Time for some fish and chips again

I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.

I recently had fish and chips in a different hotel which I had enjoyed. So I decided to order it at the Doubletree.

It was described as traditional fish and chips with garden peas, chunky chips and tartare sauce. I received an excellent looking plate of food.

I wouldn’t have said the chips were that chunky! However it was nice to have the lemon as well. The fish was well cooked, the batter was excellent, lovely, light, and crispy. The chips were nice as well. Overall I really enjoyed the dish.

I fancied the idea of fish and chips

I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. This is a Fullers Hotel and is part of the same chain at Drayton Court, which I have stayed at for a few times now. When I was staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I had some excellent meals. The Fox and Goose had a slightly different menu than the Drayton Court, but there were similarities. 

That evening I really fancied the idea of fish and chips after my excellent steak starter.

The menu described this as Fuller’s Frontier battered haddock, triple cooked chips, crushed minted peas, tartare sauce, lemon.

The plate had a large portion of fish, the batter was nice and crisp and it was cooked well. I quite enjoy the crushed minted peas and it was a nice accompaniment to the dish.

Well, I was looking forward to the triple cooked chips, but what I got was fries. They were nice, but they weren’t triple cooked chips! Sometimes when I order a dish I want fries, but other times I want triple cooked chips. Having said that, these were nice fries.

Overall a great plate of food and filled that craving for fish and chips.

The Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas Pasty

The Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas Pasty

When I first saw this board next to the pasty outlet at Bristol Temple Meads my initial thought was that it was some kind of joke.

It wasn’t!

Yes this was a pasty containing fish, mushy peas and yes chips. I know that lots of people out there love eating fish and chips (and a fair few of those like it with a portion of mushy peas). There are also a lot of people who like eating pasties, the reaction to the pasty tax showed that. However how many people out there really want to fuse those two classic foods into this pasty?

I know after posting the image on Twitter via Instagram that the reaction was quite mixed, some went “no thank you” and some went “yes please”. My reaction was, sorry no thank you. I think it was a combination of the green of the peas (and it is a very bright green) and the quantity of potato in the photograph. I can’t see the attraction of taking a reasonably nice meal and wrapping it in pastry?

Fish and Chips at the Seagull Café

There is something classic and very British about having fish and chips at a seaside resort. Down in Weymouth for the day and wanting a late lunch (or was it an early tea) made the decision to have fish and chips.

After walking around for a while decided to go to the Seagull Cafe on the harbourside which had tables and chairs outside. This was a really nice place to sit, watching the world go by, enjoying (that rare thing) a sunny summer afternoon.

Fish and Chips at the Seagull Café

Looking over the traditional menu, I found that they did deep fried mackerel and chip, so I went with that. After a short wait it arrived. The fish was wonderful, you could tell it had just been cooked to order, fresh crispy batter and perfectly done fish. Really lovely. The chips were okay, but they tasted as though they had been cooked a bit of time before and kept warm. Still nice though.

Kids’ Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

Should point out that I didn’t actually eat these, it’s what my son got, at a recent kids party at my local pub. Should also point out that the pub has a soft play barn attached, which runs kids parties, not that they run kids parties in the bar!

My son said he enjoyed the fish and chips, the batter was very crisp, the fish was tasty and the chips were nice.

What was weird was that it came in a box, but no plates and no cutlery. Yes I can see why if the box contained sandwiches you might not need a plate or cutlery, however when it contains hot food then I personally think a plate and cutlery is essential.

One of the things I have noticed about the popularity of these kids sandwich boxes at various eateries, attractions and other places, is that you never get a plate! Too often I have had to find plates so that my children can eat off a plate rather than out of a box! You would think finding plates would be pretty easy in a restaurant or cafe, well it’s not.

My favourite places for childrens’ meals are the places that offer smaller portions of the adult meals for a cheaper price. My children may not agree…

Fish and Chips

When travelling out and about I try as much as possible to avoid eating at motorway service stations. Either they are overpriced and overcooked, or they merely consist of fast food chains. One alternative is to eat at a supermarket restaurant where the food is usually a little better and generally much cheaper.

So it was that I found myself at a Morrisons supermarket last week looking for a bite to eat for lunch. As I hadn’t had it for a while I went with the fish and chips.

To be honest it was quite good and value for money at less than five pounds.

The batter was crispy, though for me a little too greasy, and the fish was only just overcooked. Generally I find in these places they well overcook the fish. The chips were crunchy with a fluffy inside. The peas were as expected frozen peas heated through and slighty overcooked as they were obviously cooked and kept warm over the lunch service period.

