Happy Friday, here we are again at our lovely European touch of Lowlander Grand Cafe in covent-garden in multicultural cosmopolitan London. Tonight is the Fish and Chips revenge night, I am hoping that I would not repeat my previous disappointment.
“Consistency” is always one of my focus when rating Fish and Chips. I hope, on this occasion, there is no consistency as I do not wish to repeat my last experience. Here we go again, BEER-BATTERED COD AND CHIPS with mushy peas, home-made tartare sauce and Double Dutch fries £13.45. We are paying premium for the setting and location.
- Fish 2/10. I am afraid there was a consistency… consistently disappointed. So greasy the oil was dripping as we were eating, I had to remove all batter in the end. Sure, fish was good quality and cooked throughout. However, without having crunchy batter integrated with the moist flavoursome fish, it is not longer fish as a part of fish and chips (make sense?).
- Chips 9/10 Hooray to Double Dutch Fries, slightly pre-salted which enhances sweetness of potatoes, great texture as well as flavours, well done.
- Mushy peas : sorry folks, cannot recall. We were to busy criticising fish.
Overall 5/10 for food…. how disappointing. I will go back for beers but not for fish and chips. It was not worth paying premium of £13.50.
Even more shocking thing was that I found next morning a few oil drops on my new dress…DAMMIT!!!!!!
BTW, if any of you wondered what was on my head… check this out!
My Fish and chips journey continues, good night!
A Happy New Year 2017 to you all! A greeting from Fish and Chips critic, yes I am an active critic. Please don’t forget me!!!!
Probably the quietest Friday of the year, dark, wet, cold, we were marching down the street towards Café Rouge, Covent Garden, in fact, it was easy to march down, so little people on the street around 10pm on Friday, unbelievable!
This will be my first Fish and Chips of 2017, I have some fond memory of Poisson Frites, I was very happy with our choice.
Yes, £13.50 is not cheap but given the location + restaurant setting (even though it is a chain restaurant with all year round discount voucher), I accept this. In fact, I have a voucher 50% off foods so it’s more than OK.
OMG, I cannot describe how disappointed I was when I saw this, straight from frozen box, not just fish being frozen, this was breaded frozen fish. Take a close look, you should all agree.
Following is the reminder of what I previously had at the price of £13.00,
How could it be so different? We assume, chain restaurants to have minimum standard and consistency across restaurants. Also, I paid shocking 3.8%more than the last time (sure, Brexit related inflation).
I don’t give the rating tonight. I want to forget about this. Yes, I only paid £6.75 with my 50% off voucher. But there must be poor customers who paid full shocking £13.50 on this poor quality food. Shocking, a restaurant in the covent garden can serve this quality of food, where you are hosting hundreds of tourists.
I want you to have a pride, you could be a face of London Restaurant, make or break tourist’s dining experience. If I was a tourist, having this Fish and Chips, I go home and advocate how bad “famous fish and chips” is! Do not underestimate the power of people, this is how reputation creates. Sure, you are a chain restaurant and it was late, it was evident that staff could not wait to go home. I am just disappointed!!!!!
P.S. Let’s just look back 2016.
My highest point : Winning “Not just another food blogger awards 2016” by the hungryhouse.
My lowest point : Brexit + death of Prince
See you soon!
Good evening, nearly end of the year again. December is the time to meet up with friends and we are here AGAIN, at St. Christopher’s Inn, London Bridge.
Shocking!!!!! We were 4 of us. All of us ordered Fish and Chips. When the first 2 arrived, as a waitress brought dishes down to the table, I and one of other friend who was sitting next to me, both smelt very strong “off fishy” smell. We both knew that smell, “rancid” fish smell.
Shortly after, the other 2 dishes (including mine) arrived, but I did not detect smell then. When my friend had a first bite, she declared “I am not eating this, it tastes sour, I have never taste fish being sour”. We, all four of us, cut open fish, and smelt each other’s fish. We decided to send all the dishes back.
Lovely waitress (we were never shooting messenger), sincerely apologised. She then said chefs throw away the box of fish now, and opened new box (must be frozen, as I pointed previously), so they can cook from fish from the new box. We declined.
Chefs must knew. You cannot ignore the smell. They chose to disguise rancid fish in deep fried batter.
