GIGS Fish and Chips restaurant, Fitzrovia, London W1T 4RE, 26 November 2020

I am back to GIGS, first time since 2017– I was young, enthusiastic.  I cannot believe it has been 3 years since I visited this delightful place.  In fact, we tried a few times during the lockdowns – it was either closed or opened limited hours.
Gigs Fish and chips FitzroviaTraditional fish and chips ranging form Cod to Kalamari rings £13.9- 14.50.  According to my previous post from 2017, it was ranging £11.5 – 12.40.  This is 17 – 21% price hike in the past 3 years.  I am sure I saw worse than this.  Mashy pea was £1.8  – now £2.00 – 10% up.

Gigs Fish and chips Fitzrovia

Sorry about my face, I am actually enjoying heat from the dish, it was such a cold night!

Gigs Fish and chips Fitzrovia

Check this beauty

  1. Fish – 8/10,  this was haddock.  Absolutely nice and thick flesh was cooked through – but did not loose juiciness – you know, some overcooked fish could become dry.  Crunchy and very simple batter – back to basic. Hot!
  2. Chips 8/10  Of course, great portion and freshly cooked steamy chips – what more can we ask on the cold night like this? Again, back to basic.
  3. Mashy pea – can you believe it, I forgot to order….  completely my error – but I was not prompted!

These days I am used to be served “seasoned” fish and chips, so I was a bit taken back by the notion of “season by yourself with salt, pepper, vinegar to your taste”.  I get that this is the tradition of takeaway from chippies.  However, it is also true, it is a chef’s responsibility and opportunity to showcase their palate to the audience.

Nevertheless, great honesty foods.  Back to basic, you are fighter, you will survive.  I must go back to sample mashy peas!

Good night!

28. November 2021 by myprice
Categories: Fish & Chip Reviews | Leave a comment

The Mossy Well, Muswell Hill, N10 3SH, 31 October 2021

Happy Halloween…. we are late, thirsty and hungry.  It is now 10:30pm, we are saved by The Mossy Well, Muswell Hill.

Wetherspoons Muswell Hill

Second to none!

Also managed to order food while having drinks at this time of Sunday night outside of the central London is miracle.  I know the fact that even kitchen closed at curry restaurants this time of Sunday night.

Wetherspoons Muswell Hill

Ordered, arrived in less than 10 minutes.

Fish : 6/10 Simple batter well executed, could wait for further 1 minute to drain oil before serving .  Fish itself was very thin – but firm enough texture, some flavour.

Chips: 7/10 Definitely above average, though no seasoning. I added salt and paper

Mushy pea: 5/10 average but generous portion

Overall 6/10 – but what can I say, the price structure – Fish and chips with beer was £8.45.  Have I been ripped off from everywhere? I only recently had mediocre fish and chips for £16 (drink excluded!), I can actually say, the fish and chips tonight was no different in quality.

Also, this place is opened until 12am on Sunday and able to order food until 11pm.

Tim Martin, the founder of the Weatherspoon is a prominent Brexiter.  After the referendum I decided that I will never go to the Weatherspoon to use my money.  This vow was broken tonight with desperation.  I also have to be fair – he is a one of the kind – absolutely genius businessman.  The price structure, the opening hours, maintaining standard, new ideas (e.g, stop serving roast meals, serving all day breakfast, etc)….

Wetherspoons Muswell Hill

Finally we recently paid nearly £7 for a pint of “craft beer”, tonight, all guest beer £1.99 – ok, may not be “CRAFT” and no atmosphere – but nothing wrong with them – my lager was certainly served well.

I was so grateful to be able to eat and drink!   Sleep well tonight!!!

 

 

01. November 2021 by myprice
Categories: Fish & Chip Reviews | Leave a comment

The Woolpack, Bermondsey, SE1 3UB, 22 October 2021

Good evening, Friday excitement is back in town, walking through London Bridge station, there were so many people, I can say it was pre-pandemic level of rush hour.  Short walk from the London Bridge station, here we are at Bermondsey St, The Woolpack.

The Woolpack

Happy Friday!

Fish and chips, mushy peas, tartar sauce£16… I am not sure what to make of this “£16″…. Brexit effect of shortage of petrol, food stock, delivery delay….all included.

The Woolpack

First impression – served in small plate for £16 main course

The Woolpack

Fish 4/10 : Batter is OK, good thickness, simple, crunchy texture.  However,  very disappointed with actual fish flesh – very watery with very little flavour.  I suspect it was not defrosted properly.

