Good afternoon (!), a bit change from my usual Fish and Chips scenery (and time, this is lunch time!), the report from Foodhouse restaurant, The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, the rare insight from NHS institution. I have previously reported from A NHS hospital too. It is all of our interest to find out what is our most beloved institution is doing in terms of Fish and chips.
Battered/breaded (have choices!) and chips, £4.53 for staff £5.25 for visitor.
- Fish 2/10 : Sorry for harsh marking!!! But batter was hard, dry but nothing crispy about and far too thick. Inside of this thick batter, here it is a very dry, tasteless white fish without skin. Without doubt, this is (likely including batter) a frozen food action.
- Chips 3/10 : At the time it felt better than 3/10 because fish was so bad. But, I recall again, very dry texture, less than average
- Mushy peas 3/10 : at first bite, I could tell this is straight from the tin. I could taste metal. Portion far to big!!!
I can remember all food texture mixed in my mouth with dry, mushy and plain with minimum flavour with hint of metal tin.
However, a big however, over all score is generous 6/10, this is after all what they did best in our beloved institution with limited resources. It was hot, good hygiene standard (saw proud hygiene 5 sticker) and cheap!
Interesting debate was regarding mushy peas, while I was describing “metal taste”, one of my peer from Newcastle reported this is what she knows and this is how it should be. When I started mentioning “hint of mint, batter, blah blah blah….” her face actually blanked!!!!
Yes of course, Critics is only a SUBJECTIVE opinion, I am back to my basic, my journey continues!
Good evening, one of the best Friday of the year, yes, it is a Friday before Bank Holiday. Fish and Chips with pals seems the best way to start this long weekend. Here we are at The Ship Tavern, situated in a little alley behind the Holborn tube station.
I have a high hope. Some years ago, I had a “roast turkey baguette” at Christmas time. I remember this was massive baguette sandwich with roast turkey, cranberry sauce and staffing. And, it was surprisingly delicious!!! Since this place was one of my must fish and chips visit list. Previously we ate in the down stairs bar. Then tonight, we decided to venture to the upstairs as the table in the bar was too small for 4 of us to have meals.
OMG, how could we have guessed? The upstairs of this old/working people friendly pub is like an old, traditional British dining room, and one of the peers of this evening described “like the oriental express”. And the pricing reflect this setting, “Fish & Chips garden pea puree, tartare £17”.
SEVENTEEN pounds. This is the most expensive fish and chips I ever ordered. Also, even in the bar downstairs, it is £17. Ah! this is not reflecting the poshed-up dining room. This is simply “just expensive”.
Fish and chips served on “mock newspaper” to replicate the chippie is OK. After all, it sucks excess oil, but not in the “oriental express” for £17 paying customers.
Fish 9/10 : Actually delicious. Fish was well cooked though, no raw bits (I found this is all too often) but still juicy and fluffy. Batter was simple, crunchy, integrate well with fish (with skin, of course) in the mouth. The negative was my fish felt slightly thin fillet, but this is probably my bad luck as others looked nice fat pieces!!!
Chips 9/10 : Again, delicious. Thick cut chips were not greasy (despite hiding under fish) but crunchy, piping hot, fluffy inside, tasty potato flavour. The negative is the portion size, I could eat at least 5 more chips.
Pea Puree 8/10 : Delicious again. Some hint of butter and mint but not at all overwhelming. In fact, the combination was perfect so that sweetness of the peas were enhanced. Again, small portion size is the negative and this was not exactly puree. Puree is without bits, I personally think this term is over used in the food world.
Overall score though 6.5/10. How, anyone can justify £17 for Fish and chips. Also what do you expect for £17 other than well, deliciously cooked fish and chips. We couldn’t get over the fact we are paying so much while we were eating, which, if we were honest (I use “we” as this was group consensus), spoiled this dish a bit (don’t confuse, we had a great evening).
Good Evening! Something different tonight, I am coming to The Beach House, Highbury, by my colleague’s recommendation. She takes my passion of Fish and Chips critic quite seriously. Thank you!
This is actually reassuring. This is because we recently witnessed Hygiene 1 in a restaurant near the British Museum. We could not believe our eyes. Surprisingly the restaurant is continuously operating its business. Is this allowed? Somebody tell me!!!
This place is technically “chippy”. It is successfully fancied up to make it looks like cute chippy near the beach with highest hygiene standard. We can eat in with our own beer (BYO) hooray!
A bit disappointed though, it was only small fish and chips available, also it is priced £8.00 (eat in), £6.00 (take away). Not quite sure if this is good value or not.
