I’ve never had, nor do I never expect to ever have again, an order of cod and chips as sad as the one served to me today at Kennedy’s on Whitecross Street. Certainly not at a London restaurant dedicated to fish and chips.

Under a splatter batter the thin fillet had no flakes, no fish flavour, no steam, no moisture. The chips were limp. I took a second bite of the fish and a second chip, just to be sure. I put my fork and knife down, left most of my £8.75 order at the table, paid at the counter and looked around to see if there was any reaction. As there was none, apart from maybe an odd look my way, I slowly stepped out of the restaurant and then rushed home to write this post.

Ten minutes from Kennedy’s I began to have doubts. Worst fish and chips in London? These kinds of distinctions can be awarded hastily. You make an exciting discovery and in your eagerness to be fast and first you expostulate prematurely. A branch of a popular chippy on Goswell Road, this Kennedy’s was so new it didn’t even have a permanent sign yet.

I walked back to the scene of the crime. The dining room was nearly empty of customers. As I sauntered to the counter to pose a question the three servers eyed me with suspicion.

“Did anyone notice that I left my entire order on the table?

“Yes, we did,” replied one server, “but then you walked out.”

“Weren’t you curious? Didn’t you wonder why someone would do that?

“So,” she said, “what’s your problem?”

I didn’t have an answer for that. I walked out with a single thought: If Kennedy’s keeps this up they might not be needing a permanent sign.