Chips 7/10 : Better than fish, seasoned well with salt, again, simple but well executed

Mushy pea 4/10 : very small portion and no twist of mint or butter – simple.

Overall, simple, nothing special mediocre fish and chips, does not provide me any lasting impression.  It was served in a very small plate with cheap gingham paper there is no sign of £16. The place was too dark, it was difficult to examine visually.

Friday excitement was not dampen down but I don’t think I will be back in hurry!

Good night!

24. October 2021 by myprice
Categories: Fish & Chip Reviews | 1 comment

The Crown & Sceptre, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6SD, 26 June 2021

YO! I should be at the Glastonbury taking a part in the biggest and the best party of the world, but instead, I am in London sitting a quiet corner (behind a group of Italian lads) of The Crown & Sceptre, Fitzrovia.  

The Crown & Sceptre Bloomsbury

Firmly fixed my mask on my arm

Beer-battered Fish & Chips – pale ale battered cod, triple-cooked chips, minted crushed peas & tartare sauce for £14.  This is standard now, though anticipating price hike – post COVID +/- delayed Brexit related inflation.

The Crown & Sceptre Bloomsbury

Grilled lemon! Stop!

The Crown & Sceptre Bloomsbury

First impression – ?overcooked

  1. Fish – Actually, not overcooked, the dark colour must be a reflection of “pale ale”.  In fact, fish cooked perfectly, not dried, mouth wateringly juicy…. however, ohhhh so much salt on top of the fish…. why!?!?!?  I cannot get rid of them as there were so much of them, hanging on to rough surfaces of very crunchy batter, in the end I have to remove all batter.  What a shame!
  2. Chips – Definitely triple cooked, delicious ! Good portion size, wash down with cold beer hearing Italian boys shouting! Heaven!
  3. Minted crushed peas – Odd, too odd, there were hint of garlic, completely, offensively wrong combination of mint and pea.

Surrounded by some enthusiastic group of people – could not stop feel emotional, football competition, Glastonbury, beer, fish and chips, cheering voices, smily bar staff…..

Cheers!

27. June 2021 by myprice
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The Highbury Barn, London, London N5 2AB, 3 June 2021

Yo! No one can stop me, as I learnt the important lesson of life….here we are at the Highbury Barn.  Welcoming us back warmly, this is my second visit.  Wow, the first visit was November 2017, I was shocked by the price of fish and chips @£13.50 then.

highburybarn

Beer taste so good at inside, hooray!

This time, we scanned the menu – on this visit.. fish and chips….Wow whopping £15.50!
highburybarnhighburybarn

No complaint on portion size and steamy hot foods delivered in timely manner with smiles, which I can still see through the mask.

Fish: Large, fresh piece of fish meat, slightly undercooked, batter was very yellow and some yellow oil dripping on the white dish… not sure what it was (I don’t have menu on my phone anymore)- no distinctive taste of this yellow pigment….

Chips: Very very chunky, too chunky for my liking, can we still call these chips?  What is the clear definition of chips?

Mashy pea : yes mushy pea, refreshing colour  accent on the plate but nothing significant otherwise.

As my declaration – no harsh scoring – £15.50 – but but but…. what can we say…. it is what it is, we all need to survive.

See you soon!

 

05. June 2021 by myprice
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The Royal Hotel, Deal, Kent, CT14 6JD, 22 May 2021

Good evening, my first indoor post lock down fish and chips experience here at the Royal Hotel, Deal.

Weather has been horrendous, but our spirit was not dampen down.  Come on rain, bring on strong north-easterly wind! We are inside….hehehe

Royal Hotel Deal

Traditional cod and chips £13.45.  A large cod fillet hand coated in out own Shepherd Name ale crispy batter with chips and peas.  Yes, the portion size is definitely satisfactory!

Fish : Lovely traditional crispy batter – but fish flesh was very “flaky”.  When I cut the flesh, the piece does not stay on my fork.  Why?  I actually don’t know…. it seems no issues with”freshness”, except ever so slightly feels watery in the mouth as well as flaky….

Chips : These were the star of the show.  Very very tasty, must been double or even triple cooked, seasoned perfectly with salt.  Even towards the end of this big portion, my mouth did not feel “too salty” and still able to taste them well, just as my first mouthful, without getting bored of it.  Amazing!

