THE GOLDEN FISH BAR: TIP TOP IN FARRINGDON
We all collect things.
It may be buttons, bottle tops, train numbers or even (and I deny completely that its me) back issues of Razzle.
I collect over heard sayings of middle class angst.
To date my favourite came from my chum, food writer William Leigh who exclaimed in misery one day “I am in a really bad mood, I just had such a row with my butcher”
However, his place atop the list of well-to-do lamentations was knocked off its perch today as I sat in The Golden Fish Bar on Farringdon Road and listened as two Guardian employees tearfully considered the imminent move of the old girl to a new location in King’s Cross.
“ I can’t believe we are moving to King’s Cross, I’ll have to get a bus every time I want to go to Moro”
I wasn’t pondering on fish & chips and had originally thought I would try one of the many stalls on Exmouth Market. As I trudged along thinking to myself “there just aren’t enough burrito stands in London right now” I caught a whiff of the unmistakeable scent of vinegar and good frying from The Golden Fish Bar, nestled between the risible $$ and The Quality Chop House.
In our search for the best fish & chips in London I had neglected this old stalwart, so popped in to the small dining room already filled with an assorted mix of locals, workers and wailing Guardian-ites and squeezed myself into a table for one in the corner.
Fish & chips should be cooked to order, so is not the fast food one would expect. Here, at the Golden Fish Bar, you place your order and wait your turn, spending the time admiring the perfectly correct display of condiments including, I was delighted to see, bottles of ‘non brewed condiment” and tomato sauce loosened with the same to last longer.
When my plate of haddock, chips & peas arrived with the pre-requisite mug of tea, they were as good as you are going to get anywhere in London. The fish was perfectly protected in a bubbly, super crisp batter and the chips were hot, giving off fumes when doused with vinegar (sorry “non brewed condiment”) even the mushy peas, wobbling worryingly close to the edge of the plate, were perfect with enough lumps of green to give evidence to their original form.
An excellent example of the fryer’s craft and at a mere £6 for the lot, a bargain lunch to boot. All of which goes to place The Golden Fish Bar right up there with The Golden Hind and Masters Superfish in the pantheon of London chippies.
I don’t know about Moro, but if I was moving to King’s Cross it’s this place I would be missing, not Moro.