Fish and Chips, Dublin and London
The way in which the fish is cooked in 'chippers' as we call them over here has been bugging me for a while now. In Dublin, the fish is cooked in a very thick stodgy batter in the morning and only reheated in the fryer later that evening. The fish ends up being woefully over-cooked and wrapped in a fleece-like blanket of stodge.
Why can't they just fry to order in a thin batter? Also, the chips generally used here are English Maris Pipers, it changes around summertime cos they have to use new Cyprus for a bit.
Is this the same with the fish and spuds across the water? As one of the brothers lives in London have been over many times but never sampled the chip shops.
The Kingfisher Restaurant on Parnell St in Dublin actually fries to order Plaice, Cod, Ray, Haddock, Sole or Sea Bass in a great crispy batter. Its a bit of a greasy spoon (u can sit down during the day) and I wouldn't recommend anything else on the menu but the fish and chips is the best in Ireland.
I agree with Harters though on another post that they only taste really special on the slow walk home from the pub!
For something that a lot of foreigners seem to regard as our national dish, I think we English generally do it badly. It's rare to find a good chippy and it's particularly rare to find one that fries to order. Most will batch fry and keep them hot on the "warming shelf". This is OK if they havnt been hanging round for too long and still retain the crispy batter.
So, amongst the many generally indifferent chippy meals, I can think of two really, really bad ones. First was the Rock & Sole Place in London (about which I posted). The other was a chippy on the main road between Dublin & Cork. Can't recall the name of the village but we just stopped for a quick lunch. Fish, already battered, came straight out of the freezer and into the fryer. Both horrible experiences.
Dunno about the potato variety although I presume we'll be pretty much similar to you with Maris Piper being the best chipper.