REVIEW: The Fish & Chip Shop, Islington
Ever heard of Des McDonald? Probably not, but you’ve heard of his work. By 22 years old he’d opened two restaurants in the City of London and become executive chef of Caprice Holdings, founded by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King (our top achievements then were work experience, not eating carbs for dinner and managing to cram 3 episodes of Girls into one evening, but whatev).
Those names’ll sound familiar if you’re into your food, anyway – they’re responsible for rebranding posh eateries The Ivy, Scotts of Mayfair, Le Caprice and J Sheekey in recent years. So natch, McDonald quite literally has taste. You need to know about his latest venture – two fish and chip shops. Why? Because you can actually afford them. And they’re really effing good.
The Fish & Chip Shop in Islington’s long bar is flanked by the now ubiquitous design features found in successful London establishments – dirty *looking* ceilings, walls and 1940’s furniture, plus old-fashioned glass screens covered in classic inscriptions like ‘Fish Supper’ and ‘Fisherman’s Breakfast’. A post-football match buzz fills the air and waiters skip around with huge, steaming plates of battered fish and thick chips.
Think of the weekend comfort meals of yesteryear – fast food on a Saturday afternoon with your grandparents, the relief of toasty warmth after a wet and windy walk to the car. We instantly loved it and vowed to return with our parents next time we fancied lunch with a side of nostalgia.
The food itself? Hot salt beef with wallys (gherkins for the uninitiated), shrimp burgers, fish pie, fish finger sandwiches and freshly battered saveloy will please any Londoner, but more upmarket options like crisp bags of Scottish mussels and Grill Of The Day catch the eye too.
Oh, and don’t be put off by the idea of having brunch in a fish and chip shop either – classic bacon, egg, sausage, fried potatoes, salmon, avocado and a host of other breakfast favourites will be tossed together in a list of awesome combinations in the City branch from January 19th – already a hit here in Islington. Check out their Twitter account for pictures of what’s to come, then get down and try it – they’re offering 50% off during the first week.
Double fried egg, shrimp and wild mushrooms looks amazing, but try the Upper Street Breakfast if you fancy a classic Full English at £9.50. If it’s anything like the daytime menu, you’ll vow never to queue outside The Breakfast Club on a hungover Saturday again – and you can always head back for dinner when the football’s over.
Price: Around £45 for 2 (with starters, mains and a glass of wine)
Address: 189 Upper Street Islington, London, N1 1RQ
Feature image: Company.co.uk