Celebrate “Chip Week”!
My Day at Award Winning Chippy “Fish Bone” in London
Today starts a week of chip appreciation as Chip Week kicks off, a week filled with deep-fried spuds, and a time to visit your local chippy, forgetting the diet, to enjoy a packet of chips, or even better, fish and chips. To prepare for this week of chip appreciation, I had the opportunity to visit a traditional “chippy” last week, The Fish Bone, with my daughter, where we spent some time learning how to run a successful fish and chip shop whilst sampling the award-winning chips as well as some crispy, golden freshly fried fish. The Fish Bone is a family run business just 15 minutes walk from St Pancras/Kings Cross on Cleveland Street in West London; the winner of the “Best London Chippy Chips Award” for two years running, and I was very keen to sample them.
Hannah and I walked from St Pancras, a mere fifteen minutes, and as we rounded the corner we could see the Fish Bone chippy with its gaily coloured gingham tablecloths set on tables outside the chip shop. On entering we were met with a long, brightly lit dining area with a gleaming fish counter and fryers to the front of the shop. There was a large blackboard on the back wall where the Fish Bone’s menu was written with accompanying prices. I was pleased to see lots of traditional fish on offer such as the usual cod and haddock as well as plaice, rock and skate. You can choose what size fish you want for the cod option and there is a choice of small or large chips, as well as chips and cheese too, which sounds delicious!
We were met by Alex, who was frying that day, and I asked her what made their chips “award-winning chips, and her answer was simple – Fresh oil (British rapeseed oil) that is changed regularly, home-cut chips made with Maris Piper potatoes and the correct temperature for one frying of the chips. I was also delighted to learn that their fish comes fresh from Billingsgate Market daily. The Fish Bone also served high quality Pukka Pies, as well as home-made fish cakes, calamari, scampi, fish burgers, fish roe and the ubiquitous chips shop curry sauce, pickled eggs, pickled onions and mushy peas.
Inside the dining area, the tables were all set with napkins, salt, pepper and malt vinegar and everything looked fresh and clean. The Fish Bone’s opening hours are:
Monday to Thursday 11.30 am to 10.00 pm
Friday 11.30 am to 11.00 pm
Saturday 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm
They also welcome groups and office parties for up to 30 people, as well as individual diners of course, and the chippy is a take-way as well as a restaurant.
We were both given the daily specials menu and I chose haddock and chips, whilst Hannah went for a small cod and chips. The fish and chips were freshly fried for us, and as we sat and waited in anticipation, takeaway customers started to stream in – they all appeared to be regulars and they all had different requests!
Our fish and chips duly arrived and we were also served some mushy peas and a pickled onion, both of which I love with fish and chips! My haddock was succulent and perfectly fried in light golden batter, and my chips were sublime, quite honestly some of the best chips I have ever tasted, they were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with a lovely “potato” flavour.
Hannah’s “small” cod was the same size as my haddock and she said it was moist and beautifully flaky, and that the chips were as good as granddad’s chips! Which, is a huge accolade, as my dad makes wonderful hand-cut chips and also fries them in rapeseed oil for that perfect finish. My mum is also a great “chip maker” and I am sharing her recipe for Crispy Squashed Chips below, as well as her recipe for beer battered fried fish, for those of you who have to wait until the weekend to get your chip shop fish and chips.
To summarise, the Fish Bone is a fabulous family run business that takes pride in what it offers to its customers – it seems that the simple ways are the best ways when it comes to award winning fish and chips – fresh fish daily, hand-peeled and hand-cut chips, clean rapeseed oil and cooking the chips at the correct temperature. It’s an unassuming little chippy in West London that everyone should visit at least once, and their cheerful dining area was warm and cosy for those who want to “eat in”. The fish and chips that we ate were cooked to perfection and the freshness of the fish and the chips were spot on…….in fact, the next time I am in London I have promised myself a fish and chip lunch or supper there! If you are in the area and hankering after some real British fish and chips, make sure you visit the Fish Bone and tell them I sent you! Karen
Crispy Squashed Chips
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||5 minutes|
|Total time||35 minutes|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 900g Old potatoes (such as: King Edward, Maris Piper, Rooster or Sante)
- Vegetable Oil (for frying)
- salt (to season)
- Malt vinegar (to taste)
The more you move the chips around the more crispy bits you get - it's not conventional know, but we love crispy squashed chips!