Peas : completely mediocre frozen peas, a lot of it, no seasoning.

My be loved, be respected restaurant critic, Jay Rayner wrote in one of his article in the observer during lock down that he decided he will never criticise again, knowing how the whole sector hit by the pandemic.  He will, instead, quietly leave and never to return.

I will, also follow his step for now, No criticism, no harsh scoring.  I am, just like him, so happy to be back     to dine out.

Thank you!

 

24. May 2021 by myprice
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Stapleton Tavern and The Old Dairy, Crouch Hill London N4 4 AU, 17 May 2021

Good news and Bad news….

We are here at Stapleton Tavern, enjoying our first proper pints since December 2020 without being freezing cold, being comfortable.

However, the big however.  Our be loved The Old Dairy, according to my credible information source, is now closed its door permanently.  I remember fondly our great time there in 2019.  I did not manage to revisit since, never imagined its door would be closed for good.

Lesson learnt,  don’t wait, don’t postpone, don’t put on hold.

The Old Dairy

Good bye the Old Dairy….

18. May 2021 by myprice
Categories: Fish & Chip Reviews | 1 comment

The Somers Town Coffee House, Kings Cross, London NW1 1HS, 3 December 2020

Yoyoyo post 2nd lock down, we should treat ourselves with fresh pints and fish and chips.  Here we are at the Somers Town Coffee House, Kings Cross, NW1 1HS.

Plenty of space, no problems on social distancing, staff not wearing masks.  It is so cold inside of this  pub so it’s OK, COVID won’t survive on this temperature (or does COVID thrive in the cold air? – too much information, too confused)

Somers Town Coffee HouseSomers Town Coffee House

We tried so hard, but we were unable to read the menu, the printer simply need new ink.  The friendly waitress offered reading out for us, but we politely declined.  She suggested turning the candle away, which apparently makes it easier to read.  We could see fish and chips (but not full description nor price), so let’s go for it!!!

We waited, waited we waited.  About 25 minutes later, the waitress came to our table with friendly smile and informed us there is only one fish and chips left.  So I took it.
Somers Town Coffee HouseAnother 20 minutes gone, finally my fish and chips arrived.  Batter was pale yellow and thick, it was not the texture I was expected.  Chips were nice and hot.

Yes, the fish and chips was not what I expected, yes, the temperature inside pub was probably below “optimum” (even our friendly waitress confessed she has been so cold working – of course, she does not take any action about the temperature), yes we were unable to read menu because of faded print out due to lacking in ink, yes we waited probably longer than average for our food…… but so what? I am not criticise our hard hit hospitality industry, I just wish all well, keep our head down, and survive.

See you soon!

06. December 2020 by myprice
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The Duke of Sussex, Waterloo, SE1 7AY, 14 August 2020

Good evening, I ventured out to the town by tube.  Waterloo station area is getting busier but still down by 60% of pre-pandemic usual Friday night (subject to my observation).  Table booked, we are here at the Duke of Sussex.

Duke Of Sussex

Cheers!

After chatting, chatting, chatting, chatting – now time to order foods – Beer battered fish & chips, tartar source, peas £15 – ohhh the last my visit here was May 2018, Fish and chips was £13.50 then.  Inflation busting 11% increase (with VAT reduction) in just over 2 years.  COVID related price hike – can be helped.

Duke Of Sussex

Duke Of Sussex

NOOOOO to grilled lemon

1. Fish: 7/10 : Fish flesh was cooked through but felt batter was slightly under cooked and greasy.  Left slightly unpleasant texture in the mouth

2. Chips: 6/10: taste nice but far too thick, it was almost between chips and roast potatoes

3. Peas: 7/10: some hint of butter, lovely green colour gave great visual accent on the plate

The pub terrace was heaving, where we sit inside was busy but enough space in between tables, feeling completely safe – Just appreciate things we were doing before without any thoughts – sharing time with friends, eating, drinking, chatting – what a joy.  Thank you for hosting all of us, we will be back.

Good night!

 

15. August 2020 by myprice
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The Ship Inn, Rye, East Sussex TN31 u7DB, 16 July 2020

Hello, this is not Déjà vu, we are here again, the Ship Inn, Rye.  I could not forget an amazing fish and chips from yesterday, I was going to have it again.  However, what caught my eyes are – “Whole South Coast Plaice, Jersey royal potatoes, caper&lemon butter sauce”.  £13.0 (+ VAT not reduced to 5%).  Of course, from my experience last night, I asked chips instead of Jersey Royal potatoes.

