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London

What can you recommend to be the best fish and chip place to eat not to to expensive.

Posted by
253 posts

Hello, which area of London will you be in? Hope you have fun.
-Alison

Posted by
67 posts

When I was near the Tower of London, I went to Minories and thought it was pretty tasty. Good selection of beer and there's a train that runs right over the restaurant which is kind of cool. Huge portions as well.

Posted by
937 posts

There’s also a Poppies in Soho. I also liked Rock and Sole Plaice in Covent Garden.

Posted by
3946 posts

“Proper” fish and chips are eaten as a takeaway, not in a restaurant. There aren’t many fish and chip shops in London, as they can’t afford the rents. However, the Golden Hind on Marylebone Lane is about as good as it gets in a restaurant and is good value. They have been there 100 years, so know what they are doing. Closed Sundays.

Posted by
3904 posts

When I was near the Tower of London, I went to Minories and thought it was pretty tasty. Good selection of beer.....

A fish and chip shop that sells beer is not a proper fish and chip shop. Fish and chips is fast food, something to be taken away from the premises to be eaten elsewhere. Any place serving fish and chips in a restaurant environment isn't offering authentic fish and chips.

Posted by
570 posts

Jennifer, I’ve gone to Golden Hind for years, so glad to hear you mention it.

But I’m intrigued...how far out of London do we need to go for the proper takeaway? Do you and JC have any recommendations in the surrounding areas? Would really appreciate your advice to experience the real thing.

Posted by
603 posts

I agree with Ruth, Poppies is great. Even the mushy peas are delicious.

Posted by
3904 posts

Barbara, I'm afraid I have no particular recommendations as I don't eat fish and chips when I visit London. It's a simple affair and dedicated fish and chip shops have the equipment and technique to make proper fish and chips that can rarely be achieved in a pub or restaurant kitchen therefore you'll find little difference between fish and chip shops. Some are better than others but there's not much in it. If one looks reasonably busy then go for it.

Posted by
5552 posts

Not far from Westminster Abbey, The Laughing Halibut, 38 Stratton Ground. Fish and Chip places are simple, like diners in the US. This place has delicious Fish and you can choose from sizes. We always return there when we are in London.

Posted by
589 posts

Any place serving fish and chips in a restaurant environment isn't offering authentic fish and chips.

I was in England this summer and had fish and chips twice. The one meal I had in a pub was very good.

What exactly makes it "authentic"? I'm curious.

Posted by
5817 posts

Fish and chips sold in a restaurant or a pub from a menu of lots of other dishes is not going to be “proper”.
How they are served and eaten really makes the most difference. Eaten in a restaurant from a plate they just don’t taste the same.
At its best fish and chips is a take away meal. The fish and chips are fresh not frozen and very freshly cooked. Piping hot, scattered in more salt and vinegar than seems appropriate and then wrapped in paper. I think its the wrapping in the paper that makes the difference. The heat and steam stays trapped which has an impact on the flavour. The chips become a little bit soggy but the batter stays crisp. Its a comfort food to be eaten outside out of the paper, or rapidly scattered onto a plate and eaten in front of the TV, chip butty making optional.

There are also quite a few regional variations in the menu of traditional chippies. A lot of variation in fish. In London you get Rock Salmon ( dog fish) which you don’t get up north. Some areas favour haddock, others favour cod. Up north, chips and gravy is much more of a thing. I have never found a chippie in the south doing decent gravy. You also don’t get potato scallops in the south. A potato scallop is a culinary delight. A thick slice of potato fried in batter. Best served in a buttered barn cake (bread roll). Triple carbs, what’s not to love!?

That said it doesn’t really matter. As long as you go to a proper chippie and don’t have them in a pub.

Other places to try, The Sea Shell in Lisbon Grove or Geales in Notting Hill. Both have been going for years.

Posted by
3904 posts

What exactly makes it "authentic"? I'm curious.

It's difficult to describe and seems contradictory to other advice about chips but.......

Chip Shop chips are not crisp, they're soft due to the steaming in the paper wrapper. They shouldn't be greasy but rather soft, fluffy, salty and vinegary. They are a perfect contrast to the crisp batter of the fish.

Chips served in pubs and restaurants don't benefit from the paper steaming effect and therefore remain crisp. One could argue that this is desirable and it is if served with steak for example but not for fish and chips. Chip Shop chips are unique, once you've tried them you'll understand.

Posted by
5817 posts

To complicate further, even though most proper chip shop chips are a bit soggy you will still get some delicious small crispy/crunchy ones mixed in. In my house those are the ones you dive for when the paper is unwrapped.
In the old days a really good chip shop would add “scraps” to your bag of chips. These are all the bits of potato and batter that are left floating in the hot oil. Scooped out before they burnt they added a really delicious crunch.

As JC says the flavour of proper fish and chips is really hard to explain but you know when you have had it.

Posted by
5165 posts

I was introduced to Toff's in Muswell Hill on my last visit. I'm not going to debate if "proper" or not. Not terribly cheap if I recall but dang tasty haddock.

Far away from central London and not an easy public transport sojourn.

Posted by
140 posts

I was just looking into this as well, and came across this list: National Fish and Chip Awards. I’d be curious about opinions on the places listed if anyone’s been to any! I was going to try and visit one or two while on vacation.

Posted by
5817 posts

The fish and chip shop in Chester in the top 20 “ Fish and chips @Weston Grove” is local to my mum’s house. It is very good. It’s only been going for a few years and we have never had a bad meal from there. Unfortunately for visitors to Chester it’s out of the city centre so you would need a car to get to it easily.

Posted by
2456 posts

I know some people on this forum stay in or visit Ealing. We spent 3 weeks right off of Pitshanger Ln. a few years ago. There was a lovely family run fishmonger on Pitshanger Ln. and at 5 PM they closed the fish shop and mom, dad and the 2 young adult sons went next door and opened their fish take away shop, Blue Ocean. Oh my, watching them select our gigantic filet, batter it and deep fry it right in front of us was fascinating. The one would stretch out the door as soon as they opened with a steady stream of customers taking away their fish and chips. They had 3 small tables in the middle of the small shop but their main business was the line of customers. Heavenly tasting fish, salt and vinegar.

It’s a 6 minute bus ride from Ealing Broadway station on bus E2 or E9 which leaves from across the street (down to the left of the park).

Posted by
2 posts

Rick's son Andy recommends Master's Superfish as well as Poppie's. Are those places considered "proper" fish and chips? Should I buy and take away?