"It's not much but it's ours"

Sunday, July 23, 2006



This city never fails to astonish me. Whenever I think I have the hang of it after nearly 25 years living here, it comes up with something astounding. Whenever I think I know it inside out, someone says “ why don’t you meet me at X?” and I am introduced to a new part of town or a street I never knew existed.

Just like last night.

HP was having to do what he does to pay bills and I agreed to meet him for a drink after work before heading off to Waterloo to try Master’s Superfish, an old haunt of his and the original destination for our meal last week when we got sidetracked by the whiff of beef at The Anchor & Hope.

HP, suggested meeting at The Royal Oak on Tabard St. The where? On where? Yet another place I had never heard of. Anyway, Google map to the rescue showed Tabard St just South of Borough and The Royal Oak turned out to be a hugely agreeable old school pub which served Harvey’s beer from Sussex.

A couple of pints of mild there and HP said “let’s have another at The King’s Arms on Roupell St. The where? On where? God knows how often I have been through Waterloo and I had no clue that Roupell St even existed. A row of old worker’s cottages which probably now sell for a small fortune. It is one of the most attractive streets I can recall. The King’s Arms is its local. Unfortunately, it serves an atrocious pint. Really, really horrible and to be avoided at all costs. Ho Hum.

We sipped less than half and then left to head for supper.

Master’s Superfish is on Waterloo Rd. It is just down from The Cut and The Old Vic and I must have passed it about a 1000 times and never given it a second glance. HP, of course knew it well, but had not been there for over ten years.

It is obviously a great favourite of our cab driving friends as there must have been about 15 of them parked up outside and there appear to be one or two tables that seem reserved for their exclusive use. Probably the only time you will get a cabbie to go South of the river

The best Fish & Chips I have had in London in recent memory have been at The Golden Hind in Marylebone. I am going to stick my neck out and say that these, if not up there with the GH push it a very, very close second.

As soon as we sat down, a small plate with three fresh prawn were plopped in front of us as a freebie. That is just as it was the last time HP visited and so apparently is the décor.

We began with three starters, some stunning, fresh whitebait which was not over fried and left the meatiness of the small fish to speak for itself. A crab shell filled with the flaky white flesh and pasty brown flesh of a Cromer crab and some crunchy succulent calamari. All well worth a try but only a distraction while we waited for things to come.

We both ordered Haddock & chips and a side of mushy peas. Fantastic. Huge fillets in a crunchy batter with not a trace of oiliness, inside, moist flaky fish which let off a breath of steam ( as it should ) once the batter was pierced, and perfect double fried chips.

Best of all though, the pickles. The waitress brought over two big bowls, one containing gherkins and the other house pickled onions. What can I tell you? The onions are worth the visit just on their own. Easily the best I have ever tried and this is coming from a man whose Welsh granny’s pickled onions were talked about as far as Tonypandy. Truly, the pickled onion is a mark of a civilised society and there are none better than those at Master’s Superfish.

We could barely finish the vast amounts of food placed in front of us and were so stuffed we decided to walk North of the river and homeward. As we walked the skies darkened and rain decided to pour down. Fortunately, we were just by the OXO Tower and could shelter from the refreshing deluge while enjoying yet another view of St Paul’s in the changing light. Quite magical and a whole new view of a building I have seen a million times

Like I said, this city never runs out of ways to astonish. A beautiful view of St Paul’s and another great place for Fish & Chips. And, of course those pickles. Oh, those pickles.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Monday, January 07, 2008 9:56:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went there last night...

I live just up the road from the Sea Shell (Lisson Grove) and had a loathsome 'coley and chips' there last week. So I was hoping for something good to lay the evil ghost, and went to Masters as a fortifier before a friend's show at the Young Vic.

It was absolutely fantastic, and I can't wait to return.

Saturday, June 20, 2009 1:47:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps my expectations were too high, given all the praise. Yes, the fish was fresh but the unfriendly service, over-salted starter, and overcooked main were disappointing. I won't be rushing back.

I began with Whitebait - a large portion for a starter. It was very fresh and nicely cooked, but had been over-salted. Then followed skate and chips, with half a pickled cucumber and a pickled onion. The skate was badly overcooked and very dry, with Chobham-armour style batter. The chips were excellent as was the tartare sauce. Service at Saturday lunchtime was reasonably efficient, but a smile would have been welcome.

Saturday, August 01, 2009 7:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a difference a week makes! Last Saturday I had a very disappointing lunch of over-salted whitebait and over-cooked skate (see comments above) - this week I went for the cod-and-chips special and it was really excellent.

The batter was perfect, the fish very fresh and flaky, the chips were delicious and the homemade pickled cucumbers crunchy yet soft at the same time. The waitress had time to smile; what a difference that makes.

All in all, superb value with a soft drink for £7.00.

Saturday, August 08, 2009 6:41:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 2 said...

So pleased you had a better time

It remains my favourite chip shop in London


Saturday, August 08, 2009 6:44:00 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

An update I attended this Venue with my better half on Saturday and I have to say as something of a Fish and Chip fan, these were right up there with Chez Fred in Bournemouth, Whitebait was meaty, fresh and cooked to perfection, Cod Special was thick, flakey, Fresh as I have ever had it and poached beautifully underneath some seriously crispy but surprisingly light batter, the depth of the cod was amazing, a real thick piece and the chips were a standout crispy but fluffy inside. A bottle of Wine and some excellent mushy's and at under £35 I dont think you will get a better meal for the money in the capital, or at least one that wont fill you till bursting like Masters - Guys you are legends top find!!

Monday, May 17, 2010 12:18:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masters have finally found themselves a new fish fryer, and I have to say it is not as good as the trusty old barrel of oil they fried in previously. Still head and shoulders above all the other limp chip sellers in the area, though

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:40:00 am  

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