Our group arrived on time for our 7pm reservation, but the previous diners were still going strong at the table, so we waited on the street until apologetic staff ushered them out at 7.35. We were seated at the back in a bright, tiled room with seashore decor and a playlist of 80s and 90s songs that reminded us of road trips and made you forget you’re in the heart of London. The manager shuffled other reservations so we could stay later before leaving us settled behind our menus. Clearly these chips were in high demand.
Safe to say, this place offers more options than your local chippy. Steak, shepherds pie, soft shell crab burger and smoked Sussex cheese sausages among them. But that’s not what people go there for. The beer-battered haddock was fat, flaky and the best I’ve ever had. It came on a piece of newspaper with a wedge of lemon and small dish of tartar sauce. Nothing more needed. The little baskets of chips were crunchy, fluffy, and not-too greasy. Heaven.
A friend opted for the Mayfair Classic – cod, chips, mushy peas and curry sauce – and enjoyed it too much to share. Several in our group ordered sides with chips, which proved an excellent move. The Cornish salt and pepper squid had flavour that popped. It was a full meal in itself and came with plentiful chilli, ginger and lime.
They happily switched out the beer-batter with a sparkling water recipe for those among us strictly teetotal. Gluten- and dairy-free options were available by request, while the Vegan Fish and Chips featured high on the menu.
When it came to dessert not many of the gourmet ice creams were available, but the waitress steered us towards the raspberry and apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. This promptly appeared with multiple spoons and an impromptu candle as the staff sang happy birthday and we all dug in. I’m a sucker for crumble and this one ranked fairly well, though was nothing stand-out. Tart fruit and crunchy crumble, baked into its serving dish – everything you’d want it to be and the perfect way to end an evening of celebration.