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Brit and Chips

u
unlaced Sep 17, 2010 09:51 AM

This new restaurant has been mentioned a couple of times in the fish and chips thread but a couple of friends and I went to Brit and Chips last night and tried a variety of dishes, so I thought I would give a full review.

We ordered –
Salmon – in a Guinness batter. This was the star in my opinion – the batter also had what seemed like fresh herbs in it and was delicious. I have never had salmon as fish and chips before but it worked really well! The fish was not overcooked (however it was cooked through) The fish was well fried, well drained – there was some grease on the plate but it didn’t sit heavy on the stomach at all.
Hake – in an orange crush batter. Nicely sweet, again the fish was nice, fresh, moist.
The chips served with the fish were excellent (not at all the usual style of Quebecois chips, these were pale, but still crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle. Quite small pieces though, maybe handcut and chopped?). English malt vinegar was on each table, tomato sauce and mayo was up at the counter. The fish and chips were served as two square-ish piece of fish, chips, tartare sauce (delicious, though a little mustard-y?) and lemon
Sausage roll – yum!! Quite different from the sausage roll at Tourtiere Australienne, the meat filling is more fatty and meaty (no carrot like the TA one) and the pastry is probably not at good but this is much more reminiscent of an ordinary bakery sausage roll. Served with “hot” English mustard
Mushy peas – a medium sized cup for $1, I thought this was good value.
Green salad – small, pretty standard serve of lettuce really, but a nice dressing.
Cod balls – very fluffy, light deep fried balls of cod and mashed potato. Delicious and oh so light! Served with a curry mayo, which my friend liked but I thought could have used about 2x the amount of curry!
Beer – just the Burgandy Lion ale on tap. They also had cans of Guinness, Two Oceans red and white wine, and some UK softdrinks (Irn Bru, a can of shandy)
And for dessert, their “deep fried whatever” which last night was a deep fried Snickers. Good, however the nougat doesn’t work so well in a deep fryer, so I would prefer a squishier chocolate bar!
All together this was $55 before tip.
It is a relatively narrow space, with an open “kitchen” on one side (basically a big row of deep fryers!) and bar stools along the wall. Towards the back there are maybe six tables of two, one table of four. It was super busy last night which made it quite crowded and noisy but it was a fun atmosphere. Service, by a single waitress it seemed, was very good despite the crowd.

I have been on the search for great fish and chips and I think this might be it! It was definitely much better than the fish and chips I have had previously at the Burgandy Lion and whilst I would love it if they had barramundi or snapper on the menu, I thought the fish selection and batters were well chosen. I will be back!

433 Rue McGill

Open 11am -11pm
Monday - Saturday
http://www.britandchips.com/
(the website is up and running now)

  1. f
    foodlovergeneral Feb 1, 2012 02:54 PM

    I was not as impressed. The fish was dry and tasted pre-frozen. In fact, when I asked them, I believe they said all their fish is frozen. That's disapointing to me-a fish restaurant with all frozen fish. The batter could have used some more flavoring-that would be my preference. I hate to say this, but the fish and chips and Gordon Ramsay's place on Laurier was much better.

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodlovergeneral
      t
      The Chemist Feb 2, 2012 08:58 AM

      Despite being on an island, we are pretty inland. In many cases, fish which has been flash frozen on the boat and maintained at a decent temperature is far superior to supposed 'fresh' fish. Can't really hold this against them. If the fish is dry, this is probably due to preparation.

      1. re: The Chemist
        f
        foodlovergeneral Feb 2, 2012 09:03 AM

        Thanks, I will study that issue of what you said. Do you have any source material on that? Thanks.

    2. estilker Jan 24, 2012 12:29 PM

      I finally got to try Brit & Chips. We set out to go try Le Gros Jambon but they were closed on a Friday night!

      I had heard good things about Brit & Chips, I've been to the UK a couple of times and sampled the real deal (at the coast), had too much of it it Newfoundland and been to Comptoir 21 a couple of times as well. Also, I am Belgian, so I know a thing or 2 about deep frying.

