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Oct 24, 2008 10:12 AM

[London] Rock & Sole Plaice

Disappointing. Really disappointing.

And this isn’t just another rant that you can’t get good fish & chips in the south. It was poor waaaay beyond that.

A fine piece of cod ruined by overcooking. Not so much delicious firm flakes of white fish – but tasteless mushy shreds. Not even a good drenching in vinegar could rescue this one.

Chips were sort of OK and the best that could be said is that they weren’t greasy. For me, the perfect chip is cut the size of your index finger and then fried so that it has elements of crispiness but is still a bit floppy. These were cut far too large – more like potato wedges. And, even though they had been fried, they had the texture and tasted like a McCain’s Oven Potato Wedge.

And the cost – an eye-watering eleven quid. Yes, £11. Nearly twice the price of my local chippy and half the enjoyment. And, yes, that last bit is a north/south rant.


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  1. As an American visitor, and a lover of fish and chips, I must, sadly, second this opinion. We first went about 5 years ago--and loved the place (though even then prices were surprisingly high). But this time we were quite astonished at the deterioration. Not only was our cod and plaice greasy,, but it was dry and tasteless, and overwhelmed by the almost burnt batter. Possible explanation? when I went to the counter to pay, I noticed they had many already cooked fish just sitting under a heating lamp, waiting for the "crowds" of customers who might show up. A definite must-to-avoid.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BGRose

      And I would have to third that opinion: I went there a couple of years ago with some friends and we all unanimously thought it was... bad. We left scratching our heads wondering why it's so popular - everything was cooked in advance or overcooked or both.

    2. Thanks for the tip. I was planning on going to this place in a few weeks time. Might be worth mentioning that it's recommended in the London Lonely Planet book.

      Anyone got any good alternative for proper fish n' chips?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Toasted Special

        The Fish Club.

        Clapham North
        Lavendar Hill

      2. Olleys, just down the road from Herne Hill Station. Eat in or takeaway. Fish is usually fine and the chips are twice cooked and great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Green Drake

          Seconded. It's my local and jolly lucky we are. Get a takeout and sit across the road in Brockwell Park. The Sea Cow on Lordship Lane is good too, they do lots of different fish which is all laid out on ice so you can take a look and choose. And can go for the healthy grilling option if you want though why on earth anyone wouldn't want it deep fried to the hilt I don't know ;)

          Fryer's Delight on Theobalds Road in Holborn is old school good. Or the Golden Hind on Marylebone Lane.

          However sometimes you have to look outside London. The best place in the entire world is the Rose Street Fryer in Edinburgh. Call me partisan. Soooo miss my 'saltnsauce'! Close runner up is the one with the hour long queue on the main street in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Fish and chips all scalding and greasy in paper, sat on the pebbly beach, can of Irn Bru propped up by the stones, vinegary fingers...bliss.