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London Fish & Chips Shops

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Surely, Aitkens new venture should be called 'Tom's Plaice'.

Do these people know-nothing?

Perhaps there's a moratorium on pun names after the genre was perfected by Fishcoteque (opposite Waterloo Station).

do they also own bistrotheque ? :raz:

i can never set foot in there on the name alone.


you don't win friends with salad

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Went to Master's Superfish today for lunch, and was rather disappointed considering the rave reviews I'd heard here, and in various other publications. I had a haddock and chips, and my companion had the cod. The fish was fresh, no doubt, but the batter was too thick, and there was a slime texture in between the fish and the batter which I would assume is the cardinal sin in fish-frying. One thing I don't enjoy is having the skin left on, and they were unwilling to skin my piece of haddock (which might've made me enjoy my meal marginally more).

The atmosphere was depressing, the service was not very friendly, and overall the place seems pretty dingy. I woudl never return, and would recommend anyone to the Golden Hind far ahead of this place.

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So is anyone else prepared to admit that fish + chips is never particularly good?

I'm not arguing with the chip element. You can never take a proper chip for granted, particularly when there are so many limp, sallow, reconstituted specimens in the world. But why do we continue to take national pride in giving fish a battering? The deep-fat fryer can only amplify a fillet's lack of taste, and the batter is little more than cladding (insulation for the fish and lagging for your stomach). There may be a bit more mileage in the Jewish origins but even then, looked at objectively, deep-frying fish is a pretty flawed concept in all sorts of ways.

That would seem to me the big difficulty with all these F&C Diffusion Collections. While Mr Michelin-Starred Chef can probably use some technical skills to improve the end product, it will only ever be a margin better than the average without turning into something entirely different.

There lies the paradox. The less it resembles bland white fish and lagging, the further it has traveled from the stuff you were eating as a nipper on the harbour wall. But the more it resembles bland white fish and lagging, the more likely of people will feel overcharged and cheated. Whichever way, you're guaranteed to be disappointed one way or the other.

For me, the fundamental problem with all modern fish & chippers is that they're competing with the Bell Rock in Arbroath circa 1985. And so far, I haven't found any in London that will do me a haddock supper, four Strawberry Skull Crushers, a litre of Polar Cola in a glass bottle and the change in 10p pieces so I can play the Muhammad Ali pinball machine while I wait.


Edited by naebody (log)

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As I recently told my girlfriend after my horrendous Masters Superfish experience, I realized I don't actually enjoy fish and chips. With foods that I truly enjoy, I am willing to eat and appreciate a particularly bad preparation occasionally, without being completely put-off and disgusted.

Fish and chips are something I've only ever enjoyed from one place (in Vancouver, at a great dive called the King's Faire), and upon moving to London I decided to sample a few places to further what I miscontrued as a passion for fried fish. Each and every time I have been disappointed (except as stated -- The Golden Hind), and now will only ever eat them there.

I'd prefer mediocre Pho or decent sushi over a 'good' fish and chips anyday!

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Fish Club is crap, don't bother.

really? based on what?

in the dozen or so times I've been it's been fantastic. the quality of the fish is first rate - same place that supplies River Cafe & Theo Randall - and the square also I think?

its always been cooked correctly, and is priced very, very fairly.

the reviews and awards are numerous, for example Time Out's No.7 restaurant in london - for quality/value/style, runner up last year in Observers best cheap eats in britain etc

I personally think it's as good if not better than anything else of its kind.

what makes it crap?


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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If you want a proper Blackpool-grade fish & chips, go to Fryer's Delight in Holborn. If you want Blackpool-grade fish & chips served in fittingly threadbare splendour, try Sam’s in Golders Green. And if you want posh fish & chips, just bite the bullet and go to J Sheekey.

why would anyone want Blackpool grade anything? lol :laugh:


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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So is anyone else prepared to admit that fish + chips is never particularly good?

or course not!

if the fish is fresh and of good quality, and it is prepared correctly and expertly, and the chips are again handled and prepared properly - what's not to like? moreover it allows a benchmark for relative comparison.

or are you taking a stylistic perjorative from your own bias?

it may be a stable contention to argue that fish n chips may never be high cuisine (and it's arguable of course) but to say it's never particularly good. well that's just you.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Fish Club is crap, don't bother.

really? based on what?

in the dozen or so times I've been it's been fantastic. the quality of the fish is first rate - same place that supplies River Cafe & Theo Randall - and the square also I think?

its always been cooked correctly, and is priced very, very fairly.

the reviews and awards are numerous, for example Time Out's No.7 restaurant in london - for quality/value/style, runner up last year in Observers best cheap eats in britain etc

I personally think it's as good if not better than anything else of its kind.

what makes it crap?