      Well, what a dissappointment. Chips were soggy and greasy. Big pieces of fish (haddock in my case, the best fish for Fi'n Chi IMHO) that was pretty dry (frozen I think) in a tasteless batter (the maple syrup one, where is the salt?). Mushy peas were bland. Pickled onion was nice. Curry fishcakes too big and bland too because of ratio potatoe/fish. And the tandoori shrimp had a slight curry taste but very greasy as well. Pickled onion was good. Paid $75 for 2 pints, glass of white and all the above food (tax + tip included). For a greasy spoon that was way too much. Portions are huge though. Sure I expect greasiness, but not this much.

      A couple of observation in the kitchen: shrimps are cooked and then thrown in batter and deep fried. Chips were pre-cut and came out of a big plastic bag.

      8 Replies
      1. re: estilker
        m
        maj54us Jan 24, 2012 06:22 PM

        Is it because the oil wasn't hot enough that it was greesy? Did you go when they were busy? I'm yet to try them maybe if in the area for lunch. A friend told me that no matter the batter you try it all taste the same. Can you confirm that? So the flavors of maple syrup were just gone?

        1. re: maj54us
          p
          pyropaul99 Jan 24, 2012 06:38 PM

          The one and only time I went the chips didn't smell good due to the oil. I wouldn't say it was rancid, but it wasn't good and definitely not up to par for a proper "British" chippy using beef fat. The chips were all on the short side too, if I recall correctly. The batter on the fish was OK, but suffered from the oil. The mushy peas weren't proper mushy peas - though I haven't seen any in Montreal since Marks and Spencer closed down. The Burgundy Lion's mushy peas are similarly incorrect (just mushed up regular peas, rather than proper marrowfat peas).

          Paul.

          1. re: maj54us
            estilker Jan 25, 2012 06:57 AM

            Yes, I would say that the oil is not hot enough for the chips. I don't know if they do the chips in the same oil as the fish. Probably not because the oil for the fish needs changing more regularly.

            And no beef tallow, that's for sure (a lot of places don't do this anymore, even in Belgium). It's more expensive, considered less healthy (although I've read that any vegetable oil oxidizes rapidly after the first time it's heated as opposed to tallow, it needs to be changed more often, etc.

            It was a Friday night, around 7:30pm. (BTW I learned that Le Gros Jambon was not closed after, they only open at 7:30pm and we arrived there at 7pm - but no sign to state that they were opening later).

            1. re: estilker
              SnackHappy Jan 25, 2012 07:38 AM

              Le Gros Jambon's hours are 7h30 to 15h30. They don't open for dinner.

              1. re: SnackHappy
                estilker Jan 25, 2012 10:51 AM

                According to their fb page:


                NEW BUSINESS HOURS!
                Lundi - fermé
                Mardi - 07h30 - 15h30
                Mercredi - 07h30 - 15h30
                Jeudi - 07h30 - 15h30
                Vendredi - 07h30 - 24h00
                Samedi - 10h00 - 24h00
                Dimanche - 10h00 - 16h

                So now they should be open for dinner on the weekend. (But they weren't last week).

          2. re: estilker
            m
            mangoannie Jan 25, 2012 09:14 PM

            fish was fine when I went and greasiness varied on each visit, but the batter is too thick for my taste, I do think they should try to offer some version with less batter. I dont think I will go back, just too heavy a meal.

            1. re: estilker
              c
              chilipepper Jan 29, 2012 07:01 AM

              How is Comptoir 21 in comparison?

              1. re: chilipepper
                m
                mintyfresh Jan 29, 2012 08:53 AM

                Brit & Chips has a variety of fish + batter options while Comptoir just has one, so if you're looking for choice and novelty (i.e. guinness or orange crush batter, different fish options), Brit & Chips wins, hands down.