How disappointing, how insulting. I am rating here 0/10.
Everybody, be warned!!!!!
Good evening, soggy Saturday. But I am happy, with a pint on my hand in the lovely Lowlander at Covent Garden, feeling very Euro/continental/trendy and young.
Great food menu too, but I am going for of course, Fish and Chips, viva British! This is all about London! Celebration of multiculturalism. British foods and Euro beers ate by person from far east.
“Beer-Battered Cod and Chips £13.45 with mushy peas, home-made tartare sauce and Double Dutch fries”, a bit of Euro touch here, why Dutch?
1. Fish 5/10 Ah, shame… Great quality fish, for sure, but too under done. I am fine with raw-ish fish (my ethnic origin explains) but Fish in the Fish and Chips context, fish should not be under cooked. Otherwise with marriage with crunchy golden batter is disaster. Also, as I was eating, grease from batter + undercooked fish juice mixed in the wooden plate, getting very soggy towards the end. Not pleasant. This could have been alleviated by serving on a fancy paper, I actually experienced it in elsewhere, which was, I recall, impressive.
2. Chips 5/10. Ah shame too. It is not chips, but Dutch fries. Why confuse us? Chips ≠ Fries. Furthermore, This Dutch chips were cooked too much (?double cooked), they were too hard!
3. Mushy peas 6/10, Tinned mushy peas but added mint! Nice ones!
Overall 6/10, a bit disappointed with Lowlander I must say. I will go back there but unlikely order Fish and Chips again.
Hello! It is Friday night, fish and chips nite! We are back at St. Christopher’s Inn, London Bridge. I am experiencing déjà vu. Same friends, same place, same time, same dinner, same topic (having a moan re: Brexit, yes we are all proud remoaners)… but it’s good fun!
- Fish 9/10: Delicious! Much improvement from the last time, I am sure you took my feed back on board! Fish perfectly cooked, firm but not dry, integrated very well with crunchy but steamy simple batter, giving perfect texture in the mouth. The freshness and succulence were there until the last bite.
- Chips 9/10 : Delicious! Yes it is slightly seasoned with salt, do not need to add any extra. Better texture (more crunchy outside, fluffy inside) than the last time. Definitely bigger portion than the last time which gave me a massive satisfaction.
- Mashy peas : mediocre. 4/10. Straight from tin into stainless steel cup. This gave funny “aluminium” tastes which is very unpleasant. This can easily be avoided by serving into a ceramic cup.
It was great effort! Thank you Chef!!
Thank you Hungryhouse, I got curry with my prize money of being crowned for “Not Just Another Food Blogger Awards 2016″. If you missed this impressive prize I awarded, please read original awarding article in here!
Good evening, we are at The Woodman, Highgate, N6 5UA, celebrating start of weekend.
Beer so tasty, then it can only be one thing, come on Fish and Chips!
Fish & Chips, mushy peas, Tartar sauce, £12.50. So nice to read simple menu. I am fed up to be explained foods with lengthy adjectives, such as “sustainably line caught…..” “triple cooked….” etc etc etc.
BTW, on your website it says £11.95. This just over 3% price hike is an example of recent Brexit related inflation? Anyway, £12.50 is a borderline price. Whenever I see Fish and Chips priced >£13.00, I immediately react “REALLY??”
Simply served good looking foods with a piece of lemon perfectly fit between fingers to squeeze just enough amount of lemon juice to add hint of acidity to freshly deep fried foods.
- Fish 9.5/10 Delicious!!! Beautifully thick white fillet fish (of course skin on! Yey!) which was perfectly cooked, firm but juicy, not watery. Simple batter adds lovely texture to the fish with a hint of lemon. Absolutely flavoursome.
- Chips 9.5/10 Delicious!!! Taste just as great as they looks. There were no lengthy words to describe them in the menu but I know they are ‘hand cut + freshly cook + possibly double or even triple cooked” chips. Beautifully fluffy inside. I was eating very slowly towards the end as I did not want them to end. Even after losing initial steam and getting colder, remain tasty.
- Mushy peas 5/10 Mediocre. However, I wasn’t expecting anything else. Simple menu does not give extra fuss. No issues here, adding lovely green colour on dish.
