This restaurant has been going for 25 years, though there was a fish and chip ship on this site before that (The Golden Galley) and apparently yet another prior to that, going back over 60 years in all. The dining room is carpeted, with tiny wooden tables and café chairs, and is quite brightly lit. Next door to the dining room is a takeaway counter with a separate entrance. You can order jellied eels and various other dishes if you so wish, but the fish is the main emphasis of the menu. There was a short wine list. Santa Rita Merlot 2010 was £18.50 for a wine that you can find in the high street for £6, Vincent Girardin Vieilles Vigne Meursault 2009 Cote De Beaune was £42.50 for a wine that retails at £18, and Pol Roger NV champagne was £49.95 compared to a high street price of around £30.
Haddock and chips (£13.55) were very good. The batter was crisp and golden in colour, the fish inside cooked through nicely (3/10). Chips, although cut by machine and double rather than triple cooked, were reasonably crisp (2/10). Dover sole (£25.95) was less good – although grilled well enough, it was surprisingly tasteless, and did not compare well to Dover sole I have eaten elsewhere; I assume this was just down to the quality of the individual piece of fish, as the cooking was fine (barely 1/10). Tartare sauce is made from scratch but probably should not be, as it lacked bite. We did order mushy peas but these did not turn up, and neither did a side salad, though they appeared on the bill readily enough.
The bill came to £29 a head with a beer (£3.75 for a bottle of Stella Artois) apiece to drink. Service was an amiable shambles, with the solitary waitress often absent from the dining room, and as noted two of our items never appeared, despite this being a very quiet time to eat, there being just a few diners. As on my previous visit, deviating from the fish and chips seems a poor strategy. However if you stick to this then you will be happy enough, as the fish and chips themselves were very good, especially by the (admittedly low) standards of London.
The last time I came here was as far back as November 2001, when I made these brief notes..
A combination of a take away fish and chip place and sit down restaurant. To be honest, if you stray far away from the fish and chips you are into mediocre ground, but why bother when you can have fish as good as this? Fresh, cooked to order, with excellent batter and good traditional chips. The tartare sauce is home-made, and the service is friendly. Leon and Tony Manzi have created a pretty much ideal fish and chip establishment serving probably the best fish and chips in London.