                That said, Comptoir has a variety of menu items (clam chowder, fish sandwich, veggie burger, etc.) and an interesting collection of dipping sauces beyond regular tartar sauce. Their batter is much thinner than Brit & Chips, and overall I find dinner at the Comptoir much less heavy. Depending on your taste this could be a good or not so good thing.

                Personally I prefer the Comptoir for the food and relaxed neighbourhood diner vibe. Food is consistent, staff is friendly and they're open late, which never hurts either.

                Hope this helps!

            2. m
              maj54us Nov 17, 2011 09:53 PM

              they are now mapped!
              Brit & Chips - 433 McGill St Montreal, QC

              -----
              Brit & Chips
              433 McGill St, Montreal, QC H2Y 2G5, CA

              1. l
                looosia Jul 31, 2011 10:05 AM

                When we went last month we had the cod and the halloumi (veggie fish & chips). Fries were really great, love it when fries are well made, thick and with skin on. Both the cod and halloumi had a lot of batter, which might be to some people's liking, but we would've liked it with a bit less batter. Surprised by the halloumi, it's a good cheese to deep fry as fish. I would make a repeat appearance but honestly the food was soooo heavy, I wouldn't go back for at least a while. It was good, though.

                1. t
                  The Chemist Jul 31, 2011 09:08 AM

                  Best fish and chips that I have ever had. The mushy peas weren't that great. Service was uneven, maybe they need a third server with the terrace is in operation? Anywho, great place to go, especially for the money (~$10 per person before tax and beer - which I think is DEMANDED by fish and chips). Speaking of beer, the Burgundy Lion Ale was almost certainly a lager, oh well.

                  1. m
                    Maximilien Mar 10, 2011 04:14 PM

                    Stop by B&C's tonight.

                    Very good Cod and Chips and a Fuller's ...

                    I'm no expert in battered fish, but it was good, crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked inside; and the fries/chips were good.

                    M.

                    1. SourberryLily Nov 15, 2010 09:08 AM

                      Looking into a quick restaurant in that area for tonight. I have just a little over an hour to dine, is this the sort of place you can go in-and-out quickly?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: SourberryLily
                        kpzoo Nov 15, 2010 09:12 AM

                        > is this the sort of place you can go in-and-out quickly?

                        Yes, absolutely. I don't think it'll be a problem.

                        1. re: kpzoo
                          s
                          sweettoothMTL Nov 15, 2010 11:16 AM

                          Well, assuming you can get seated pretty quickly. The turnover is quick, but still, the space is very small, I know at lunch, I always try to get there before the noon rush, or after 1pm. I would guess it would be less packed at night.

                          1. re: sweettoothMTL
                            m
                            mak2k Nov 15, 2010 12:13 PM

                            i work close by and walk by every evening on the way to the metro. It is significantly less occupied in the evening. there shouldn't be a reason for a line up.

                      2. w
                        westaust Oct 23, 2010 03:03 PM

                        Went to try Brit and Chip today, i wasnt that hungry so I went for the Tandori Popcorn Shrimp and a sausage roll.

                        The shrimp,light batter, perfectly fried, not oily at all, the tandori tase, subtle but they are definitly not your usual popcorn shrimp

                        Sausage roll is a fairly big roll, the pastry was flaky, filling really good and served with spicy mustard.

                        Service wise no problem, as soon as I got in, they asked me whether it was to go or to eat in, took a seat at one of the bars, and she came almost right away to take my order. Soon after, i received my drink and my order came right after.

                        I went aroung 4pm and surprisingly, the place was almost half full of people eating there.

                        I will definitly go back to try their fish and chips as what i got this time gave me a good first impression.

                        1. f
                          foodie_mtl Sep 19, 2010 08:23 AM

                          My fiancée and I were in the old port yesterday and didn't really have the intention to eat out. We were hungry and I thought why not try this place out. As others have mentioned it's a small long restaurant. Menu written on a blackboard.

                          We ordered the popcorn shrimp, the guiness battered salmon and the orange crush hake.

                          The shrimps were a nice way to start. The curry dipping sauce was excellent. It's a nice small portion great for sharing.