OMG. This is one of the best Fish and Chips I had. I am not hesitate to give 9.5/10. I am a harsh critic, it is very rare I give such high score. In fact, it may be the highest ever. You may think, “hang on, how about mediocre mushy peas, the low score of 5/10 is not reflecting overall score!”. Yes, you are right, as much as mushy peas should be rewarded on its own right, after all, when Fish and Chips are so good, it does not matter anymore (sorry mushy peas!).
The only reason I did not give full mark is that there is no such thing as “perfect”. But close enough!
One valuable advice, you need to update your website to reflect the Brexit related inflation, but hey, I am sure you don’t want to told by me, who was once pointed out that I do not update the blog often enough!!!
I cannot wait to go back. Now just writing about it, my mouth is practically watering!
Good evening, it has been a while. This is retrospectively written Fish and Chips critic but trust me! I do remember things clearly even after over 2 weeks. This is because I had a heated opinion exchanges on taste with my peers who temporarily turned into Fish and Chips critics at St. Christopher’s Inn, London Bridge.
Fish and chips £11.50. This is it! With, again, simple description of “Freshly battered cod with fresh hund-cut chips”. Simple is the best, especially oldies like us who find difficult to follow small printing in dark light.
- Fish 6/10 : This was where our discussion mainly happened. We all agreed as “lovely” at the start, crunchy batter, skin on fish yey! Then I felt as I eating through (over half way), it started to lost the spark. Fish first felt moist and succulence was turning into just ‘watery’. Flavour no longer there but taste of slightly greasy batter.
- Chips 9/10 : Wow, they were delicious. What makes it so special was already seasoned with salt and this was perfect. Just salty enough to bring the sweetness of potatoes, at first it may be subtle but as I eating more of them saltiness did not get too salty but became just right. I was so impressed, I started to eating slowly as I did not want them to end. Only slight negative was that they were not so crunchy outside.
- Mushy peas : Cannot recall
I will be back for chips + beer, and big credit to your honesty!
Good morning! I have some comments from my reader (+ possible prospective fan).
“You need to update your blog, I have been to this pub on a number of occasions and the food is excellent, not many places have skin on fish, I would like to know were you get you expertise. As you say no one probably does follow your blog.”
To answer some of the questions;
1. Where do I get my expertise on fish and chips?
– Nowhere. I am a self declared expert.
2. You need to update your blog.
– I could not agree more.
3. No-one probably does follow your blog.
– Wrong! I won the “Not Just Another Food Blogger Awards 2016” by Hungry house. At least they follow me! This remains my personal triumph!
Any comment welcome! I will continue submit my “SUBJECTIVE'” critic!
Have a nice weekend!
Good evening, a perfect summer evening, and conveniently it is Friday, strolling along Thames. We found ourselves at The Riverfront, Southbank, London. It is Fish and chips’o clock at BFI.
Menu reads, “FISH & CHIPS, Tarragon & cider battered haddock served with chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce £14.00” Fourteen pounds!!!! I repeat eye watering fourteen pounds!!!
Yes, we are sitting outside on the terrace in front of Thames. But the table is nothing more than garden furniture from B&Q. No cushions on these B&Q chairs and no white linen tablecloth to be seen. This place is categorically a cafe, not a restaurant.
Still, it did not stop making me smile. I find hard to describe the excitement when the Fish and chips is brought in front of me. It is a mixture of pure joy from my hunger, huge expectation and a sharp critical thinking.
- Fish 6/10 : Juicy fish (without skin, -1 point), flavoursome, perfectly cooked. Batter was hot and crunchy not too greasy. However, ever so slightly too thick, borderline gooey. Batter was dark brown but it was not overcooked. My previous theory was that Ale battered fish may show dark colour but I was not aware if it does same for cider batter. And, I can actually taste tarragon in the batter. This gave it a bit of exotic twist (sort of hint of curry like), but I cannot deny that as I was eating more and more, this “a bit of exotic twist” became somehow “annoying unnecessary addition”. Shame!
- Chips 7/10: At first, our opinion was divided between freshly cooked or frozen. I reckon it is freshly cooked. Simple, tasty, not greasy. This is what is all about!
- Mushy peas 5/5 : mediocre mushy peas served in a plastic cup.
