 'Best Fish and Chip Shop' award four times, so they have pedigree. How do they do it? They say that they're the real deal: family run, serving fish and chips the 'old fashioned' way, which presumably means with fat cut chips (Maris Pipers, cut 14mm wide and double fried in groundnut oil, which also lends its light-non-greasiness to the fish.) and a menu that changes with the tides - as well serving fishy standards like cod, haddock and scampi. The décor is pretty traditional fish-and-chip-shop-done-up-nice, but what more could you want? As well as taking care with the cooking and sourcing, they also take care of the presentation, which isn't as common. But everything still comes with a side of French bread and butter and a complimentary dish of pickled onions and gherkins.
5, 6 & 7 The Forestdale Shopping Centre Featherbed Lane Croydon Surrey CR0 9AS
Rock & Sole Plaice: The name sounds kinda gimmicky and clever, but the grub couldn't be simpler: fish and/ or chips and a few derivatives (scampi, mushy peas, calamari, and pies, pasties and sausages for people who are here for potato perfection.). There's table service but no fancy extras – the tablecloths are plastic and the napkins paper, and if you sit outside you're sitting on what look like purloined picnic tables.
The batter is usually light, crunchy and golden on the fish, and the chips are of the home cut, fat and moist variety. Some of the most popular fish options come in multiple sizes, just as they do in nature: be warned that the large cod and haddock can seem like the fish time forgot.
47 Endell St.,London WC2H 9AJ nearest tube Covent Garden
The Golden Hind: This is the kind of chippie that has life long customers. It opened in 1914 and proudly displays a list of all the past owners and the original art deco fryer sitting in the rear of the restaurant. The classic here is supposed to be the plaice and chips with mushy peas. Again, customers talk of golden crispy batter encasing succulent fish flesh and fat chips that aren't too dry and aren't too floppy. They also talk of home made tartare sauce and a range of sides. And of being allowed to BYO. And of starters.
The black and white tiled interior, wooden tables and frequent need to be sat in the basement aren't for everyone – it's very popular – but you can take away.
73 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2PN
Toff's of Muswell Hill: Toff's is a Muswell institution attracting the whole colour of north London life, from scruffy students to local celebs, to its wooden, canteen-esque dining room. The plaice again has pride of place, but the classic cod is a close second. Toff's is another chippie known for their epic portions, so if you go for a starter maybe share between you...
For 'toffs' they put on Dover sole, lemon sole, halibut, seabass and salmon (if it's in at Billingsgate that day) Health freaks: it's £1 extra to have your fish grilled, or 75p extra to have it fried in egg and matso instead of batter. The chips are done in groundnut oil. If you can fit it in the home made deserts are supposed to be part of the experience. Booking will make it easier on you, but even then you might feel like people are sitting a little close.
38 Muswell Hill Broadway, London, N10 3RT
Olley's: Olley's isn't as classic as the rest of these chippies – it sort of looks like a tapas restaurant, with terracotta, pine and blue tiles instead of the black, white and green. And the menu is a bit different from the usual as well – they'll batter and deep fry you a tuna steak if that's what you'd like, grill you a mahi mahi or serve you scallops in tomato and herb sauce. They actually boast 20 varieties of finned food, and give you the choice of how you'd like it prepared.
65-69 Norwood Road, SE24 9AA
Masters Super Fish: This is going to be a hard name to live up to... But this restaurant seems to have the reputation to support it. None if it is for the decorating, which places function high above form, but if you can excuse the too bright lighting and spider plants and look at the menu then there you'll see why it's OK to call itself 'super'. As well as the staples that have already been mentioned several times, they do Cromer Crab cocktail and grilled swordfish. The baguette is complementary, as are the three prawns they usually serve each guest as a mini-starter, as are the pickled onions and gherkins. And the chips have been more than once been called 'crisp on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside'.
191 Waterloo Rd. Waterloo, SE1 8UX
These five are just the tip of the cod iceberg, and there are bound to be people who disagree with this selection – to them I say: "Be generous and share your secret with the rest of us or else keep your head down and enjoy your perfectly light batter, white and flaky flavours and perfectly cooked chips and leave us to our own favourites."