                          The salmon dish was out if this world. The batter had some herbs in it which really brought out the salmon flavor. Perfectly fried. Perfectly crunchy and the fish was moist.

                          The orange crush hake was ok. I don't think I would order it again but it was interesting to try something new.

                          The chips were great as well. Short stubby chips which reminded me of when I lived in the UK. The sarsons malt vinegar was a nice touch.

                          Highly recommended. We will certainly go back. They offer take out but it's best to enjoy on the spot.

                          We ordered

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: foodie_mtl
                            w
                            wilmagrace Sep 25, 2010 01:31 PM

                            I tried it today when i was down in old montreal, easily visible with green facade, and not far up from the locks/eclusiers on mcgill. The cooks wear bowties and everyone appeared pleasant. You can sit in back where there are tables or at front where there are two rows of counters Had the salmon and fries, liked the fact you can pay less and have fish alone or add in a salad if you prefer no fries. Everything was good but I cannot return as too heavy for my tastes at this point, would have been better to order salad instead of fries or share the chips with another. Their batter was less thick than what we used to have years ago and this was a plus, would fall off fish if you wanted to eat only part of it. Nice to see an assortment of fish on menu. There is a strong smell of cooking oil which could turn some people off. Several people lined up for takeout. Interesting addition to restaurant scene and easy to get to.

                            1. re: wilmagrace
                              p
                              Plateaumaman Oct 2, 2010 06:53 AM

                              I went with a few English friends this week and it was not a success. Maybe we caught an off night? Service was non-existent, oil smell ever-presesnt and the fish was uniformly fried to a dark brown crisp, so I couldn't tell one batter from another. That said, there was some excitement over the presence of scotch eggs and mushy peas on the menu, the scotch eggs being better than the peas. The pickle was enormous, and the friend who stuck with her order of just a green salad (!) actually had a rather nice one. Also, the cod fritters were lovely and fluffy. Perhaps it would be more fun to stop here for a few appetizers and then dash out someplace else for mains.

                              1. re: Plateaumaman
                                b
                                BLM Oct 2, 2010 10:46 PM

                                Just curious. With your comments, that service was non-existent, & the fish was uniformly fried to a dark brown crisp. Did you go when it was super-busy(like at lunch hour).

                                1. re: BLM
                                  p
                                  Plateaumaman Oct 3, 2010 02:41 PM

                                  No, it was a Tuesday night. We managed to sit at the only table for four as some people were just leaving but our table was never cleaned and we had to beg for cutlery. Also got the wrong order for our appetizers (shrimp instead of the cod we ordered). It might have been a bit busy for them but I noticed all the fish on other tables was fried to a dark brown too.

                                  1. re: Plateaumaman
                                    w
                                    wilmagrace Oct 4, 2010 03:27 PM

                                    my salmon had the dark brown coating but i knocked most of it off and the salmon was moist, I wish i had tried the appetizers instead though as salmon i can get anywhere

                                2. re: Plateaumaman
                                  s
                                  Shattered Oct 6, 2010 12:09 AM

                                  That just sounds wrong. I've worked the deep fryer in a fish restaurant, and overcooked stuff can turn a dark beige (I mean if you really leave it in there) but brown! Like brown brown? Chocolate or rust brown? I can't imagine such a thing.

                                  That fish would be inedible (was it?), or they're putting something really weird in the batter - quite possible in light of wilmagrace's comment. Or *shudder* they never even filter the oil, nevermind start fresh every day or two.

                                  Sounds just weird and wrong, whatever the cause.

                                  1. re: Shattered
                                    p
                                    Plateaumaman Oct 6, 2010 08:26 AM

                                    My batter had Guinness in it but the cod order with a normal batter was also dark brown. And yes, the fish was overcooked. I had my camera with me in case it was a lovely presentation but was turned off and didn't take any pix after all. Other tables also had brown fish.

                                    1. re: Plateaumaman
                                      u
                                      unlaced Oct 6, 2010 08:34 AM

                                      hmmm this does not sound good! I haven't been yet since my first visit (that prompted this thread) but these reports aren't making me want to go back.....

