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Fish and chips in London, many kinds of fish.

I would like hear any recommentations about London close to knighbridge but also mayfair and leicester sq are ok.

What I m interested in, that I cant find on the net, is any fish n chips place, that uses turbot.

I have seen restaurants using sole, haddock, cod even halibut, but never turbot. Except maybe Heston Blumenthal.

Which fish do you think makes the best fish n chips?

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  1. Can't help you with any suggestions...only about the fish.

    Batter....Cod or Haddock

    Cracker Meal or Flour.....Flounder/Sole

    1. I don't think I have ever seen or heard of turbot available as an option in any fish & chips shop.

      F&C in London is a topic that gets discussed on this board often. If you go to the upper right-hand corner of this page and search for fish and chips, you will find a good number of past threads on this topic. Here is a recent one:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/915995

      1. I doubt whether you will ever see turbot in a fish & chips shop. It's price makes it uneconomic for a chippy.

        The choice of a chippy fish is very regional between cod and haddock. It's often said that cod is a southern preference, while we northerners eat haddock. Apart from the northern places that serve cod - which is what we do in my part of the north west. Both take a batter well, and fall into large flakes so are ideal for eating straight from the paper while you walk home. My advice, such as it is, is to identify whether you are in a cod or haddock area - and then order the other one. It'll pretty much guarantee that it'll be fried to order, rather than have spent minutes getting soggy in the steamer cabinet.

        Watch out for cost-cutting chippies which only have "fish" on their menu, rather than specifying which fish it is. Could be anything.

        By the by, for the first time in many years a London chippy has reached the finals of the national "Fish & Chip Shop of the Year" competition. It's Poppies in Spitalfields. The other two finalists are Quayside from Whitby and Page's of Cwmbran.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Thank you all very much, especially for the tip about choosing cod or haddock in different areas.

          I have only once tried fish n chips in my previous visit to London. What surprises me is that everyone is using machine cut fries instead of hand made, judging the photos of what I seen on web.

          I know turbot is very expensive, I remember seeing it in Les Halles of Lyon, fish market, at 70euros per kilo. But I couldnt help to ask after seeing Heston's turbot version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQaLjL...

          1. re: Giannis

            All a matter of labour costs, Giannis. Potatoes may be machine cut on the premises or, increasingly, bought in from the wholesaler as ready-cut chips.

        2. The Golden Hind in Marylebone has a decent selection; plaice, skate, halibut and the curiously named, rock salmon as well as the ubiquitous cod & haddock.

          7 Replies
          1. re: frogprince

            I suspect retailers find "rock salmon" to be a better name than the alternative of "huss".

            1. re: Harters

              Yes, it is strange how the name may put some people off. I hadn't realised it was part of the shark family and stocks have been approaching critical levels...good thing I haven't ordered it.

              1. re: frogprince

                Shark was a traditional F&C shop fish, but it was always called something to disguise it's origins, so rock salmon In the UK or flake in Australia. It was usually the cheap option.

                I think Heston has mid-sold you on the turbot. He may indeed have cooked it on TV but the shows are for effect and most of his recipes are pretty hyped up pushing things to the extreme.

                F&C is a simple food, and it was once cheap. Shops do now sell more exotic fish other than haddock and cod but the real deal is really only one of these two varieties.

                I think chips have been machine cut for many years. They may have been muscle powered but the they were still machines - like the big lever driven potato slicer that turns whole potatoes in to chips in one go. The challenge these days is to find one that uses real potatoes sliced in house rather than reconstituted or factory made and pre-packed.

                1. re: PhilD

                  A few years ago, I had monkfish fish and chips at a place in St. Ives. It wasn't very good and there was no fish taste, which shouldn't have been much of a surprise. I don't think I've ever seen that anywhere else.

            2. re: frogprince

              I had a solid meal at the Golden Hind last week. Nothing fancy here just simple old fashioned fare.

              www.gillianslists.com

              1. re: gmcguireinrome

                It's not bad, but don't you think nearly $20 is a bit much for a plate of haddock, chips and mushy peas? I know everything in London is way overpriced, but you can get the same order for $7 at the Railway Chippy in Whitby, and it's bigger and better too.

                1. re: peasepudding

                  £12 ($20) seems a lot to me.

                  My local "well respected" chippy can do that for £10.15 eat-in, or £7.65 takeaway. But you know how it goes - there's London, then there's the rest of the country.

            3. Geales (in Notting Hill and Chelsea Green) offers F&C with a choice of cod, haddock pollock and sole.

              http://www.geales.com/

              Note that Geales is a full seafood restaurant, not a F&C shop.