|Step 1||Peel the potatoes and cut into sticks about 1cm thick and 8cm long. Put the potatoes in cold water to remove some of the excess starch prior to frying, then drain and dry.|
|Step 2||Heat oil in a chip pan or deep frying pan and put all of the chips in. Fry until the chips are pale golden, moving them around during frying to get the squashed bits get all crispy. Remove them from the pan and drain on soft kitchen paper'|
|Step 3||Just before serving, re-heat the oil and fry all the chips until they are very crisp and golden then drain them, and serve immediately with battered fish (wrapped in newspaper if you like) adding salt and vinegar to taste. Or, make a chip butty!|
Real English Fish and Chips in Beer Batter
Fish & Chips in a Basket with Mushy Peas
Disclaimer: I was invited to visit the Fish Bone to see inside a British Chippy and I was treated to a free fish and chip meal as part of my review press day. All opinions and views are my own and I was not paid for this post. With thanks to all the staff at the Fish Bone and the team at NexusComms who made my visit so interesting and enjoyable. Karen
The ‘Chip Map of Britain’ reveals regional differences in our chip-eating habits. Based on research into Brits’ chip preferences, the map shows that where we live affects whether we like ours thick, thin or curly… Have a look and see if you agree with the majority vote!
The Fish Bone
A TRADITIONAL FISH & CHIPS RESTAURANT
82 Cleveland Street
W1T 6NF (Near BT Tower)
For restaurant bookings please call: 020 7580 2672
or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
mmmmm… so delicous!
Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime says
Great review, Karen!
Thanks very much Sue!
Are there really people who need an excuse to eat chips? Given the levels of obesity in Britain, Chip Week should be the one week of the year where we all give them up, just to remind ourselves collectively that it’s possible to survive for seven days without deep frying something in batter.
I only eat fried food once in a blue moon, so for me, I WILL be celebrating chips this week!
Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry says
I fell in love with UK fish and chips and this place sounds rather nice to go try out. I love perfect chips.
Thanks Bintu, when done with love and care, fish and chips are the best fast food out there, so much better than burgers and fried chicken!
Louisa Foti says
Sorely disappointed to be away in France and missing Chip Week this week!!! And I am particularly partial, always, always with mushy peas too. Though you can keep the picked onion! Sounds like a fab chippy find, a truly mouthwatering post.
Thanks Lou! You can celebrate with frites instead!! Karen
Glamorous Glutton says
God fish and chips are amazing, it’s just a shame that there are not as many really good chippies as there used to be. A good fish and chip shop is a gem to be treasured, thank you for sharing. GG
Thanks GG! Yes, I agree, a good chippie is harder to find nowadays, but this one was a little gem right in the middle of London too!
Yum! I’m planning to visit my local chip shop, there’s always a huge queue 😉
You need a chip shop visit Sylvia!
Mmmm, I indulged in fish n chips this week too. Bleddy ‘ansum they ere too 🙂
Go for it Janie!!
Tracy Nixon says
Yummy! A great excuse to eat chips! G+’d x
Brilliant! The original, an still the finest, fast food.
Forget the Fast Food Chains with their plastic, additive loaed offereings.
Take your custom to your local Fish & Chip shop and enjoy nutritious,
and delicious fast food.
I agree Ancient Mariner! No need for burgers, fried chicken etc, just fish and chips!! Thanks for stopping by to comment…….Karen xxxx
I have not had good fish and chips for ages now. I will certainly visit this place if I am in the area. Great review Karen and great writing as always!
Thanks Alida, great fish and chips are wonderful as an occasional indulgence!
Fiona Maclean says
to the person who made the comment about healthy chips – fish and chip shop chips are much healthier than the skinny fries you get in the burger and chicken joints because there is less potato surface exposed to oil.
I agree Fiona and thanks for bring that up………plus, at least you know what is in fish and chips, not so with most processed food.
Morgan @ Peaches, Please says
We just don’t have fish and chips like that in the US…sigh.
Tina @ The Spicy Pear says
I love fish and chips so it is good to know about a quality chippy in London. Your squashy chips remind me of something similar my mum makes #comfortfood at its best.
Thanks Tina, mum’s must be the best for squashed chips! 🙂