Maybe I was unlucky, but my fish was dry and unpleasant. Chips were OK though, I seem to remember, but I'm talking about a visit around 2 years ago now.

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you must have been very unlucky.

deep frying causes the fish to steam inside the batter, keeping it moist. if the oil is hot enough or the batter is the wrong consistency it can be very greasy, but not normally dry.

drying out would normally be associated with the use of a hot cupboard.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Well based on this thread and others on the site I went to Golden Hinde for my Friday fish and chips. The chips were very good, as was the fish but the batter was a bit on the thin side for my taste. Still, thats better than being too greasy!

Overall I still prefer Brady's and Masters but its certainly a good chippy and the west end location is convenient. Also admirably reasonably priced for the location.

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I have started out on a Quest to answer this question once and for all: which is London's best chippy?

You can read about it as we go here, which, I hope, is preferable to clogging up this board.

The write-ups are tongue-in-cheek but we take the FISH© and CHIP© scoring moderately seriously...

Here's a list of places on our hitlist for the coming months. Any suggested additions would be very welcome!

Fish Bone: 82 Cleveland Street, W1

Fish Central: 149-151 Central Street, EC1V 8AP

Fishcotheque: 79a Waterloo Road, SE1

Fryers’ Delight: 19 Theobald’s Road, WC1X

Golden Hind: 73 Marylebone Lane, WC1H

North Sea Fish Restaurant: 7-8 Leigh Street, W1U

Two Brothers: 297-303 Regent's Pk Road, N3 1DP

Seafresh Fish Restaurant: 80-81 Wilton Road, SW1V

Sea Shell: 49-51 Lisson Grove, NW1

Mr Fish: 9 Porchester Rd, W2 5DP

Fish Club: 189 St John's Hill, SW11

Masters Super Fish: 191 Waterloo Road, SE1

Fish Club: 57 Clapham High Street, SW4

Livebait: The Cut, SE1

The Laughing Halibut: 38 Strutton Groun, SW1P

Costas Fish Restaurant: 18 Hillgate Street, W8

Geale's: 2 Farmer Street, W8

The Fish Shop: 360-362 St John Street, EC1

Ollie's: 65-69 Norwood Rd, SE24 9AA

Brady's: 513 Old York Rd, SW18 1TF

Toff's: Muswell Hill, N10 3RT

Faulkner's: 424 Kingsland Rd, E8 4AA

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Based on my experience, I'd add Seafish, on Upper St, N1. I'd also take off The Fish Shop on St John St, but it's a while since I've been there since I had several bad experiences...

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I'd also take off The Fish Shop on St John St, but it's a while since I've been there since I had several bad experiences...

Only went once, but it was atrocious.

Shame, because it was great when it was in Upper Street.

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I'd also take off The Fish Shop on St John St, but it's a while since I've been there since I had several bad experiences...

Only went once, but it was atrocious.

Shame, because it was great when it was in Upper Street.

By the looks of it, it is also stupendously pricey.

Still, one has to try them all to declare any one the best!

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Fay Maschler wrote a good review on "the chippy" on Poland Street


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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faulkners in dalston usually gets well-reviewed i think

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Fay Maschler wrote a good review on "the chippy" on Poland Street

Good spot - thanks.

Liked by Maschler, less good from Dos Hermanos. Looking forward to seeing who's right!

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I'd also take off The Fish Shop on St John St, but it's a while since I've been there since I had several bad experiences...

Shame, because it was great when it was in Upper Street.

I got the impression that Alan and Olga were only ever brought in for marketing purposes - it was never their restaurant, Alan occasionally did some frying and Olga did some front of house, but I don't think they were involved for long, and weren't involved in the design of the kitchens or the menu.

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A short lament for the past charm of zorba's on edgware road, if only to jog some memories. naming a restaurant after a dog who died in a fire, AND serving decent fish and chips, sadly was not enough to keep it in business...

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A couple more

Micky's fish Bar Paddington

The Windmill in Kennington

Oh and the caveat - whatever you declare the winner someone on here will disagree with you.

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Thanks! I passed the Windmill the other day and realised it was missing from the list.

Oh and the caveat - whatever you declare the winner someone on here will disagree with you.

That may be the case but, by that stage, our opinion will at least be backed by thorough research! :biggrin:

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A short lament for the past charm of zorba's on edgware road, if only to jog some memories. naming a restaurant after a dog who died in a fire, AND serving decent fish and chips, sadly was not enough to keep it in business...

Ah, if we are allowed to include those establishments which have gone to the great deep fryer in the sky...

Fish Bar on Fernhead Road W9, by the junction with Harrow Road, was pretty perfect in its day, but I guess the area was never going to support something that high-class.

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