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The Best Fish And Chips In London | Best Of The Best

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16:27   |   Apr 20, 2019

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The Best Fish And Chips In London | Best Of The Best
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  • - Hey, guys!
  • It's Ju. - And it's Harry.
  • - And today, we're going around five
  • of London's best fish and chip shops
  • to find the best fish and chips in London.
  • - [Harry] So what makes great fish and chips?
  • We're gonna be judging ours on five criteria.
  • The fish itself, we want flaky batter.
  • We want crispy batter that snaps when you bite into it,
  • and the fish we want to be really flaky inside
  • and have just a really nice flavor.
  • The chips we want nice and crispy on the outside,
  • fluffy on the inside, and well seasoned
  • with salt and vinegar.
  • And then also, we're gonna look at price as well.
  • Are there any tourist-trap spots that are gonna rip you off?
  • - So it's 7:30 in the morning, and we're starting
  • our journey at Billingsgate Market.
  • This place is a proper old East End institution.
  • It's the biggest fish market in the UK,
  • so lots of things to check out inside
  • including the Billingsgate Cafe, where we start our journey.
  • - So I don't know about you, Ju,
  • but I'm ready to eat some fish and chips.
  • - Yes. - Let's go.
  • - I've been working down in the fish market since '97.
  • We've got fish. We do breakfast.
  • We basically cater for the market.
  • It's a tradition. A lot of people come down here
  • to get fresh fish, don't they?
  • A lot of people come here as well for the haddock
  • and the poached eggs.
  • - [Both] Thank you!
  • - [Harry] Ju, visually,
  • talk to me about your first impressions of this fish.
  • - Well, this is literally the biggest plate
  • of fish and chips I think I've ever had.
  • It's come in on this, like, wonderful,
  • like, circular display, which I'm absolutely loving.
  • There's a lot of salad and red onion and coleslaw
  • on the plate.
  • The overbearing thing on this plate though
  • is like the huge, huge, huge wad of chips here.
  • - So, the fish.
  • A little bit unusual in a couple of ways.
  • Firstly, it's sea bass, which is not the average fish
  • that tends to get served in London's fish and chip shops.
  • You're usually looking at more
  • sort of cod or a flaky fish like that.
  • Also, they won't batter the fish here,
  • which I'm actually slightly disappointed in
  • because they just dredge it in flour and then fry it,
  • and you don't get quite the same level of crisp
  • with just a flour dredge as opposed to batter.
  • But, you know, I'm willing to be convinced, so hopefully
  • the fish inside is gonna taste really good.
  • - Chip cheers!
  • - [Harry] It's a really good chip.
  • - [Ju] It's a good chip.
  • - [Harry] It's a good chip.
  • - It's not greasy. It's just that you can like basically
  • taste the oil rather than like an overwhelming potato taste.
  • It's nice. It's really light.
  • I feel like getting through that would be quite easy.
  • - Very easy.
  • Particularly given how wide the surface area is
  • on these flatter chips,
  • they have actually got the inside quite nice and fluffy,
  • which is good, and that's one of our criteria
  • that we're looking for.
  • Again, like, just on paper and just structurally,
  • I'm still not sure about
  • if it's a fish-and-chip-shop chip, but it tastes good.
  • So, OK, I think we need to try the fish.
  • - We do need to try the fish.
  • - I'm gonna grab my fork.
  • - The taste of the actual fish inside
  • of what's extremely light floury batter
  • is unbelievably good.
  • - [Harry] That's really good fish.
  • It's flaky, which is again one of our criteria
  • that we're looking for.
  • It just almost like kinda falls apart
  • and melts in your mouth.
  • Really well-seasoned.
  • - This is, it's just really lovely, quality fish.
  • I think you can just taste the freshness,
  • like it hasn't traveled from all across London.
  • It's just come like straight here in the morning,
  • probably arrived here at 4 o'clock in the morning,
  • and then we're eating it at like 7, 8 o'clock.
  • So this costs 10 pounds, which is roughly about $13.
  • I feel like this is a good, filling fish breakfast,
  • which is not a sentence that I've said before,
  • but good value for money. It's cheap as chips.
  • - [Harry] Next, we traveled to the Golden Chippy
  • in South East London, which is the No.1-ranked
  • fish and chip shop on TripAdvisor.
  • We're going to check it out
  • and see if it lives up to its reviews.
  • - My name is Chris. I'm from Cyprus.
  • I came here when I was 17 years old.
  • I was hoping to become a surgeon of humans.
  • I ended up being a surgeon of the fish.
  • Golden Chippy has been open for 15 years.
  • I started from scratch,
  • but these hands have been playing
  • with fish for 42 years now.
  • With this secret recipe of the batter,
  • cooked at the right temperature,
  • sitting there for one or two minutes to drain properly
  • gives it that fantastic crispy finish,
  • which is very light batter,
  • very tasty fish, and not greasy at all.
  • - So we've got this absolutely massive plate
  • of cod and chips here with a nice load
  • of mushy peas at the side and some salad.
  • - So just looking at this,
  • I am super excited to tuck in.
  • The batter is visibly crispy and the chips as well,
  • these are like proper chip shop chips.
  • We've got that kinda thickness on all sides,
  • nice and golden brown on the outside.
  • I'm hoping nice and light and fluffy on the inside,
  • but we're gonna find out.
