Archive for the ‘fish and chips’ Tag
I don’t know what it is about chinese chippies, but the ones I have tried have fantastic fish and get completely perplexed when you order the fish and no chips (more than once, I have had chips thrust on me despite just ordering the fish…weird). Tonight’s twist was, as the Fryery was closing, I ordered the lone piece of cod and the guy tried to give me chips I didn’t want then insisted I take the two smaller fish fillets (RESULT!).
Late in the evening, I had horrendous indigestion and a bit of nausea, but I did visit 10 pubs between 11 am and 10 pm….
I wasn’t confused…I knew it was only called a bar, but I had a hankering for a piece of cod. It was fried fresh to order but was god-awful: greasy and with a bit of aftertaste that made me glad I had spent so much time imbibing antiseptics earlier in the evening. But, say what you will, they do have some fine offerings on the menu:
Back in St Neots at 7:15, I wanted to catch Eastenders but was starved having survived my trip and a 10 mile run on three cookies and two cups of coffee (breakfast) and four pints spread out over the trip and the run. Nearly back to the hotel I spotted lights that could only be a chippy and followed the side street down to Mr Chips.
I order a cod and chips and was served by a young, blonde Englishwoman (fairly unusual in this business these days) who barely understood a word I said so I didn’t get the flood of vinegar I had hoped (and asked) for but the food was quite good with a salty but delicious batter and thick but not at all soggy or greasy chips; and, I was carrying it back to my room by 7:25 so I am caught up on my soap.
The proprietress might be deranged or she might have bought into some self-loathing and outdated western stereotypes of what chinese people are like (and deranged). I answered that no, I don’t want chips when she first asked in a comically shrieking voice; so, imagine her surprise when I still didn’t want them the next eight times she hollered it over the counter (I was less than 2 feet away). Same with cutting it…for fuck’s sake it’s just a piece of cod, and I still have some teeth; quit insisting that you want to cut it for me. Then, it was very oily and too expensive on top of all the hassle. But “for ways that are dark and for tricks that are vain,”† I have to admit it was quite tasty.
† Apologies to Bret Harte’s estate, but the copyright on this has long since expired
There must be a thousand fish bars on the waterfront in Weston-super-Mare. We chose a passable one at random. Jackie had a salmon salad (because a stomach full of rich and dodgy raw fish is just what you want on spinning amusement park rides) and I had plaice and chips, cancelling the halibut when I heard that it was the last bit of halibut in the kitchen (never knowingly eat fish that’s on a special, on a Monday, or the last in the fridge). I’ve had better, but the Fosters was cold.
Oh, kids eat free at Winston’s, so get there before the lunch rush. We escaped just before the screaming brats swarmed the place.
The next time someone talks about depletion of fish stock, point them toward the Mediterranean Fish Bar. I ordered a piece of cod and was served up a leviathan, easily designed to breach the “don’t eat anything larger than your head” rule. Easily a pound-and-a-half, it was delicious, as well: one of the best pieces of fish I’ve had all year. I couldn’t stop eating it and finished it in short order. Finishing the last mile and a half of the run was easy, but the following hour–as the one piece feast (or feat, as it were) settled into my tummy and drowsiness attacked–turned into a fight to remain conscious. With quality like that, the customers will be to blame for the dwindling fish population as much as these perpetrators of CODicide (it’s as if they think they are the ‘Master Plaice’). Oh, yeah, they don’t even have to stoop to one of those pun-based store names…THAT’S how good they are.
The beer and politics at the Rat’s Castle seemed to settle my stomach a bit and with a bit of mileage beneath my belt I was starting to feel a bit peckish. To my left as I progressed up Hatfield Road I spotted Wong’s Fish and Chips and jogged over to feast. The fish is cooked fresh to order and has a perfect batter. I only ordered cod, not chips, which usually baffles the owners (or that’s how they play it when they charge me for chips as well); here they were so confused by the order that they tried to give me some chips even though I didn’t want them, thinking the fish would be sufficient. It was, and it would have only been diminished by association with the oily starch had I succumbed to temptation.
With a rainy run back to the house awaiting me I needed some ballast and went across to the chippy. The large cod was not very large but cooked fresh, creamy on the inside, and otherwise delicious. The chips were okay but there were already too many when the guy offered me even more and then dumped them in the wrapper despite my plea that it was going to ruin my pace. Not worth going out-of-the-way for, I could still see popping in on the way home from a long run NW of town.
The Dolphin Fish Bar looks like a standard chippy and might well be. But, I had gone all day on a light breakfast plus a beer at each end of an hour-long run with a loaded backpack over some challenging terrain and I was really in need of sustenance before the bus back home. The “small” cod was a feast on its own and cooked to creamy perfection in a crispy and flavourful batter with enough oil to stain the paper but not so much as to be cloying. This may become a regular stop.
After a couple of pints and a couple of laughs at the Duke of Edinburgh, I needed to ballast up for the walk home and the evening’s real drinking. At the Wong Kee Fish Bar, I got a huge chunk of perfectly battered cod for a couple of pounds. Sublime, even though the place sounds dodgy (Wonky Fish Bar?).
The executive decision has been made to call all British fast food reviewed here a “kebab,” for the purpose of tagging. “Fish and Chips” will also be included as appropriate, but for now if you follow the kebab links you will get anything designed to absorb alcohol and prevent or alleviate a hangover.
The visit to the Sure Fry was for none of those reasons, though. We had done a lot of shopping and I was just starved. The chippy is just a couple of blocks down from the house and I figured this would be the best accompaniment to a cold Foster’s prior to putting up some garden gates and fence posts (the fence panels to be delivered sometime next week). I arrived at 2:10 pm but the hours say they close at 2…the happy proprietor didn’t seem to have a problem with my tardiness and fried up a fresh batch of chips and cod for me and although the batter was a bit bland the fish was fantastic and the chips adequate.