It may not look small on this photo, but the diner plate was traditional ~9 inches (approx 23cm) plate, not the ones we are used these days. We are more likely using ~12 inches plates. In fact, since 1960’s, the surface area of our average dinner plate has increased by 36%, I am sure it is contributing to obese epidemic, we all eat too much!!!
- Fish 5/10. Too undercooked for “fish and chips”. Personally I have no issues eating raw fish but this is not supposed to be. Also, batter felt a bit greasy in mouth, no joy of crunchy fresh batter combined with fluffy fish. Instead, greasy batter combined with sticky rawish fish texture. But I must say, fish was very fresh. Shame!
- Chips 5/10, Again, felt a bit greasy.
- Mashy peas 5/10, This is not mashy peas, it is half crushed peas. For flavour, no twists whatsoever, basically just peas.
Overall disappointing 5/10. I was disappointed with small portion (though it is meant to be small), because I paid £8.00. Also, the eating area was totally empty, and this was Friday night, suggestive of true reputation? Unlike in FishFish in Highgate, as my previous visit, we did not observe any sign of streaming order of take aways.
Nevertheless, it was lovely evening, in the mock-beach chippy. And at least, it was hygienic dinner!
Hello Glasto!!!! I have previously conducted ‘Spot the Fish and Chips Challenge‘ in the Glastonbury Festival 2015 but never had an opportunity to sample them as I was drawn in by the other types of festival foods (shame on me!). But this year is different.
I wasn’t sure if critic is relevant for ‘temporary’ festival setting. Then, there are so many repeaters to this festival for both festival goers and stool holders. So yes, it is relevant. Here we are at the Other Stage, the stall is situated, facing stage, right hand side.
First challenge, take photos in a massive crowd.
Challenge 2: Queue !!!! ages and ages to get served. Then, while we were queuing, we were listening to the live performance by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, cannot complain!
Finally, my fish and chips. Surprisingly delicious. Worth queuing as foods are freshly cooked. Tartar source was delicious too. Shame that my portion of chips was tiny for £8. Portion size of chips is probably the last thing on the stall holder’s mind, all the staff looked pretty stressed with constant flow of orders. While I was eating, I was asked by one of the public where I got this from. She must knew I am Fish and Chips critic! Don’t be shy, just tell me!
What a fantastic summer days we had, nothing can compare Glasto. Thanks Glasto, we had a Blasto! (as quoted in Metro)
I will certainly back 2019, to sample more fish and chips at Glastonbury!!! Thank you!!!!!
Hello Hello Hello! I am finally here at “Fish Fish” in Highgate. Finally, because I always wanted to be here, living in London for many years, drove past this venue for many many times, the name “Fish Fish” is simple and clearly suggestive, how can I ignore, after all, I am the fish and chips critic.
As you can see, a lots of signs advocating great value. However, the restaurant was totally empty on Friday night approx 8pm…. is this OK?
Fish and chips “£ According to fish market”….. then I was told it is £14.95…. Take away £7.95… I had to ask, then confirmed they are the same dishes.
This is not according to fish market, it is according to “rent of the premises market”.
Fish and Chips is “deep-fried in low cholesterol vegetable oil”, ok, at least not so high risk to develop heart diseases after consumption of this meal. Great.
OK, I got it. You received award in 2014 and 2015. Yes it is great achievement but here we are in 2017. If Gordon Ramsey sees this, he would rip it apart, “Don’t hang on to the past glory!!!”. Ah, hang on the minutes, I am also hang on to the past glory, my important award winning!! Then this is not even a year ago so it is perfectly ok for me to do it!
- Fish 8/10. Delicious. Fluffy and fresh fish and batter is crunchy, very clean batter, indeed, this must be cooked in clean vegetable oil, definitely.
- Chips 6/10. It’s ok….yes, crunchy and clean but may be cheap standard “white potatoes”? Flavour missing.
- No mushy peas, but I must say salad was tasty, perfectly dressed in vinaigrette style dressing.
Overall satisfactory 7/10. Then, what would you expect if you pay for £14.95 for fish and chips, it should be nice.
The restaurant was almost empty all night. However, there were stream of take away went out the door, drivers were constantly picking up foods for delivery. There was not a single person came in to order takeaway nor phone rang for ordering take away while we were there. These orders must all came via internet. Wow, this fact somehow impressed me. There were very little footfall on this street, they have found survival tool. Fantastic, I can understand why you charge me £14.95 to eat in.
The restaurant does not even have own website. I typed in “Fish Fish Highgate” in Google, wow, every possible takeaway sites you can think of came up, listing Fish Fish, waiting for orders to be placed.
I wish you well Fish Fish, you are surviving this take away war in London. Good night!