The Ship

Great pint with welcome back discount, big thumb up

The Ship

Chips served in a bucket again

The Ship

Naff grilled lemon

  1. Chips 10/10 Again!!! – I must say I was slightly apprehensive after the great experience last night.  OMG, exactly as I experienced, it was so good again, here, you have even achieved all important “CONSISTENCY”.  You made me happy.
  2. Fish 9.5/10 – Simply delicious.  This fat, fresh meat was again, cooked perfectly, juicy, it looks a lot of caper but providing perfect acidity without overwhelming saltiness of capers against good amount of butter (which was not too much to start with),  seasoning was again perfect, calculated saltiness from caper.

What can I say?  2 nights in a row, I was treated with great foods and drink.  The chef must have great palate.  I believe, especially in this country where meat eating is generally dominant, chef’s palate and quality is tested by cooking of fish/marine products.  And, you guys are genius.  You showcased that simple but excellent quality of food – I really mean it – can be served in a pub, does not have to be a posh restaurant.

Cannot wait to visit you again – Thank you !!!!

 

 

 

19. July 2020 by myprice
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The Ship Inn, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7DB, 15 July 2020

Hello from East Sussex, a pretty place called Rye, we are continuously engaging actively with post lock down economy.  The Ship Inn, of course we are here for a fresh pint and fish and chips.|

The Ship

Feeling safe

All main courses are priced at £13.00.  “Jake’s Beer Battered Fish & Chips, Mushy peas, chunky tartare sauce”.

The Ship

Not so sure about first sight, nothing special

The Ship

Never keen to be served my chips in a mini bucket – is this for portion control?

OMG – How wrong was I for my first impression –

  1. Fish 9.5/10 – Batter was thin – which means the size of the fish showing above photo is an actual size of big generous piece of completely fresh, skinned, beautifully flavoursome white cod flesh.  This thin but crunchy, not greasy at all batter is sticking perfectly with the fat flesh.  The fish was cooked through perfectly – this is important, as often they are ever so slightly undercooked – may be chefs are afraid of overcooking (quite rightly).  When bite the fish, crunchy batter was melting with fresh juice of fish – OH JOY!!!
  2. Chips 10/10 – these are probably one of the best chips I can recall.  Again, crunchy but  not greasy, definitely cooked in a fresh oil.  Piping hot, completely fluffy.   Strangely, crunchiness of outside did not dominate as a texture but fluffiness overtakes inside of the mouth, while leaving pleasure of crunchiness just experienced.  OH JOY!!!!!
  3. Mushy peas – over excited with chips, cannot recall
  4. Tartare source – not sure what is chunky about.

Thank you the Ship Inn for an amazing fish and chips, I gave 9.5 for fish as chips were so perfect and gave me such an strong impression that I could possibly give another 10 on fish.

They could not reflect new VAT (20%->5%) applied from today as their “head office” have not instruct them yet.  However, they gave “welcome back” discount on the drinks so I forgive YA!

 

19. July 2020 by myprice
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The Sir Richard Steel, Haverstock Hill, London, NW3 4RL, 9 July 2020

Yoyoyo! I am keen to contribute to the much needed economic activity, therefore, we are here tonight at The Sir Richard Steel, Haverstock Hill.  Table booked, cannot wait for fresh pint and fish and chips!

Sir Richard Steele

Cannot complain!

Fantastic pub but empty….though again, just 2 of us, they gave us probably the best table in the house.
BUT THE BIG BUT…AHHHHHH…no fish and chips on the menu…. WHY.. there is a good reason.  The friendly pub landlord told us…

Sir Richard Steele

There is a fish and chips shop next to the pub, so they decided not to compete…share the business “we are all family”.

Nice touch!  So after careful consideration, we went for burger and chips, another classic.

Sir Richard Steele

Polite smile on arrival, served in paper plate due to COVID

Sir Richard Steele


The polite smile was not because the paper plate but the amount of chips they gave me… literally there were only about 8 chips…… you should give me at least 3 times more (i.e,, 24 chips) for £12.95.  I am not burger critic so my comment ends here…..

Beer was lovely, but for the very very  stingy chips portion, I won’t eat in here again, but I will come back for beer then fish and chips next door.

I binged chocolate after I went home, I was left too hungry with 8 chips.

