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The Golden Hind, London


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Hi,

I had lunch here before Christmas.

Basically came away thinking that the fish was very good indeed, but I was disappointed with the chips, which were quite poor.

For my full review: Lunch at The Golden Hind

Food Snob, I like to read your comments/reviews, however couldn't you post them on the site rather than simply putting in a link.

OK you may not want to post 5,000 words on the site, but how about a summary or overview of a few hundred words that gives some insight into your review (we can then link to your site for a fuller review). It would help with the flow of the discussion rather than having to switch between pages.

Not sure if I am on my own on this subject but I find I am clicking through to links less and less.

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Thanks, PhilD.

This is the summary (the rest is just tedious waffle and photos anyway):

It is said that the secret to really good fish and chips is in the batter and quality of the ingredients. At the Golden Hind, they use a mystery batter mixture and measure the amount of breading to fish meticulously; this leads to a scrumptiously crisp, unusually light and very clean result with virtually no greasy trace. As regards the produce, their purveyors supply them with fresh-caught seafood daily from Grimsby. No freezing is involved and indeed, the food tasted all the better for this.

Nevertheless, this shop sells fish and chips, so though the fish maybe first-class, the chips cannot be forgotten. Here it almost felt like that is what had happened. The time had been taken to pick a decent potato and chop them by hand, so it was a letdown that they had not been well looked after, after that. It is notoriously easy to cook a bad chip, which is why good ones are so sought-after and so gratefully received. The pudding was also poor, though I could get over this (bearing in mind where I was). Portions were generous and the rest of the Golden Hind’s dishes - top fish, decent scampi, nice peas with homemade tartare and pleasant Tommy K - set a pretty satisfying standard. It is a shame that the chips could not continue it.

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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Nevertheless, this shop sells fish and chips, so though the fish maybe first-class, the chips cannot be forgotten. Here it almost felt like that is what had happened. The time had been taken to pick a decent potato and chop them by hand, so it was a letdown that they had not been well looked after, after that. It is notoriously easy to cook a bad chip, which is why good ones are so sought-after and so gratefully received. The pudding was also poor, though I could get over this (bearing in mind where I was). Portions were generous and the rest of the Golden Hind’s dishes - top fish, decent scampi, nice peas with homemade tartare and pleasant Tommy K - set a pretty satisfying standard. It is a shame that the chips could not continue it.

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You say the chips were bad but then don't say why - i'm intrigued, what are you looking for in a chip here ? what's your benchmark?

Actually, JMillar, I did. In the FULL review, of which the above is an extract, I wrote:

"The hand-cut chips were twice-fried, medium-cut Maris Pipers, but sadly, disappointed. They were neither especially flavoursome nor well-prepared; they had also probably been reheated. The perfect fry ought to be crisp outside, moussy inside; these were pretty squishy all over with only the itty bitty tater scraps bringing crackly comfort."

They were also not especially warm, but I forgot to mention that.

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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You say the chips were bad but then don't say why - i'm intrigued, what are you looking for in a chip here ? what's your benchmark?

Actually, JMillar, I did. In the FULL review, of which the above is an extract, I wrote:

"The hand-cut chips were twice-fried, medium-cut Maris Pipers, but sadly, disappointed. They were neither especially flavoursome nor well-prepared; they had also probably been reheated. The perfect fry ought to be crisp outside, moussy inside; these were pretty squishy all over with only the itty bitty tater scraps bringing crackly comfort."

They were also not especially warm, but I forgot to mention that.

Ahhh yes, so you did. To be fair you did say that "the rest is just tedious waffle and photos anyway". That said I think this opens up another question what are you looking for in a chip shop chip? I'm not talking french fries or triple cooked chips which are altogether different beasts. I'm talking chippie chips.

I think it is a mistake to say they should be crisp, I am happy to stand corrected here but I don't think you will find a chip from a chip shop in the country that meets that criteria. Yes, there may be the barest crackle on the edge of a chip straight out of the fryer but for all intents and purposes they will be soft buttery flussy inside (moussy? No I disagree) and maybe even a bit squishy and stodgy. If they are cold then yes, that would be a fault - then again there is an inherent danger of that in a chip shop chip down to the manner in which they are cooked. Most chips in these establishments will be fried and then kept warm in an adjacent section of the fryer, a high turnover of chips (and customers) will of course counter against this and is perhaps why a busy chip shop will in turn produce good results.