Good evening! A bit delayed report from London Southbank, we are at Studio 6, Gabriel’s Wharf on the Southbank, on a school night. Why not!
We like in here, good beer, and I remember good pricing from previous visits. I have reported from here back in April 2014 and May 2014. Wow, good to have those records as we can compare and contrast.
The menu has been refreshed, of course, it has been 2 years since. “Homemade beer battered fresh haddock served with and cut chips, mushy peas & Tartare sauce” £12.50. ????£12.50, is this good pricing as I remembered? According to my previous reports, it was £9.95 in April 2014, £9.25 in May 2014. This is, whopping 26-35% price rise. Well above triple lock!! Brexit has not fully bite yet, what are you going to do when Brexit bites!!!
1 Fish : 5/10 Mediocre. Texture was not quite right, a bit soft side, almost like “take away from a reasonable chippie, shame batter was not quite crunchy but can’t be helped as they were wrapped in paper for at least last 10 minutes” type texture. I hope it make sense.
2. Chips : 5/10 as above, texture not quite right.
3. Mushy peas : 4/10, in fact is should score 5/10 as an average mushy peas, but 1 mark off for presented in a paper cup
Sorry folks, not too much details, this is one of downside of delayed report with alcohol influence (i.e., blurred memories). Too busy chatting, eating, drinking, in the end, paid too much by mistake on top of 26-35% price raised Fish and Chips (i.e., impaired ability to divide bill correctly).
Hey, life too short, but lesson learnt! Continue searching for my best Fish and Chips! Good night!
Good afternoon from sunny West Sussex coast! I am doing right thing, of course, having Fish and Chips by the sea at Ropetackle, Yey!
I am going for Haddock (large) + chips £8.75. I have to be honest, not being disrespectful, £8.75 is more than I expected to pay in this setting. Ah, yes, this must be Brexit related food price rise. However, this is not dampen down my spirit!!
My initial disappointment (re: missing mashy peas) was soon replaced by joy!
Fish : 8/10 Cooked freshly at order, piping hot and crunchy batter. It did not feel greasy at all + fresh batter integrated well with fish, suggesting fried in clean oil (i.e., not excessively reheated old oil) at right temperature for right amount time. Fish was firm, juicy fresh, cooked though but not over cooked.
Chips : 8/10 Crunchy outside, fluffy inside. Again, not feel greasy at all. They were also cooked at order too.
Hang on a minutes! why no mashy peas? In fact, menu reads “Haddock cooked to order in vegetable oil, with chips and fresh mixd salad”. So it is my fault to expect mashy peas, but….
Overall though, “you know what you doing ” fish and chips. Very simple no fluff (such as line caught, sustainable, triple cooked, hand cut, special ale/cider batter, brah brah brah…..) but satisfactory. Thank you Ropetackle Fish and Chips! Good night!
Hello! Check this out!
A rare insight into our NHS hospital meal. Great that a hospital have fish and chips on their menu, when we are not well, what we want to eat is something familiar. Taste? Batter on fish and chips was soggy, fish was dried… but so what? If any of us has not been able to eat properly for days and if we were served this fish and chips, this should tastes the best fish and chips in the whole world. Thank you our NHS!!!! Total score 10/10!!!!
See you soon!
Hello hello hello from The White Hart, Waterloo, London on a school night.
The last time we visited this premises was almost exactly 2 years ago, again it was a school night. We actually remember it was not an impressive Fish and chips then (total score 4/10), therefore, we have not visited for 2 years. According to the record, it was “Fish & chips – sustainably caught hake, cider & tarragon batter, pea puree & chips £11.75″. Today the menu reads “British ale battered cod with triple cooked chips and mushy peas, £12.95”. Just over 1% price rise in 2 years, this is below inflation, acceptable (at least it is not Brexit related inflation). BTW, we used to see “hake” more often but it seems quietly going back to cod. Somebody tell me why please?
- Fish 5/10 Perfectly mediocre. Yes this is nothing wrong, but absolutely nothing special. No skin, no flavour on batter, slightly dry texture of fish, not flavoursome at all,
- Chips 5/10 Again, I cannot quite point out what was wrong but nothing special. No evident characteristic of “triple cooked”, if such thing exist!
- Peas 3/10 straight from the tin
Overall soooo not special but not bad enough to complain. From the menu and how they present themselves on the website, it is clear that the intention is “a gastro pub”. But this is clearly failing.
The place was packed but not many people were eating. We now know why. Here, we found unpleasant consistency, “good beer but nothing special/disappointing food”. I don’t think we will be back.
You must sort out the lighting, we could not hardly what we were eating. I was certain there was not skin on fish but had to do close examination using torch as well as needing torch to read the menu.
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!