Crumbs picks: 3 top fish and chip restaurants
by Jess Carter
26 November 2018
If there’s any food more British and more comforting than fish and chips, we’d like to hear about it. meantime, we’ll be tucking into a chippy tea – likely at one of these great gaffs.
1. Reel Soul
Back in September, the family behind Gloucester Road’s long-standing Café Ronak took over a fish and chip shop just down the hill. Reel Soul serves everything from chip cones to classic fish suppers (there’s glutenfree batter on the go here as well, for those asking), as well as kids’ meals. All that’s to eat in or take away (if you’re stopping, there are wines and local beers on offer), and all the seafood meets MSC guidelines, too.
“Our £1 cones of chips are loved by everyone from school kids to pensioners,” says Kaveh Darafshi. “So, it’s very important for us to keep this offer going for as long as we can – even when potato prices shoot through the roof!”
As for those chips, the team work with local producers and are regulars at the Bristol Fruit Market to make sure they can secure the best quality Maris Pipers around.
2. Salt And Malt
Achieving the perfect chip sure is an art, and one that the guys at this place take seriously. First, they blanch their chopped spuds at a low temperate, then leave to rest before a really hot fry; this double cooking creates chips with crisp skins and fluffy interiors. Namely, the perfect buddies to battered fish.
The haddock and cod here – which are subject to that battering treatment – are caught in the North Atlantic Ocean, as it goes, and are frozen at sea for optimum freshness.
The Chew Valley restaurant – perched on the banks of Chew Lake – has a full restaurant menu as well as the fish and chip offering, including oysters (which they’d recommend with a glass of something fizzy, like Greyfriars English sparkling wine) and mussels cooked with shallots and garlic. Right now, though, with the chilly weather having set in, the warming fish soup is coming into its own.
3. The Scallop Shell
An industrial-look décor with a splash of marine style is what you can expect from this cool seafood restaurant – as well as, of course, that bathtub, packed with all manner of fresh seafood nestled in heaps of crushed ice. As much of said fish as possible is sourced from UK shores, both to support our fishermen and ensure sustainability.
There’s plenty to get your chops around here; try the signature diver-caught scallops, simply seared and served with garlic and parsley butter (you’ll notice these guys favour simplicity in their cooking, showcasing the quality of the fish), or maybe the ever-popular cod with chips and tartare sauce.
“Lots of seafood is great in December, providing it’s not too stormy,” says owner Garry Rosser. “Red mullet, brill, squid and wild line-caught sea bass, in particular, which will be at its best in terms of value and quality.”