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

Thursday, April 15, 2010


It was inevitable really: after visiting the capital’s premier fish & chip emporia (admittedly, a pretty short, shortlist and up there with “Jamie Oliver restaurants DH would love to visit”) there would come a time when that proverbial barrel would have its bottom well and truly scraped.

These were the thoughts that passed through my mind as I sat in the rather grim, lino-lined dining room of Brady’s, a Fish restaurant in Wandsworth.

Despite being very rude indeed about South London I have a little confession to make. Up until the new millennium I spent many years in areas of London with a SW in the postcode, specifically 15 and 18. And, there’s more. My parents were married in Wandsworth Town Hall. I worked just down the road in Putney. I won and lost love on West Hill. I also drank in Wandsworth, once home to Young's Brewery and a splendid set of Dray Horses, which would deliver barrels of Ordinary and Special to the local pubs. So it was with a small frisson of recognition that I alighted at Wandsworth Town station and returned to my old haunts to see what was what.

First, a decent pint of Ordinary at The Ship, a warm, welcoming pub near the river, spoiled only by the presence of a man wearing a pink shirt and jeans a couple of sizes two small for him, talking VERY VERY LOUDLY indeed. I suspect the species is prevalent in these parts. Onto another old haunt The Alma, packed-out with rugger-buggers where I tried a pint of the new (to me) Young’s London Gold, a pleasantly hoppy brew. Not particularly complex but obviously pitched at getting pissy lager drinkers off er, pissy lager. No bad thing.

Brady’s, next door, was opened when I lived just up the road and to be honest the intervening twenty or so years haven't been kind to its decor or, more importantly its cooking. Its depressing vibe was catching - all the customers, a mixture of foreign students and elderly regulars stared miserably into middle distance at nothing at particular. I did likewise. It may have been the rain. More likely it was the food.

A plate of Haddock and Chips appeared suspiciously quickly. To say it was the worst Fish and Chips in London I've ever had would be wrong...but only because I've yet to visit every Fish and Chip shop in the capital. The batter was simultaneously limp and tough, the fish within was desiccated and didn't really taste of anything. If I knew any better I'd say it had been pre-cooked and re-heated. I don't, so I won't.

Chips weren't bad but just so many lumps of carbohydrate without a decent piece fish to accompany them. Mushy Peas tasted as if a bowl of sugar had been emptied into them. Truly vile. I eased the pain with drinking from a bucket-sized glass of house white.

I left Brady's about twenty minutes after I entered. My stay might have been a bit longer if I hadn't left so much of my meal, but not by much. The rain was falling more heavily now and I remembered why I never really liked this area. Sometimes you just shouldn't go back.

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Anonymous Harters said...

I'm assuming your final photo is of the mushy peas - although they look the least mushy-pea-like mushy peas I can recall. Looking like that, they were bound to be vile.

Friday, April 16, 2010 2:25:00 pm  
Blogger Simon said...

I was told by the Barmaid of the Trinity Arms in Brixton that "London Gold" is actually "the beer formally known as Kew Brew". A pretty tasty drop - will go down very well this summer.

Friday, April 16, 2010 2:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that in my humble opinion, the south generally fails at fish and chips. Even the good places like Olleys in Here Hill, ruin it with an astonishingly high plice tag. Fish and Chips should not come to £10. and it shouldn't be that difficult to get right. Like steak I guess, its the simple things that can outfox most people...

Monday, April 19, 2010 5:26:00 am  
Anonymous Kerri said...

Stephen and I ate here at the end of last year and were so disappointed. I'd read a couple of really good reviews of the place but the fish and chips was some of the worst I've eaten - the batter reminded me of Yorkshire pudding. Hideous.

The other thing that annoys me is that you can't buy a bag of chips to take away. All wrong.

Monday, April 19, 2010 11:39:00 am  
Anonymous gary marshall said...

oooh, talking of pissy lager drinkers....

my local up north (st vincents, sutton on derwent)had a barrel of kew gold - as it is known out of london, we got stuck into it and recommended it to others, result being a 72 pint keg started at 6pm on tuesday didn't see last orders on wednesday.

i'd love to find a stockist of it in the city!

Monday, April 19, 2010 5:10:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

Master Gunner by Finsbury Square, and Lamb Tavern in Leadenhall market spring to mind. If we have anything like a decent Summer should be plenty of it about. It'll cost a bit more than up North though.


Monday, April 19, 2010 8:15:00 pm  
Anonymous gary marshall said...

yes, i have noticed this!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 11:57:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have visited Fish and Chip restaurants all over London and there are few better than Bradys. The staff are friendly and attentive. The house wine is very drinkable (and good value). I would strongly advise that you try it for yourselves.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010 11:28:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Hermano got them on a bad night.

I lived just up the road from Wandsworth Town for a couple of years and Brady's was a frequent haunt. What started me off was the frequent cue outside the restaurant which is typically a good sign. We found the quality and service to be great value for money and particularily enjoyed the various flavoured sauces to accompany my grilled choices. There must have been a reason that it won Time Out's Fish top fish n chips in London award one year.

As another poster indicated, try it for yourself.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 5:34:00 pm  
Blogger Olivia Pizza said...

nice pics and a wonderful blog post by you.

pizza wandsworth

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 7:51:00 am  
Blogger John T Kelleher said...

I've been visiting Brady's ever since it opened - two or three times a year. I do not recognise your description. For me it has some of the best fish and chips to be had in London - or anywhere else I've sampled fish and chips around the UK.

Thursday, November 03, 2011 10:45:00 am  

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