If there’s one thing we Brits are known to love, it’s the old newspaper-wrapped staple: fish and chips. Crispy golden batter, sliver-white flakes of fresh cod, fluffy golden chips and a side of…well mushy peas. Although it’s not blessed with a seaside location, London is no exception to this nationwide love. If you’re staying in the city for a while, there’s no doubt you’ll end up chowing down on a plate of this more than once. It’s delicious, cheap and easy! However, if you’re looking to change it up a bit, why not mix it up a bit and try some snazzy variations on the classic dish.
The Classic One
Poppies Fish and Chips
6-8 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR.
Possibly the best place to get a classic plate of ‘Lilian Gish an' Jockey's Whips’ (‘fish and chips’ in cockney slang), this east end gem is a must visit if you’ve got a hankering for a real fish and chip experience. With its throwback 1950s vibe, traditional dress and retro atmosphere, this joint encapsulates all that’s great about the traditional fish and chip dinner. The award winning restaurant uses third generation fisherman who excel in bringing high quality and sustainable catches to the shop every day. Its owner and founder Pat ‘Pops’ Newland, who started his career back in the 50s cutting up copies of the daily mirror for chip wrappers, has been known go by his late father’s saying that ‘the only time you’ll get a revolution in England, is if you shut the fish and chip shop and the pub’. Although that might not be totally applicable to modern day London, we’re sure that if this place was to close up anytime soon there’d be an east end uproar! (And if you’re looking for a real taste of the east end, they also offer some classic jellied eels…mmm).
The Exotic One
63 ParkwayLondon NW1 7PP
So you’ve had your fill of chips and mushy peas after becoming a little too obsessed with this British comfort classic, and now you’re starting to feel the batter blues – but never fear; if you fancy a trendy variation on the traditional plate you’ve come to the right place. Hook Camden have taken the old-style dish, turned it on its head, twisting in some cutting edge flavours, including wasabi, samphire, tempura and even mango. While the mere thought of altering the much loved meal this may leave the hard-core fish and chip fanatic in a cold sweat, we highly recommend a trip to Hook for anyone who fancies a really delicious variation on the timeless dish.
The Eco-Friendly One
Olley’s Fish Experience
65-69 Norwood Rd, London SE24 9AA
With sustainability and eco-friendly catching policies becoming increasingly important throughout the fish and chip industry, Olley’s seems to have really nailed it. Offering a colour coded sustainability rating for each of the seafood options they offer, direct link to its suppliers and its fish and chip shops such as these which will keep the industry alive long term. Their food isn’t half bad either - offering the classics such as cod and haddock, as well as calamari, king prawns, lemon sole and an impressive wine list, this restaurant is the perfect place if you’re looking for a guilt free treat (well, in the sustainable sense anyway).
The Posh One
The Fish Club
189 St John's Hill, London SW11 1TH
Photo credit: www.trover.com
With a name not to be mistaken with the bog standard Wetherspoons Friday fish club special, this upmarket fish and chip restaurant offers you the option of choosing your fresh fillet from the wet fish counter and receiving advice from the highly trained staff on how best to cook it. Pair this with some gourmet additions to the traditional menu, such as native oysters, potted crab, royal bream and yellowfin sashimi, and you’ll soon see this place is a real catch. With its wood panelled counter and chalkboard specials, this restaurant hasn’t forgotten the classic London chippy vibe, but aims to pair it with a chic comfortable dining experience. So whether this is your first of fiftieth time in London, and you’re looking for a classic with a side of sophistication, swap the curry sauce for salsa verde and try this place out.