Fisher’s Fish and Chips (Fulham, London, UK)

As I mentioned before in my review of The Golden Hind, it can actually be rather difficult to find a good fish and chip shop in London. Back 20 years ago, there were more of them than you could count, and the dish was considered one of the cornerstones of British folk food. But since then, the tastes of London have become more metropolitan and worldly, and as a result, fish and chips got supplanted a while back by Chicken Tikka Masala as the national dish. Meanwhile, most of the really good fish and chip places have closed up. Oh, there’s no shortage of places that can serve up fish and chips, usually by throwing frozen chunks of pre-breaded fish in a fryer, but few places remain that really focus on doing a quality fish and chips. While back in the days of yore it was an upstart (Fisher’s open in 1982), and it’s had several changes of ownership, Fisher’s is still cranking out a variety of fish and chips from their small storefront in Fulham near Bishop’s Park.

Walking inside, Fisher’s is one of those places that’s obviously leading a life primarily as a take-away joint, since approximately half of the interior of Fisher’s is taken up by a vintage multi-vat deep fat fryer crammed into an otherwise small kitchen. But they’ve got the basics down: you pick your meal (we both prefer haddock to cod, and it’s nice when you’ve got the choice), and the cook extracts a fillet from the refrigeration, breads it to order, and drops it in the oil. He meanwhile uses the other vat to do up your chips. While both cook, he preps up the tartar sauce (served up in a large bowl, so I can’t accuse Fisher’s of being one of those places that’s stingy with the tartar sauce) and lemons, and brings those out.

A few minutes later, we were both staring at impressively large portions of haddock and chips. All the basics of good fish and chips were here: the breading was crisp and not soggy, and generally adhered rather well to the fish instead of flaking off. I usually prefer my breading a bit lighter, and a bit more flavorful, but it certainly didn’t disappoint in those respects either. The fish was tender, moist, flaky, and not at all overcooked. With the decent tartar sauce, this made for a nicely respectable fish component of my fish and chips.

Chip-wise? These chips were just servicable, serving as another example of my usual “fish and chip exclusion principle”, in that it’s very rare to find a place that does both well. But the fish didn’t disappoint, and at just a bit over five quid, it didn’t break that bank, either.

Overall, Fisher’s made for a great lunch stop, with some nicely done fish and reasonable chips served up fresh with a decent price tag. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back if I was in the neighborhood.

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