The Carpenter’s Arms, Fitzrovia, near Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 4EY, 21 March 2015
Good evening, I am revenging last night, tonight, I must eat fish and chips. Thank you for all who showed me your support via twitter and sharing the concern in American Style dining taking over our be-loved fish and chips. Here we are at The Carpenter’s Arms, lovely almost “village atmosphere” in this central London location and importantly, we got seats without any fuss of booking even on Saturday night, yey!
Well executed cold beer, lots of interesting beer choices but lacking in lighter lager (<4% in alcohol) choices for my liking. Anyway, the point is fish and chips. The menu reads well, “Fish & chips – sustainably caught hake, cider & tarragon batter, pea puree & chips £11.75″. Good pricing for the location. BTW, why explain “sustainably caught”. Yes we care, but whenever I read this I say to myself “yeh yeh yeh………”…
1. Fish 9/10. Well done. Usually I am not a big fan of hake but this is good, less juicier than haddock or cod nevertheless not dry, pleasantly firm but not “frakey”. First impression of batter is slightly lighter colour compared to beer batter which is less appetizing in my opinion. Nevertheless, this crunchy batter is well integrated with lovely fish, creating great harmony of texture. I could not taste taragon but this may be a good thing, as I don’t believe it would add anything. I tried not to put too much of “warm lemon juice” from naff grilled lemon. Sharpness of lemon juice is lost in grilled lemon, which totally defeat object of adding lemon on deep fried foods.
2. Chips 3/10. Ah. How disappointing. Luke warm and underdone frozen chips. Soft texture. Yeek! (well, at least menu was honest, not mention hand-cut chips).
3. Peas 3/10. They were nice. But this is not pea puree as described in the menu. The low score is attributed to the discrepancy between the menu and actual food.
Overall 7/10. For great fish and nice peas. Interestingly, my husband describes that he likes the chips! Apparently they reminded chips from his school days. Well, this is interesting as we just proved one’s palate is completely subjective. It seems owning one’s experience, particularly childhood memories. Well, how many of us were “gourmet” as a kid. Who to say to trust food/restaurant critics!
But trust me please!