Well not bad, and to be honest what I expected from a supermarket café. Certainly it was better than what I would find at the motorway services.

Fish and Chips

In the past I have enjoyed fish and chips from Sainsburys, it has been a nice piece of fish, freshly cooked and served with chips and peas. So when I was in there recently and saw it was on special, only £3.79 rather than the regular £4.79 I decided that I would have that for my lunch.

When it arrived it did look quite nice.

The fish was smaller than usual, so I was slightly disappointed.

When I cut into the fish I was even more disappointed, the batter didn’t appear to be “fresh” in other words this was not freshly battered fillets of fish, but pre-battered fish (the kind you buy off the shelf or from the freezer and put in the oven) that the café had then deep fried themselves.

As a result the fish looked and tasted over-cooked.

The chips were okay as were the peas, but I was disappointed with the fish and the meal as a whole.

Now I could also go on about the service on the day. Despite having lots of staff in the café it seemed to take both ages to place an order and then for the food to arrive. Part of the issue was only one till was working.

Fish and Chips

I do quite like fish and chips, but rarely eat them when I am out to eat, unless I am buying a take away. Down in Plymouth in the Watering Hole down on the quay I made an exception for these.

The batter was good, the mushy peas were good. I took fries in preference to the chunky chips on the menu. I didn’t though think much of the tartar sauce. Though that may be because I don’t like tartar sauce!

Beignets de Cabillaud

Earlier this week I mentioned the starter I had had at Café Rouge. It was part of the fixed price menu, for my mains I had Beignets de Cabillaud, which is deep fried cod goujons served with French Fries and remoulade sauce.

So it’s fish and chips!

I did enjoy this dish, I liked the fries, the batter was cripsy, the fish had flavour, the sauce was tasty.

I think I should have ordered a salad to go with it, but if the rocket leaves were anything to go by on the starter than maybe it was a good idea I didn’t.

This dish almost made up for the disappointment of the starter.

Resting on your laurels…

Aldeburgh Fish and Chips

If you read a comment like:

I still can’t visit the place without going to The Aldeburgh Fish and Chip shop. Best chippy in East Anglia, I reckon…

Then in my opinion having eaten recently fish and chips from the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop, I hate to think how awful fish and chips is in the rest of East Anglia!

Now let me put this post in context. Lots of people rave about the fish and chips from the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop.

The Observer named it their number one fish and chip shop.

Scene of the longest queues since the petrol crisis, this is rightly regarded as one of the UK’s premier chippies. Eulogised by the likes the of Rick Stein and OFM’s own Nigel Slater, its popularity is such that, come the summer, this small Suffolk fishing town resembles Rourke’s Drift, as thousands of salivating punters appear on the horizon and stampede their way to its door. But with cod and chips from just £2, and the not inconsiderable benefit of having the wonderful White Hart pub on hand while you wait, it’s not difficult to see why the Fish and Chip Shop commands such respect among fish fans. And the secret of their success? ‘I never add flour to my batter,’ insists owner Margaret Thompson, who’s been frying fish for over 30 years. ‘I fry in pure vegetable oil, never in beef dripping. I think vegetable oil lets the flavour of the fresh fish shine through.’

Number one in the UK…

Well that top ten was done back in 2002…

I use to use the fish and chip shop a lot twenty five odd years ago, so this was the first visit back in a long long time.

Well was I really disappointed.

These are suppose to be the best fish and chips in the country.

Well sorry that may have been the best, but the portion of cod and chips I had on a Saturday night were terrible and very poor.

Let’s start with the chips which really weren’t too bad, crisp, good size, however the oil they had been cooked in was either very old or rancid. Despite the quote from the Observer, they did taste like they were cooked in rancid beef dripping.

As for the fish, sorry if I want battered cod I expect the fish to be boneless and skinless. I know it’s fish, I don’t need the bones and skin to prove it’s a real fish. If I want that experience I’ll pop down to the proper fish stalls on the other end of the beach.

The reason you batter the fish is to protect the fish from the oil, so when coating in batter, ensure that the whole fish is coated. Mine wasn’t so as a result the fish was very greasy (and remember this was the rancid flavoured oil the chips were cooked in).

I was very disappointed, nothing like the reviews and a very bad experience. Next time must do better, but I doubt there will be a next time.

Finally when asked and I ask for no salt, I prefer not to have salt.