Friday, 6 March 2009

The Golden Union (aka The Chippy)


Rebranding time-
Hello The Golden Union
Good riddance The Chippy

Daughter was hankering after some Brit junk food.
She came back from holidays out in The Far East

That sausage was disgustingly delicious.
The chicken and mushroom pie was bloody good.

Scampi and Chips.
Reassuringly edible.

Lunch with daughter

The Chippy's homemade chicken and mushroom pie was proclaimed a success by my daughter

Jonathan Meades the wonderful writer and broadcaster once described dodgy sausages as ‘slurry filled condoms’! Once in a while I have craving for trash food like the above jumbo sausage; it was indeed pretty satisfying.

My Rock Salmon (dogfish or huss or minature shark)

I think it's best that I stop eating this endangered fish. Despite the guilt, it was beautifully cooked, the fish tasted like a cross between monkfish and skate.


Came here this evening with some chums. The Chippy is now my favourite restaurant of the ilk in Central London. I come here for a decently cooked fish and the service is ace. The girls who work here actually smile even though the meal here is cheap. Good food, good service and good prices to be found off the nightmare that's Oxford Street can only be nothing but a triumph.

Scampi and Chips

Read elsewhere the large haddock I had above was small; I found it massive and to be anything more than that it would be tantamount to wasteful gluttony.
Read elsewhere the batter was poor compared to what you get up North- this is London; Southerners are less receptive to cooking fats like dripping! The beautiful golden batter was spot-on IMO.
Read elsewhere the fish was indifferently cooked; peeps, I've been here more than ten times as opposed to 'once' and I've never been let down. The haddock was perfect, flakey, fresh, sweet tasting and melt in the mouth.
I rest my case.

Came back this evening with the Mørchs from Copenhagen. I was shocked to learn that Hans Henrik has never had fish and chips ever. All the years that he has been staying with me in Finchley and I've never taken him to the Two Brothers! But here we are at The Chippy, he loved his Haddock and his better half, Benedikte, enjoyed the bog standard usual of Cod. Benedikte was uttering something about ‘I can cook this at home’- look love I’m sure you can, but it ain’t going to taste the same; you see Blighty (and nowhere else for that matter!) is blessed with a unique micro climate that’s perfect for frying fish in batter. My tosh was duly acknowledged and my plaice tasted a tad watery (quite normal I believe for this kind of fish).

Lemon squeezy. The Mørchs didn’t buy the idea of splashing the chips with vinegar!

The second visit was well worth it. I can always secure a seat here unlike the Golden Hind. Had a quick chat with Helen the deputy at this place regarding the portions that are served here. She mentioned that it was ever so difficult to please all the customers, some complain they’re too small and others too big. My own view is they’re on the large side of normal (besides I can never finish the chips!) and I’m happy with that. Keep up the good work Helen.


A real deal that cannot be battered
(look it could tackier like there's no plaice...)

I walk past this place every time I head to the Milk Bar or Chinatown. The name is tacky and its proximity (way too close!) to Oxford Street can only suggest one thing- tourist trap! OK I’ll admit that I came here for supper this evening only because Auntie Fay endorsed it.

Now the thing with most chippies is the smell of the fryers that hits you as soon as you walk in, not so here, surprisingly the whole place was very well ventilated.

This is a fish bar and it looks like one; tiles, vinyl floor, Formica tables, two-a-penny chairs

and the omnipresent condiments of acetic acid and ketchup.

When I made the appearance tonight a wonderfully effervescent young lady (equally stunning IMO) by the name of Helen ran the place. Helen is one of those rare breeds in the restaurant scene these days; a Londoner, born and bred. The Chippy is wholly independent and at least for the time being, there are no aspirations of taking on a Harry Ramsden's prosopopoeia. In fact Helen mentioned that the owner of The Chippy also owns the respected pub in Bloomsbury known as The Perseverance.

The menu is verily traditional. Chip Buttie! Beanz Meanz Heinz! Gravy (bloodfire, I last saw this offered decades ago when I was at school in Lancing)! In fact the only thing that’s missing is perhaps chicken (leg or breast?).

I wanted to be gluttonous with an additional order of the wonderful mechanicallyrecoveredmeat saveloy to my fish dinner until I saw the size of the portions of the other diners were tucking into. I ordered ethically this evening; sustainable pollock. I don’t usually care much for pollock, I find the fish bland and watery tasting.

The fish tasted wonderful for it was fresh and perfectly cooked. The batter was lovingly crispy and devoid of any excessive greasiness.

The terrific chips I thought were actually better than the ones at The Fishery in Stoke Newington. It might sound trivial but the homemade tartare sauce deserves some kind of commendation as well.

The best drink to accompany fish and chips is a cup of tea!

I’m now going through a fish and chips phase, tonight’s dinner was beyond expectations. So based on this first visit alone, The Chippy is certainly on par with the Golden Hind in Marylebone. Great fish, great prices (for central London) and great service, thank you Helen. Highly recommended.

38 Poland Street

London W1F 7LY


Hollow Legs said...

The Perseverance also has a sister pub, The Endurance on Berwick Street. I've always been put off by the prices in this place (I work 5 mins away) but instead I go to my tried and tested on berwick street.

bellaphon said...

Yo Lizzie! The tried and tested on Berwick Street being?

Hollow Legs said...

I haven't a clue what it's called... It's next door to Nicholas opposite the Endurance. It's a proper old school caff but I've never eaten in. Tellingly there are usually queues, especially Friday lunchtime.

Anonymous said...

Fish, chips and a cup of tea - that's exactly what I feel like today. Is it wrong to want that only an hour after a fry-up? And is this why you've started putting 'Fat' in front of your name?! ;)

bellaphon said...

Abi-Nowt wrong urges like that. Fat is the new me, warts and all!

Anonymous said...

Fish & Chips is the place on Berwick Street though personally I'm with bellaphon on this and love The Chippy. The manager is equally lovely and competant. Furthermore there's none of the grump from the take away at Golden Hind or the prices of the restaurant.

I still have to try Geals to know the true value of overpriced fish and chips.

bellaphon said...

Hey Becky- thanks for stopping by. I too would love to try Geales (I only reside yards away and I've never set foot in it) and see if it's really that poor.

Anonymous said...

Golden Union as it is known now is a favourite with all Advertising,Post, Production and Music companies i know in Soho.
And a personal favourite Fish and Chip Friday of mine.
Once i was in there and Pacey from Dawsons creek was in the Q behind me i have also spotted Kelly Osbourne in there and i hear it is a firm favourite of Miss Whoopy Goldberg herself.
Guarenteed quality everytime.

bellaphon said...

Anon- Thanks, glad to see that you and as well the celebs concur with my views on this place.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world did they change their name to Golden Union? The Chippy was at least hip and modern with a throw back to retro, the name and look of the Golden Union sign is just awful 'improvement'.