It was quite exciting to hear that a new and modern and highly rated fish and chip shop had opened in West London. The small space at Kerbisher & Malt in Hammersmith (really in between Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush) was fresh and brightly lit and very welcoming. Early one Saturday evening, a last minute decision to eat out rather than stay in had us visiting; all the round tables were already full, the large communal table was fully booked, and we only just managed to grab one of the counter tables for two right by the window. They aren’t the most spacious of counters but they do offer a fantastic view of…the road. OK, the pavement and road and yes, there was some good people watching to be had. Snag your seat and then place you order at the cashier at the back; the meals will be brought to you at your seat.

Be Healthy

We split a cod and chips (£6.90 + £1.80) as it felt like the right thing to do, trying a classic. Sure the piece of fish wasn’t as large as what you’d get at other chippies but it was a fine piece of fish and from sustainable sources too. Other options for your piece of fish include grilling or frying in matzo meal. The double-fried chips were fantastic, all craggy and crispy, just the way I like them.

Cod and Chips

A generous bowlful of calamari (£4) fried with a matzo meal coating were fresh and delicious. There was some cayenne in the coating for sure as our tongues would occasionally burn from a bit of the spice that hadn’t been evenly distributed.

Calamari

The fish bites (£3.50) we ordered turned out to be cod also and were larger than I expected. Like the calamari,  they were also fried with a matzo meal crumb. Whoever’s frying back there in the kitchen really knows what they’re doing as nothing we had was greasy and everything was perfectly crisp. Mushy peas (£1.60) and tartare sauce (50p) are absolutely essential to us and they couldn’t be left out of our order. The tartare sauce was good homemade stuff and was of just the right level of chunkiness for dipping.

Fish Bites, Mushy Peas and Tartare Sauce

Two Cokes (95p each) and two orders of Jude’s ice cream (£1.95 each – they were just ok) made up the rest of our order and brought our bill to just shy of £25. I’m keen to return to try their pickled onion rings, whitebait and fish finger butty. Oh, and their fish burger – I do love a good fish burger. With these prices, something tells me I’ll be working my way through their menu over the next year.

They offer takeaway too with the majority of their customers opting for that.

Kerbisher & Malt
164 Shepherds Bush Road
London W6 7PB

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We had a visit from Blai’s mother last week and she was keen as usual to taste the best of what London had to offer. There was some serious pressure! One request from last time was fish and chips and thank you very much to everyone on Twitter who responded to my plea for the best fish and chips in London. It’s clear that there’s no consensus on the issue but one that did come up again and again was Masters Super Fish (Ibrahim of Will Eat For Money is a big fan) in Waterloo. Two Monday nights ago, we went there for dinner.

To my surprise, there was a Masters Super Fish and a Masters Chinese takeaway side by side! Only in London: the waitress was Chinese and the cook was Italian and the cuisine was English. The fish and chip restaurant itself looks like it hasn’t been touched in 30 years or so and the majority of the customers looked like regulars.

After we put in our orders, three plates with three boiled prawns each were brought to the table along with a basket of sliced baguette and butter pats. I wolfed down my prawns and then one of Blai’s prawns and then had to restrain myself from snarfling all the bread too – I was starving but the giant plates of food arriving at the other tables made me hold tight.

Prawns

Blai and his mother chose the cod…

Cod and Chips

… while I had the haddock. When your plates come, the waitress also comes over with large bowls of pickled cucumbers and pickled onions – I had one of each. It turns out I quite like pickled onions.

Haddock and Chips

We also had a side of mushy peas, our “greens” for the meal.

Mushy Peas

I loved that the sauces came in Chinese rice bowls! With so much tartar sauce, there was no need to ask for more.

Tartar Sauce and Ketchup

The fish was beautifully fried and very fresh. The chips were tasty with a good potato flavour but a little soggy, which was a little disappointing. Still, it’s a solid place for fish and chips. I’m keen to try all the other places that were recommended to me (The Golden Hind, Fryers Delight, Golden Union) but it’s going to take time – I don’t think I can handle fish and chips more than once a month! What’s your favourite fish and chip place?

Masters Super Fish
191 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8UX

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