Fish N Chips

Old Oct 1st, 2000, 06:50 PM
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Fish N Chips

Last time I went to London, I had a hard time finding the traditional British fish n chips. Will be back there in a few minths. Would appreciate recomendations for good fish and chip places. Thanks!
Old Oct 2nd, 2000, 08:34 PM
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Go North ! Not North London, but Northern England if you want the real thing. Sorry, but Londoners have never really understood REAL Fish and Chips.
Unfortunately they are getting harder to find anywhere for that matter - I think its to do with all the frozen fish in lieu of fresh.
Old Oct 3rd, 2000, 02:51 AM
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I don't think you will find anything in central London - if you head out to one of the suburbs and just meander down a 'High Street', you will come across a 'Chippie' - every High Street has one.

You may come across 'Harry Ramsdens' in central London. They claim to be the original 'Chippie' - however, it will cost you an arm and a leg!!!!!!!!!

My advice, is go to a High Street, on the outskirts of London (take a tube out if you don't have a car).

Also, the last poster is right. The best Fish and Chips are in the North of England, particularly on the English East Coast. Coastal towns like Scarborough, Filey and Whitby are renouned for the best 'chippies' in the UK.

Have fun!
Old Oct 3rd, 2000, 02:51 AM
Ben Haines
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I agree with you and Mr Albury that good fish and chips are hard to find. I don't mysef think them better in Yorkshire than here in London, and it is a two hours by train to Leeds. So here in London I suggest the fish and chip restaurant on Elizabeth Steet, just west of Victoria Coach Station. Also, that on the west side of Greenwich Church Street, just south of Creek Road. But this is 15 minutes from London Bridge station. And that's your problem: land rentals are too high in the West End and City to allow successfiul trading in fish and chips. Many West End places say they have "traditional fish and chips". They are lying through their teeth. What they have are fish in a kind of a batter, frozen in a factory and put into boxes. They take them out one by one and put them in a microwave. The result is small portions of tasteless ex-fish in soggy quasi-batter. There's even one of these con merchants in Greenwich, where local people know better, but tourists are seen as suckers. You can sus out the duds by asking them to show you a fish before you order it. If it's frozen and pre-battered, walk out. If it's a fresh chunk of cod, not rock salmon, and they have a deep fat fryer (six inches of hot fat), order. If they show you a ready-fried piece of cod in a smooth, not knobbly, batter coat, in a hot glass case, ask how long it's been ready, and if less than five minutes buy it -- if more, apologise and walk out.

I have never yet seen a suburban fish and chips place that did not have a wine merchant nearby. So before you order you can ask your fish and chip owner whether you may bring in a bottle of wine, walk along to the wine merchant and buy from their fridge a cooled bottle of dry white wine (any source will do: fish taste strong), have it opened, and bring it back to table.

Another part of our problem is that we Londoners are eating a wider range oif fast food, including curries and doner kebabs. Demand for Indian food rises so fast that the government have included Indian cooks with computer people and doctors as categories of applicant that will receive quick work permits to come here.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome back.

Ben Haines

Old Oct 3rd, 2000, 06:10 AM
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I was surprised that the fish in fish and chips is a big chunk. I had always visualized more bite-sized pieces because I had visualized the meal as being an eat-and-walk meal, if that was what the consumer needed. You know, I visualized pieces of fish and some chips tossed in a newspaper cone and being eaten while running for a date, or on the way to the bars, what have you. Don't know where I got that vision, but it was one of my pieces of learning when I got to the UK.

Do people actually eat this on the run, just rip off pieces of fish as they go?
Old Oct 3rd, 2000, 10:45 AM
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I really don't think anyone eats fish and chips and the way to a date.

That said, you can eat it as you walk along, but it's kind of like eating a Big Mac as you walk along. You get your fish and chip (or simply a gravy chip if you're me), grab your carryout (wine or beer), head for home, and eat that lovely pile of grease while you watch bad television.
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 11:36 AM
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Most chip shops in the UK are really bad.Many have closed in the past 10 years due to competion from Col.Sanders & Macdonalds etc.I have often had to throw a bag away uneaten because they were so bad.People will drive miles to go to a good one - they do exist & are worth taking a little trouble to find.Best bet is:
1)ask a local
2)Go to a Harry Ramsden.Yes its a chain (a rare thing in the chip world) but its good.
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 12:00 PM
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There is another recent post on this subject further down which gives some detailed recommendations for London.
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 06:25 PM
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Whatever you do, DO NOT GO TO HARRY RAMSDEN!!! Overpriced, dirty, bad food, bad service. Why would ANYONE recommend such a place? It's like recommending a restaurant in a New Jersey turnpike rest stop.

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