Perfectly pleasant fish and chips, but I don’t know if it can justify £14. This must be a Brexit related inflation. Fxxx, Brexit, make all of us poor as experts predicted!!!!
I have been to The Old White Lion, exactly 11 months ago, 15 August 2015. What 11 months make difference, I never imagined that the Brexit was coming. Since 23 June, I have lost the direction of my love to Fish and Chips. But hey, fish and chips brought me a personal triumph just before 23 June, surely it will cheer me up.
Last year, it was “sustainably caught hake in a cider batter with pea puree, tartare & chip shop chips £11.50”. And! I am paying 75p more this year. This is whopping 7% up, well above the UK inflation rate of 0.5% (year on year in June 2016).
Is this because; 1) fish is upgraded from hake to cod 2) fish was previously just “sustainably caught” but now is “line caught” 3)” chip shops chips” is upgraded to just “chips”?
- Fish 4/10 : It was far too greasy. What you need are a little higher oil temperature and a minute more on drain before serving. Skin off from fish, obviously less flavour (may offset the hake->cod upgraded effect). Good thing was I could not taste suspicious addition to the batter (so what is the point?). Worst feature was TOO SMALL FISH!!!!
- Chips 4/10 : nothing special frozen chips. I rather have “chips shop chips”.
- Pea puree 4/10 : I had to slash the rating due to discrepancy in menu description. This is not puree, it is “roughly crushed” pea. Actually, taste was nice.
Overall it was a disappointing “everything is mediocre” dish. I am not sure this can justify 7% inflation-busting price hike (despite various speculation in rationale of price hike). Most importantly, my dear old British friend, Fish and Chips, on this occasion, was not good enough to shake off my post Brexit depression.
However, I will, I will continue my fish and chips journey. Good night!
I am soooo happy. I never have felt so motivated and rewarded throughout my academic + professional career (are there?). Just in case you have missed the important announcement, I just won the Not Just Another Food Blogger Awards 2016 by the hungryhouse! Hooray!!!!
Mina and the team are celebrating this achievement in style with Fish and Chips at The Black Horse, Barnet, EN5 4BW. This is also a team bonding event.
One of my friend from OZ recently told me that nobody drinks Fosters in Australia. She said it is a drink for chuv. Is this true?
£11.95 is not bad for a posher suburb. When I saw Skin on chips, I read Skin on cod, of course, I was over excited for 2 seconds.
However, a big however,
In my country, when foods drip as this sort of sticky, “drawn yarn” often means gone off (or fermented). It tasted horribly, unnaturally, sharply and excessively sour. Very strange texture. Quite frankly, I could not tasted any more than 3 tries.
- Fish: 5/10. Piping hot but regrettably too greasy batter, all you need is to rest 1 more minute on the draining paper. Fish was ever so slightly undercooked.
- Chips: 4/10. Nothing special frozen chips but not hot enough. I suspect chips are cooked in big batch for other menu items (e.g., burger and chips, chicken skewers and chips like my next table). My chips must have been cooked too long before my fish cooked. The difference of temperature on those was too much.
- Peas: 6/10 Nicest of all when I had in my mouth at first. Nice green colour too. It was smoothly mashed and buttery. However, it was not minty or crushed. For the discrepancy with the menu description, I cannot award more points.
Overall, disappointing 3/10. I have to deduct a lot of points for suspected gone off unnaturally, sharply and sour tartar sauce.
A bit disaster for our celebration + team bonding evening.
£4.50…I knew I will be out tonight for Fish and Chips, I knew it may cost me as much as 3 times more. Fish and Chips should not be priced as much in any circumstance and location. As a dish, how much more extra value could you add this simple but gorgeous dish? I have experienced disastrous over twisting such as tarragon in batter.
However, price will continuously hike as long as an idiot like me continuously paying for it…..
The important announcement from the Fish and Chips critic.
Dear my fans,
I am proudly announcing that I received “Not Just Another Food Blogger Awards 2016” from The hungryhouse.
For relatively inactive my blog to receive this award is significant. It is like a small country pub restaurant in a remote countryside receives 2 Michelin stars.
What is more, I am a legal immigrant who has adapted my love of this Great British Fish and Chips in later in my life. It is an acquired taste without any sentimental childhood memories. It may mean I can be ruthlessly critical at the time. This, in turn, makes me a better Fish and Chips Critic.