              7 Replies
              1. re: DavidT

                Geales has been around for as long as I remember and their fish and chips has always been excellent. I haven't been since they remodeled. Just a short distance from Notting Hill Gate tube.

                  1. re: DavidT

                    Just looked at the menus, and not piscine-related, but what is the dessert Chelsea Tidy? New one on me and I'm fairly conversant with many of the old trad dishes.

                    1. re: lemons

                      Chelsea Tidy = Eton Mess

                      Someone in the Royal Borough has a sense of humour!!!

                      1. re: brokentelephone

                        There are actually people in this world with that name. I Googled for the dish and came up with some ladies.

                        1. re: zuriga1

                          I wonder what they do for a living, June.

                  2. There are no good fish and chips shop in London. You have to go north...Yorkshire or Scotland.
                    Also Halibut is not a traditional fish, although it seems to be very popular in North America.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: peasepudding

                      That is a ridiculous comment, esp. judging by your other posts you live neither in London nor in the North.

                      Preparing fish and chips is not rocket science, and there are plenty of city folk capable of making it. No one complains about the freshness of fish being sold at J Sheeky or Sweetings and I'm pretty sure batter isn't too difficult so why shouldn't the best places be in London (as they are for basically every other cuisine in the UK)?

                      1. re: brokentelephone

                        Born in Bradford, lived in London for years. I think I'm allowed to have an opinion, as are you.
                        How many places in London use beef drippings? Also, absurdly overpriced in "the big smoke".

                        1. re: peasepudding

                          Grew up in Yorkshire and eaten F&C around the country. I would suggest its more accurate to say F&C is often best by the sea and it's not really a North/South thing. After all you can get some pretty good F&C down in the West Country - just off the M5 the Fish Shed in Topsham is pretty good.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            I must admit I've never been there. Rick Stein's is awful IMHO. Again, the drippings are key for me...maybe that's a Yorkshire thing. There are at least three great chippies in Whitby, although I personally wouldn't include The Quayside which just won the "chippy of the year" award.

                            1. re: peasepudding

                              Agree that Stein is not the best - if in Padstow try No6 Paul Ainsworth's restaurant - the best in town.

                          2. re: peasepudding

                            Absurdly overpriced is the truffle risotto at Cecconis, not a sub £7.50 fish and chips in central London.

                            Aside from Geales, prices aren't typically above £8-10 which is a bloody cheap meal by any standard. Perhaps they're 25% higher than a small seaside town, but who cares when a combo at Burger King will set you back almost the same amount.

                        2. re: peasepudding

                          That's about the worst generalization I've read in a long time. You have eaten in all the fish and chip shops in London?

                          1. re: peasepudding

                            I dont know much about fish n chips. I had a few times in London, I liked the fish in all of them. But would you agree with me about the chips? I couldnt find any place with good chips (handcut, not prefried etc). Even Heston's triple cooked fries were a disapointment.

                            1. re: peasepudding

                              At the risk of being not only a regionalist but also a generalisationer (eh? I hear you mutter) may I offer some actual evidence in support of peasepudding's provocative comment. Not that I agree with the comment as such - I dont live in London, nor do I generally eat F & C when I visit the capital. But here's the evidence - over the several years of the national "Fish & Chip Shop of the Year" award, a London chippy has only won it one. All of the others have been "elsewhere" in the country and, for somewhere with a comparitively small percentage of the population, Scotiish chippies seem to do very well. Even within the competition's regional finals, London chippies tend to not do well and the south east is usually represented by a chippy from elsewhere in the region.

                              By the by, I can think of one of the London "big hitters" where I 've had excellent F & C and another where it was simply awful. Equally, I can take you to similarly good & bad in the North West.

                              1. re: Harters

                                I seem to remember that a place in Guildford recently won an award as a great chippy, but it might have just been a SE award and not country-wide.

                                1. re: zuriga1

                                  I guess that must be Seafare which has won the SE/London regional final eight times between 1993 and 2012. With that rate of success, it'd have to worth a try if youre in the area.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    We always say we'll go try Seafare (your guess was right), but we never seem to get there. It's only about a 30 minute drive from here but on the far side of Guildford. I'll report back if we do try it. Mr. Zuriga doesn't eat fried things too often (not for health reasons), but I'll twist his arm.

                                2. re: Harters

                                  I've tasted excellent fish and chips at J. Sheekey -- my kid's order. I had Dover sole, which was lovely. But the fish and chips were divine (albeit pricey).

                              2. Plaice, by a landslide!

                                1. In the Ashvale Restaurants of the NE of Scotland you can buy "Rock Turbot" (Wolffish)....not quite the real thing, but darn nice! :)

                                  It's been a few years since I have seen real Turbot at a chippy. It's a pretty expensive fish to have in on low demand.