                                      1. re: unlaced
                                        w
                                        wilmagrace Oct 16, 2010 12:03 PM

                                        just goes to show for an accurate picture sometimes better the second time around, i went back today as not much available foodwise in that area and although planned to have appetizer and salad succombed to the fish and since fries only 1.50 extra had the whole combo. I asked if there was lighter batter & waitress said no basically same batter with different flavours added. The fish of the day was sole with lemoncaper batter and yes it came out dark brown, a little less than last time but everything was delicious: two very thick and moist pieces of fish and the batter was thinner than last time so i ate it all instead of scraping some off, the fries were not oily and there was no deepfrying smell this time in the restaurant. Waitress asked if i had questions re menu and when i finished I was asked my impressions. I planned to leave quickly and was brought bill immediately when they saw that. Glad to see tables occupied in early afternoon. Hope they will add a healthier choice of cooked fish for those wanting a lighter option on return visits. I like the prices, originality, location and efficiency of this resto and the sole was melt in your mouth perfection!.
                                        .....there was a postive review in yesterdays la presse which probably contributed to my return visit
                                        http://www.cyberpresse.ca/vivre/cuisi...

                            2. b
                              berbatov Sep 18, 2010 11:05 PM

                              Took a look at the website and was hungry just reading the menu. Place looks good too, I look forward to trying it. Although, judging by the pics, its undoubtedly just a matter of time before the language police show up and force them to plaster up a huge "Poisson et Frites" sign!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: berbatov
                                l
                                lagatta Sep 19, 2010 06:59 PM

                                berbatov, "fish and chips" is the name of a dish of a specific origin, like various "crêpes" in English.

                                1. re: lagatta
                                  b
                                  berbatov Sep 20, 2010 04:37 PM

                                  I only meant it tongue in cheek.

                              2. kpzoo Sep 18, 2010 12:44 PM

                                Went last night, and our group included two Brits who love living in Montreal except for the lack of good fish & chips. Well, not any more. They - and the two Canucks - were delighted at our meal here.

                                We had the salmon, cod, and maple-syrup-battered haddock ($11 each with chips). All were delicious, including the tartar sauce. Crisp and flavourful batter, all perfectly cooked, two generous chunks of fish per serving.

                                As for the chips, on seeing them, the Brits let out a blissful, "Look at that, they're real chips and not french fries!" Apparently not as plentiful a portion as you'd get in a real British chippy across the pond, but enough that I couldn't even finish them. The Brits were also pleased with the brand of malt vinegar (Sarson's), saying it was a high-quality one.

                                One Brit wasn't thrilled with the mushy peas ($1) , which she called just a pea purée, saying they were nothing like what mushy peas are supposed to be. The other Brit found them yummy, even if inauthentic. The pickle ($1) was crisp and tasty. A large curry fishcake ($5) was yummy, made with what looked like a mixture of different fish scraps.

                                Two "deep-fried whatevers" (Snickers, yesterday) were shared by 3 of the group, with me opting out because I was so full I couldn't face even one bite of anything else deep fried, but everyone else enjoyed it, even if it wasn't the most appetizing thing to look at.

                                As their website shows - http://www.britandchips.com/site/reta... - they also sell some UK-imported groceries and snack foods, everything from prawn cocktail crisps to Colman's mustard.

                                The place is small and bowling-alleyish, making it a bit cramped, but cozy. The waitress gladly put two tables together to create seating for four, but a larger group might have trouble sitting at a table together. There are also two long banquettes with stools across from the open galley kitchen near the front door, where it would be easy to grab a quick weekday lunch.

                                They were quite busy last night, but the service managed to be efficient and friendly.

                                We will be back!

                                1. e
                                  english muffin Sep 18, 2010 12:04 PM

                                  Thanks for this post, as a Brit expat I'm always on the look out for good fish and chips, and hadn't heard of this place yet. I'll report back!

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