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

Monday, February 07, 2011


Jellied Eels? Not bleedin’ likely guv. I think it was probably being force fed them by my grandparents whilst on holiday in Bournemouth that led me to think of them as the Devil’s spawn. HS loves them so go, as they say, figure.

If you really want to try them (and I strongly suggest you don’t) you can get them from Tubby Issacs seafood stall on Petticoat Lane but they also have them at Poppies Fish and Chips a brand, spanking new chippy just opposite Spitalfields Market.

I haven’t had any Fish and Chips for ages and to be honest I hadn’t missed eating them. If you’re going to pig-out on carbs then you might as well do it on carbs of decent quality and there hadn’t been any new openings of note. I also wanted somewhere close by so Poppies suited the bill.

The first shock is how bright the place is. Combine that with an interior decorated like a Piccadilly Circus souvenir shop and 50’s hits playing on the PA and it would be inadvisable to visit with a hangover or like I did, feeling slightly under the weather.

Still it didn’t seem to put off the punters: Shoreditch hipsters with stupid haircuts and skinny jeans queuing for takeaway; groups of lads lining their stomachs before a few pints; Japanese tourists admiring the Formica tables. And me, of course.

Food was a bit of a mixed bag. Despite all the shiny, modern exterior it’s still a bog-standard London chippy at heart which means the scoff churned out is ok if not quite delivering F&C nirvana.

The fryers had made a decent fist of cooking some Whitebait. The little fish had been given quite a light coating of flour before frying so you could actually taste the fish as oppose to the oil. Perhaps they could have been a tad more crisp but it was marginal and at £3.95 a painless way to start a meal.

The Fish and Chips themselves weren’t so great. A thin fillet of Haddock was soft and was enveloped by limp batter that hadn’t really bubbled up in the prescribed manner. Chips were of the pale and uninteresting variety and also could have done with a bit of crisping up.

Homemade tartare sauce was mayonnaise-heavy and needed more chopped up gherkins or something similar to give it texture. Mushy Peas – also homemade - were slightly bizarre - more like a Pea Soup (a nod to London in the 50’s perhaps?). The taste was too pea-like and the last thing mushy peas should taste like are peas. I don’t know why places in the South bother, I really don’t.

So not the best Fish and Chips you can get in the capital – although I haven’t been for a while I suspect Masters Superfish still holds that crown – but at least they had the virtue of not tasting oily and craving the carbs I did finish the lot, but felt slightly grubby afterwards: full of regret and self-loathing (as us svelte Metropolitan types are wont to do after a binge).

One for the tourists.

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Blogger Gregory said...

I can confirm that Masters Superfish held their crown after my visit 4 months ago.

Monday, February 07, 2011 8:26:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

Excellent news. A DH visit is well overdue.

Monday, February 07, 2011 11:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Harters said...

Those mushy peas look the most unpleasant I think I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot of vile mushy peas.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 10:11:00 pm  
Anonymous gastrogeek said...

Great write up - I know what you mean about the fish (although I am rather fond of my skinny jeans)! I really must try this Masters place that everyone keeps banging on about.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 12:24:00 am  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

Thanks - and I'm sure you haven't got a silly haircut either ;-)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 12:48:00 am  
Anonymous gastrogeek said...

ummm no comment....! ;-)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011 9:34:00 am  
Anonymous Chops said...

Dude, you took a picture of a pickled onion..... respect

Thursday, February 10, 2011 1:28:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

No doubt - always respeck the pickled onion

Thursday, February 10, 2011 5:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Bristol Bites said...

Chips look a bit pale and flabby! Big fan of whitebait here. It's good to see there are still place that don't overcoat the fish. Agree with Harters about the look of the mushy peas!

Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:53:00 pm  
Blogger Grobelaar said...

You'd think there'd be an opening somewhere in London for someone to excel at Fish & Chips.

How hard can it be to ship a job lot of dripping down and find someone who can competently work a fryer?

I went to a place in Camden called Pier 1 at the weekend. Apparently it's been open for a few years, but under new management for about 4 months.

Place is nice and modern, a big load of fresh fish on ice, a selection of fish available fried and battered or simply grilled.

Chips were good, peas had a hint of mint to them - fish was nice and fresh, I think the weakness was the batter, which wasn't bad - it was 'down south batter' though - more a thin coating that crisps up at the tail and the sides but not really in the middle.

I enjoyed it, it was good for London. I wouldn't rush to recommend it to you I seem to remember an older post recommending a Camden chip shop ending quite badly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 6:12:00 pm  
Blogger admin said...

Went to Poppies about 2 weeks ago, and I was surprised at the standard of your meal: peas were mushy with the texture of Smash potato/wallpaper paste (in a good way). Fish's batter was light, greaseless and crisp and the chips were fine (perhaps not the greatest chips ever, but had far worse). Agree on the tartare, the mixture of capers/gherkins : mayo was wrong.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 4:40:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

I can only write about the meal that I had.

Have you considered that they may have read my post and corrected things?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 8:03:00 pm  

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