This endless afternoon
It started on the day I met her
The latest in a long line of attempts to find a decent London chippy came about by accident. I had originally schlepped down to Chelsea convinced that the new Tom Aikens gaff would be open. Of course it wasn’t – the builders and er…decorators were in. All a bit embarrassing given the large amount of publicity his new joint has received and that only the other day TA himself was yakking on about…well let the man himself explain:
“Over at our new fish and chip restaurant, T*m’s Pl**ce, we try to increase awareness by handing out cards with information on the fishing industry and talking to the customers to see what they know about the fish they are eating or how it gets from the sea to them.”
So maybe I was wrong. The restaurant was open after all and the customers were eating off workbenches - a new spin on the idea of utilitarian chic in restaurant interior design. Either that or the guy’s a lying manipulative melonfarmer.
After an hour of flânerie I found myself walking past Fish Bone. A Fish and Chip shop/restaurant that DH had meant to try exactly a year ago when we visited Back to Basics. I’m just glad the younger Hermano’s choice held sway, Fish Bone was pretty ropey.
There’s actually not much of a restaurant area in Fish Bone – a couple of tables at the front where the takeaway is and a handful of two-tops in a narrow room at the back. The clientele were exclusively solo male diners whose reading matter du jour appeared to be Racing Post.
It’s run by Greeks so there are one or two dishes from that area but otherwise it’s your straightforward F&C. I started with some Calamari which came as greasy, chewy rings of squid. The sort you all know and love from those cod-US diners that we Brits seem to specialise in. The Fish and Chips followed soon after. Unfortunately, they were the second worst I’ve had in London - Sea Shell holds the wooden spoon (or should that be fork).
The batter was far too flimsy and greasy and hadn’t provided the necessary shell (or carapace if you will) to protect the delicate Haddock underneath, The result was a fish – possibly frozen - cooked to a catfood-like mush. It was one of those very rare occasions where I failed to finish everything on the plate. I did notice that there was an option to have fish cooked in Matzo meal and judging from another diner’s Cod and Chips this might have been a better bet.
Like eating an overcooked steak, having a duff plate of Fish and Chips is a totally dispiriting affair - ploughing your way through all that carbohydrate for little payback. Ok, in terms of life’s slings and arrows it doesn’t compare with say divorce, getting the sack or moving house but sometimes, just sometimes, it does feel right up there.