Cheers!

10. July 2020 by myprice
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The Orange Tree, Totteridge, London N20 8NX, 4 July 2020

Finally we are here at The Orange Tree, Totteridge,  the Super Saturday.  We have waited, waited and waited.

Orange Tree Pub Totteridge

Sweet!

Ohhhh…. this is so good.  Now, this is a booked table, table service, everything goes smoothly.  Now, let’s have “Freshly Battered Line-caught Cod & Chips Rustic thick-cut chips, pea puree & tartare sauce” £14.25.

Orange Tree Pub Totteridge

Delivered!

Orange Tree Pub Totteridge

Socially distanced table

  1. Fish : 8/10 : Juicy cod flesh with skin was hidden under the crispy golden batter.  Batter was just right thickness which hold fish together well, fish was ever so slightly undercooked.
  2. Chips: 8/10 : Chunky chips were steaming hot!  As promised, crunchy outside and fluffy inside.  They went so well with cold crispy well served beer, I could do with more of them.
  3. Pea puree 8/10 : Beautiful in the eye, bright fresh green and taste with hint of butter.  Not puree enough as some chunks visible, I actually really liked them, great home made side.   Should not call them puree here.

Overall great dining experience in this difficult circumstances.  In fact, for the diners/drinkers for two, this was actually very present.  We would normally given tiny table between groups, often felt “unimportant” during busy weekend evenings.  But not tonight!

Thank you Orange Tree, we will certainly back!!!!

05. July 2020 by myprice
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Street Food Bar, Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London, NW3 2QG, 6 May 2020

Hello hello hello, special edition of Fish and Chips critic is here today, from the Royal Free Hospital.  I have previously reported from here but this is different.  We are in “unprecedented times”.

Royal_Free_Sign

Appealing!

Royal Free Hospital Canteen

Served by the cheerful chef!

Royal Free Hospital Canteen

Followed by the lady serving condiments. Sorry for the quality of the photo, I panicked because of queue behind me.

Royal Free Hospital Canteen

Big thumb up!

Royal Free Hospital Canteen

Great portion!

Overall 10/10!, Yes, batter was too thick, it was a bit soggy side, fish inside was nice thick chunk of flesh but overcooked.  Chips were not chips but more like french fries.  However, they were pre-seasoned well with hint of salt and pepper, perfectly enjoyable.  The dish was served by a generous 1/2 lemon and tartar sauce, which was surprisingly tasty with good punch of acidity.

Dry overcooked fish coated by thick and soggy batter, but so what?  It was a treat by the Royal Free charity and donations from public, served by cheerful hard working people.

Thank you NHS, thank you people!  We will meet soon!

 

 

08. May 2020 by myprice
Categories: Fish & Chip Reviews | 2 comments

The Henry Addington, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4PH, 25 January 2020

YOYOYO! A Happy new year to you all, it has been 6 years since I posted my very first Fish and Chips Critic in January 2014.  The main thing is, I am still here, critiquing.  I will survive, so I will ask you to “love me little, love me long”.

Here we are at Canary Wharf, cold night but buzzing with people enjoying Winter Lights.  After walking around Wharf for over an hour, we found ourselves in The Henry Addington.

Henry Addington Canary Wharf

Cheers!

Of course, our comfort food is THE FISH AND CHIPS! Simple Nicholson’s Fish and Chips, fillet of haddock hand-battered in our Nicolson’s Pale Ale and served with chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce for £14.  I was outraged back in 2014 for being charged £13, now £14 feels somehow normal.

Henry Addington Canary Wharf

So…. Normal look, did not excite me…

Henry Addington Canary Wharf

At glance, small portion

  1. Fish 3.5/10 : Dry flesh, very little flavour, batter too thick.  Luke warm
  2. Chips 3.5/10: Dry, no great texture (i.e, crunchy outside with fluffy potato substance) of enjoyment.  Luke warm
  3. Mushy peas 2/10: straight from the tin, stingy portion, Luke warm

Overall very very disappointed 3/10.  As you can see the common theme of this dish was “luke warm”.  In the cold evening after some walk, this could be the best comfort food which made my stomach warm and heat to travel all my body for warms, joy and satisfaction, which obviously did not happen.

I will go on critiquing, so please don’t give up on me!

See you soon, Hello 2020!

26. January 2020 by myprice
Categories: Fish & Chip Reviews | 1 comment

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