Monday, 2 March 2009

Amazing Fish & Chips

Now trading as Sutton & Son's

To each and everyone of us residing in Blighty, we should all stand proud and proclaim that there’s absolutely nothing wrong (whatsoever!) with fish and chips. It also goes without saying that this iconic food is downright and universally more accessible than let’s say Hákarl from Iceland or the Aussies’ Vegemite. (Much as I love our dear friends from Down Under, our own Marmite is still heads and shoulders above!)

Yes there is certainly an inordinate amount of chippies in London and sad to say they’re all faux and impostors. It’s also remarkably easy for these chippies to maximise their profits out of the misfortunes of a certain group of customers that include the underclass, tourists and without doubt, the intoxicated. The usual suspects of ingredients used by these guys are the following: inferior fish, MSG enhanced batter, frozen chips and the sure-fire presence of trans fat. The dearth of ‘real deal’ chippies is sadly all too clear to see; at present I can only count them all on one hand. Roll call to include Two Brothers (Finchley Central), The Golden Hind (Marylebone), The Seashell (Marylebone) and since last night, The Fishery Fish Bar in Stoke Newington.

I came here last August when they first opened and I was mightily impressed then. As mentioned in my previous review at Trusted Places, the Fish Bar is a traditional chippy (yes Sybil, battered sausages, saveloys and pickled eggs; they’re all here!) but with the added twist of the best fish like lobsters, oysters and even Barramundis offered. A well-established fishmonger of the same name and on the same street owns this fish restaurant. This winning formula is akin to Rules serving game from its own estate or Monmouth Coffee Co. dishing out filter shots made from their own beans.

This is a relatively fast food joint and it’s kitted out like one, wipe-easy tables and plastic chairs. The ambience is comfortably light and airy. The service from the young staff is wonderful and assured. Oh, lest I forget, ladies and metrosexuals alike, do leave your finest attire at home unless you want to exit here smelling like a chip fryer!

I noticed these minnows were chucked into the fryer from a frozen bag.

I don’t care where they sprouted from, but this snacky starter of whitebait was intended to be shared. But not me José, call me porky, this dish was gobbled up and by me alone! The lovely homemade tartare sauce only made me more of a glutton.

Lurch’s sedate order of Cod and Chips. You know I’ve known Lurch since college days and he has never ever budged beyond an order of Cod, that man is just so Joe Bloggs!

Anyway he muttered something about the fish being better and cheaper than his regular of the nearby Faulkner's.

Now my friends, where else can you have a whole Dove Sole for £10.95? I saw a similarly sized fish, head and tail intact, at the wet fish counter in Selfridges Food Hall for £12.00!

The combination of brown shrimp butter (effectively potted shrimp put to good use) and the grilled sole was a match made in the proverbial sense. The fish for a Sunday evening supper was gratifyingly fresh and precisely cooked. Terrific dinner. Lurch, rather unhelpfully suggested that my fish looked rather flat.

Towards the end of the meal, the young chef was quite disappointed we didn’t leave enough room for the home baked carrot cake. He quite rightly said they were too generous with their portions of wonderful chips in the first place!

It might well be a long trek for yours truly to venture here for a bit of fish, but by golly it was worth it. Enjoy!


N16 7NY

Lunch last August

Grilled Halibut and Fat Chips

Grilled Med Sea Bass

Samphire and Green Leaf Salad


eatmynels said...

I am getting myself down there ASAP...

kerstin said...

This does look good.

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