For my money your chip shop chip should be hot but not crisp, in the way you describe. There is an alchemy at work inside that paper wrapping, with its coverings of salt and vinegar, which inevitably gives not only flavour but alsoa slightly buttery and soft consistency. Of course, as regards taste the quality of the frying oil or fat makes a difference, (and if you take Mr steingartens word for it that includes frying in horse fat) as do the types of potato. If you are eating these in the shop or restaurant then you might not get the same 'newspaper' effect on your finished item but then again if they were overtly crisp I would be suspicious that I was dealing with a pre-cooked pre frozen affair. The same internal consistency should apply however, albeit a touch more fluffy.

I happen to have eaten the chips at the Golden Hind very recently and on the contrary to your review they are in my view good, and well above the average. Cold is bad yes, but then again why didn't you just send them back and ask for some freshly cooked? As I'm sure many would agree, it is difficult to find good chippie chips in London and the Golden Hind is a happy exception. On the occasion I ate them they were certainly not reheated.

One final thing I know you mentioned that the restaurant was BYO but you should have gone further. The brilliance of this fact is that you can take your own bottle of Champagne with you enjoy one of the finest food and wine combinations out there- Fish and chips and Champagne. There is something inherently pleasing about a food and a wine from opposite ends of their respective culinary spectrums finding such a happy union. If you don't believe me I urge you to try it. Any food snob worth their salt would surely agree with that?

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Hi,

'To be fair you did say that "the rest is just tedious waffle and photos anyway"'

- Sorry, I was just trying to be humorously self-deprecating.

"Yes, there may be the barest crackle on the edge of a chip straight out of the fryer but for all intents and purposes they will be soft buttery flussy inside (moussy? No I disagree) and maybe even a bit squishy and stodgy"

- Well, buttery/squishy/moussy/creamy, I don't think are too different (just semantics anyway, I think). I think that the point regarding the 'crackle on the edge of a chip straight out the fryer' is important. I personally like my chips this way - hot and freshly cooked. Of course I understand that it is not necessary easy, fun, economic to cook chips to order, but imagine the difference it would make. And is this nor (arguably) the best in London?

"There is an alchemy at work inside that paper wrapping, with its coverings of salt and vinegar, which inevitably gives not only flavour but alsoa slightly buttery and soft consistency"

- We were served our chips on a plate.

"Fish and chips and Champagne. There is something inherently pleasing about a food and a wine from opposite ends of their respective culinary spectrums finding such a happy union"

- Indeed, we agree. The juxtaposition of humble and luxury ingredients can work tremendously well and has long been employed by many chefs.

Admittedly I ended my post on a bad note, but I did commend the restaurant on other points, notably the fish. Good fish, like good chips, are not easy to find and the fish here are excellent.

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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  • 6 months later...

I am not a big fan of fish and chips, but this place totally converted me. This was fish and chips on another level, well probably the level it should be, but never is, which is why I have never been a big fan. My Mother however who is a Fish and Chip snob, could not find fault and infact hailed it as some of the best she has ever had.

Absolutely top class in all ways, chips unbelievable, batter perfect and fish fresh as fresh fish. Mushy peas I thought were the best I have ever tasted, and this was the opinion of four born and bread Lancashire lasses. Greek pickles good.

I love the BYO policy, albeit the traditionalists would not budge from tea.

Maybe some celebrity chef should be campaigning to help the untrained like myself into the joy of real fish and chips.

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Maybe some celebrity chef should be campaigning to help the untrained like myself into the joy of real fish and chips.

No, no, NO!

The last thing you want is your fish and chips cheffed about with. I am very much in the same camp as JMillar here. Crisp batter; good mushies; chips a bit floppy; loadsa vinegar (or non-brewed condiment, if you will), cheap sliced white for a butty.

As for training yourself, my autumn project is a tour of the north west's regional finalists in the "Fish & Chip Shop of the Year" competition over recent years. Place's like Les' in Crewe, Seniors at Thornton Cleveleys and the like. Diet? What diet?

John Hartley

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Hi,

For my full review: Lunch at The Golden Hind

Food Snob, I like to read your comments/reviews, however couldn't you post them on the site rather than simply putting in a link.

I completely agree. The point of posting on egullet is to put your review in the thread. Otherwise it just looks like a traffic driving exercise for the blog.

I was going to post a bit of a rant a couple of months back when all the review posts just seemed to be food bloggers linking to their sites, but couldn't be bothered. Seems to have died down a bit now the blaggers have discovered egulleters aren't that bothered about anyone else :)

Sarah

Sarah

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