Me and my team thank the panel for awarding us for this honour. Without my fans, I am not here today.
Me and my team are committed to continuously deliver high standard of independent and SUBJECTIVE review.
The award winning Fish and Chips Critic (AKA Fish and Chips Ambassador)
Special Bank Holiday report from Fish and Chips critic, from Sunny Kent coast, Uuuuuu, exciting!
We walked from Margate, Broadstairs then to Ramsgate, all the way via beautiful coast line, it was impressive just over 14km!!!! We obviously deserve our 1,000kcal lunch.
After patiently queuing for 15 minutes, we were close to the ordering counter.
Staff were all working tirelessly, handling very stressful situation very well. Keep smiling, apologising all for waiting. All queuing customers were also behaving well. This must be the bank holiday effect, impressive!
My head was panicking with hunger, I can’t tell you exact price, but we paid just over £8 for 2 small fishes (but easily medium in pubs) and 1 large chips. It felt expensive side. But I must say,
- Fish 8/10. Delicious! Batter well integrated to the chunky juicy cod, so shame you took skin off. Colour between yellow and gold, crunchy but not greasy. Steamy hot but oil well drained. How did they manage while having streaming orders. Amazing!
- Chips 8/10 Again, not too greasy. I often find chips from chippie can be too greasy, but this wasn’t.
In pubs, “beer battered” is usually one of the selling points, along with “line caught” “sustainable” blah blah blah. Today, my experience raise a question, is it necessary to be beer battered? What makes it so special? Does it make colour slightly darker? What is the significance? This gives me an another direction in critic.
10 minutes later…
Large fish and chips take away for £4.50….. no queues. Some diners in the shop.
If we were there for one more day, I would definitely try, then I could, compare and contrast for famous vs infamous.
Anyway, this is an another direction too. Watch the space!
Hello. As I was so impressed with Café Rouge a few weeks ago, I decided to go back there to test their consistency. Yes, consistency. Again and again, I have been let down by many places. But I have a high hope. This is a national chain, surviving for so long, keep evolving since 1989, while their peers such as “Dome” disappearing (for those who remember!!). And of course, as a savvy critic (my new nickname), I got a 50% off main course voucher again, thank you VoucherCodes.co.uk! To test the true consistency, we went back to the same venue, Highgate.
Hooray, Poisson Frites for £6.50 (£13 full price, at the time of ordering, they did not know we will submit the voucher at the end, hehehe).
Quite frankly, I remember my disappointment at first bite. Overall it felt greasy. I am afraid this is all I can say, I am being honest here, because I have forgotten small details by now!
BTW, can somebody tell me, is anybody actually pay full billing price in Café Rouge?
I certainly will be back to try again, and to report straight away, with some sort of voucher firmly on my hand.
Happy Friday, I am celebrating my beloved Friday with, of course, Fish and Chips. Today, I am doing something slightly different, a British soul food, Fish and Chips at French (chain) bistro, Café Rouge. One of my colleague told me she had one on Thursday night and and was mildly praising. I must do (copy) this. Conveniently, Voucher Codes sent me a voucher of 50% main courses at Café Rouge. Yey!
£13 is top end of what I pay these days in pubs. I went Café Rouge so many times in the past but never gave any attention to Poisson Frites. But who does!?
- Fish 9/10. Wow what a surprise. Fish was slightly firm and dry but it is because the fish was hake, not because of the way of cooking. Having skin on makes such a difference in terms of flavour. It gives more depth together with hot crunchy golden batter, skin, and firm flesh when munching. Not giving full mark only because I could not taste “mustard” in batter (though I could see mustard grains), what is the significance of having mustard in the batter.
- French fries 9/10. Delicious, crunchy AND already seasoned perfectly. Not too salty but enough to bring out of the sweetness and warmth of potatoes.
- Pea shoots….sorry no score on pea shoots, what is the point of this? Yes I ate them, taste of weed… as Michel Roux Jr says at Master chef, don’t put anything on the plate which you cannot eat!
Overall 9/10 despite pea cock ups, you have made a massive impression to Fish and Chips critic. Don’t ever underestimate French! Even better, I had 50% off, costed me an impressive £6.50. THANK YOU Café Rouge!