Monday, March 30, 2009

Fish & Chips: The Verdict....So Far

[Note: Spring term begins today and I am in scramble mode after a spring break entirely consumed by illness. The tally: two double ear infections, one viral chest infection, one pneumonia, two colds and counting... Anyway, this is just to say a quick post on F&C (which the pneumonia kid got as a treat) and more blogging tomorrow - I hope]

Well, my search for authentic British fish and chips is over: the perfectly titled "The Fish and Chip Shop" on N. Killingsworth in Portland is a marvel. Absolutely perfect fish and chips in every way and lots of other gastronomic wonders from the Old Country like scotch eggs and, my favorite, Irn Bru soda from Scotland!

Both the fish and chips were exceptionally well done and you have a fine choice of fish. My son and I had the Cod and the Halibut to compare and we both decided, surprisingly, that the Cod was better.

One caveat, this is true British style fish and chips, meaning the batter is thick so as to make the fish finger food. If you are looking for lighter batter necessitating the use of a fork and knife, the pub route might be a better choice (and if you want beer - The Fish and Chip Shop does not serve alcohol). My current front runner on the pub front is the New Old Lompoc's Oaks Bottom (and perhaps it is the same at all of their pubs). The Fish and Chip Shop is a very small place and seems reasonably busy so a call ahead for take-out is probably a good option. But this is truly it: the holy grail for fans of British fish and chips. I look forward to taking me mum there on her next visit.



Anonymous said...

I just went on Saturday! I agree with your glowing assessment, except to substitute Apple Tango for Irn Bru. I tried both the cod and halibut and was pleased with both. The chips were okay, not the best I've had, but I've found that different people can have wildly different preferences when it comes to fries. We got our fish and chips fairly quickly, contrary to some of the reviews on Yelp.

I wasn't as impressed with the scotch egg (a bit dry and not as good as other restos in town) or the fried beets. In fact, the beets arrived at our table painfully undercooked and garnished with a hair. The latter didn't bother me too much (I shudder to think how many unsuspecting diners ingested my follicular leavings during my decade of food service work), but the beets need to be parboiled a bit more before taking a luxurious oil bath.

We didn't try any of the desserts, but I'm looking forward to hitting the F&CS for a deep-fried Mars bar sometime in the near future.

Also, they make a big deal of stating that their food is fried in "animal fat". I assume they mean beef tallow, so fishetarians might be displeased with that, although there are probably plenty of other restos in town using animal fat and not making as big a deal out of it.

Patrick Emerson said...

I should make clear that I did not try any of the other food - just the F&C.

Mick said...

Thanks for coming to the fish and chip shop! Here's a quick update.
I'm expanding the dining area(within the next 30 days)so seating room should double. Also I applied for a beer and wine license. People like beer with their F&C yes? Soon hopefully.
The cod is fresh year round, I buy true cod over ling, the halibut season started last week so I have fresh and previously frozen right now.(not sure what you guys tried) The market price for fresh is up a little right now. I'm told due to the volcano and the weather in alaska. But it should drop back down soon.
Sorry about the beets Alexis, my son got a quick reminder lesson in cooking beets and has since shaved his beard off. Hopefully that won't happen again.
Also fyi the portion sizes went up, we stopped using lettuce for garnish and switched to green checkered paper. Our menu also has fish and chip combos now, as well as our ala carte menu which seemed to just create confusion. I'm sure as we grow there will be more changes to improve service and quality. Thanks for all the great comments on the F&C. Much appreciated! See ya at the chippy!

Anonymous said...

No worries, Mick. I'm looking forward to visiting again!