Before the influx of Indian restaurants, and before Chicken Tikka Masala became the nation's favourite meal, it was widely accepted that fish and chips was our national dish. You would be hard pressed to find a high street without a fish and chippie, but are they all worth their salt (and vinegar)?
Many of them might be fine for convenience, but which ones do you really rate and would travel to eat at? The batter needs to be crispy and light, the frying oil should not coat the roof of your mouth and above all the fish should be market fresh and of top quality. It goes without saying that the chips have to be the opposite of French Fries. They need to be large; crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
I've already rated The Golden Hind in Marylebone Lane, and Kat Parr Mackintosh made a few suggestions a year ago, but it would be interesting to learn of other nominations.
My favourite local fish and chippie (that has seating as well as serving take away food) is The Golden Kitchen at 50 Station Road North Harrow, Harrow, Middlesex HA2 7SE. It has been run for more than 25 years by Petros and his wife Anastasia, who offer Greek Cypriot extras such as a village salad, fresh fruit and Turkish Delight and Keo beer. Petros learned his trade from Louis, a fellow Cypriot, who passed away some years ago.
Also in my neck of the woods is The Sea Pebbles at 352 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 4HR. I know many people who would not dream of eating their fish and chips anywhere else.
Yet a third recommendation for the north west London area would be Skipjacks at 268-270 Streatfield Road, Kenton, HA3 9BY. They have a sizeable restaurant as well as a take away shop next door. I have been unfortunate enough to queue for more than an hour for a table on a Saturday night.
The Sea Shell in Lisson Grove still carries a reputation, but I think it's golden days are long gone since it was sold on to larger corporations. Perhaps somebody would like to point out that I'm wrong?
I recommend in Muswell Hill a visit to Toffs to get either take away fish & chips. See locals and visitors queue for their tasty fish & chips. Alternatively you can have your fish & chips n the restaurant. The fish batter is lovely not greasy and chips crisp and soft inside. Mushy peas, salt & vinegar with lemon on fish MMMM Christine