When the batter coats a fresh cod fillet in an even single layer and the frying time and temperature are right the fish effectively steams under its protective sleeve. The glorious result – diagonally sectioned flakes of pearly white cod glistening with moisture – distinguishes my picks for Top 10 Fish and Chips in London.
The ranking reflects my preference for a thin-to-medium-thick batter that envelops the fish, leaving a crisp second skin of golden goodness. But I do understand the appeal of a thicker batter with crunchy puffs, folds, bubbles or splattered bits you can peel easily off with your fingers. This scrappy ritual is best performed at Kerbisher & Malt, Oliver’s and Fish House.
To be a contender for Top 10 Fish and Chips in London a restaurant has to serve fish and chips throughout the week, for takeaway as well as eating in, and it needs to satisfy two benchmarks:
- Fresh fish too hot to eat straight away but too good not to.
- Fish as delectable detached from its batter as is the batter detached from its fish.
Sadly, most London’s fish and chip shops fail the freshness taste. All too often the fish is neither fresh from the sea nor fresh out of the fryer. I now refuse any cooked fish on view in the display cabinets, withering under the heat lamps for more than a few minutes. You should do the same. At the very best chippies you don’t even need to ask.
To compile this list and for the sake of a direct comparison I ordered only cod. I’m not suggesting you do the same. If you prefer haddock order haddock.
The Top 10 Fish and Chips in London
1) Fish Central
3) The Fish House of Notting Hill
4) Kerbisher & Malt
5) Sea Shell of Lisson Grove
6) Oliver’s Fish & Chips
8) Masters Super Fish
9) Fish House
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