  • Cheers! - OK, cheers!
  • This is like so unbelievably smooth
  • and just like really, really nice
  • sort of like fish-flow texture.
  • It's just absolutely melting in my mouth.
  • - This is worthy of the first "oh, my cod" of the day.
  • - No, ah, you stole my pun!
  • You stole my pun!
  • Haddock you got some of your own puns, Harry?
  • - The batter is extremely crispy.
  • It lives up to how it looks, and you really get
  • that nice texture of the contrasted textures
  • between the crisp of the batter
  • and the flaky, soft, melt-in-the-mouth fish.
  • It's really, really good.
  • We saw them preparing these chips from scratch out the back,
  • which is great 'cause you know
  • they're not just buying in a frozen thing.
  • This is like a freshly made, freshly peeled potato.
  • - Mm. - M-hm.
  • - You can taste potato,
  • which is always good for a chippy chip,
  • like normally with chippy chips
  • they might be a little bit too greasy,
  • but this is just, I mean, the taste
  • of the potato inside, it's obviously coming through.
  • - Also, they fry it in just the same oil as the fish,
  • so I'm getting like almost a little fishy taste from it.
  • - I love the fishy taste. - Yeah.
  • - [Ju] Next, we head up to our third stop,
  • Hook, in North London.
  • - We wanted to do something different
  • to the traditional fish-and-chips dish
  • by adding tempura and panko and flavoring them and
  • doing a more new-school take.
  • - We predominantly use tempura batter
  • because it allows us to be consistently creative
  • and infuse different flavors with our fresh fish.
  • We are bringing a new-school kinda vibe
  • to fish and chips, and that's cool and quite exciting.
  • - So we're at our third location.
  • This is Hook in Camden.
  • We've just been given some garlic truffle mayo,
  • some seaweed-salted chips, nice little wedge of lemon,
  • and this lovely piece of sea bream
  • with basil and lemon tempura.
  • It smells amazing, and it's just arrived at our table.
  • - The chips are interesting. They're kind of like
  • a cross between chips and potato wedges
  • because they're really thin,
  • but they've still got the skin on the fries.
  • Not the sort of conventional fish-and-chip-shop fry,
  • but I'm hoping this garlic mayo is gonna kick it up a gear.
  • - [Ju] It's really...it's really, really, really lemony.
  • You can really taste the lemon coming through,
  • and the tempura is like extremely, extremely thin.
  • It's very, like, light crisp to it,
  • but I think that there's such moisture in the fish
  • that that's really, really
  • the overwhelming texture that comes through.
  • - The fish is like, it's like butter.
  • It really kinda just dissolves in your mouth almost,
  • and it has quite a lot of richness to it,
  • I think, the bream in comparison
  • to maybe the cod that we've had earlier.
  • The taste of the fish is really, really good.
  • Oh, wow!
  • - Yeah! - Yeah.
  • - I kind of don't miss tartar sauce now.
  • I think this is a really lovely, lovely buttery taste
  • to go with the buttery texture of the fish.
  • - I think that's the key.
  • It's so buttery. It's really rich.
  • It's almost like a garlic butter.
  • - Yeah, the garlic butter
  • with the really, really buttery fish,
  • and then these are actually lighter than they look.
  • They look like it's quite a thick texture to that,
  • but it's not.
  • I think that for the quality of the texture
  • and the size of the portion,
  • this seems very, very reasonable.
  • Also, we're in a slightly more upmarket, nice restaurant
  • rather than being somewhere that, you know,
  • can effectively wrap your chips up in a piece of newspaper
  • and casually give it to you.
  • This is more of a fine dining experience,
  • which I'd expect to pay a little bit more for.
  • - And also this whole sustainability approach,
  • which they've taken, is really great,
  • and you obviously end up paying a little bit more for that
  • but worthwhile because the end product is really good.
  • Now we move on to our next stop,
  • which is Poppie's in Central London.
  • Now, Poppie's has three locations in Central London.
  • It's got a little bit of a reputation for being touristy,
  • but it's not all bad.
  • - It's actually got quite a nice history behind it.
  • It was started in 1952 by Pops, who started as a teenager
  • wrapping up fish and chips in copies of newspaper,
  • so, like, feeling a little bit of a traditional vibe here,
  • but obviously because it is a chain,
  • will that affect the quality?
  • So this is a regular-size cod at Poppie's.
  • As you see, we've got an absolutely massive amount of chips
  • and quite like an achievable-size cod, I feel.
  • - Yeah, I mean, we're reaching the point in the day
  • where I'm already getting quite full,
  • so it's nice to see that the cod isn't too ridiculous.
  • - This is like quite light, quite skimpy chips, I would say.
  • They're chippy chips, but they don't look
  • like kinda overly golden, like overly brown.
  • We were a little bit confused
  • as to whether this was battered or breaded cod
  • because it's such a light
  • and actually quite bumpy texture to the batter.
  • I mean, it's battered cod,
  • but I guess we'll find out what it's gonna taste like.
  • Ooh, that's crunchy batter.
  • - I would probably say this is,
  • the fish probably has the least taste
  • of any ones that we've tried today.
  • - Yeah.
  • Well, I know that all of their fish
  • comes fresh each day from Billingsgate Market,
  • so it's just definitely the same sort of supply fish
  • that we've seen before.
  • It's as light as well.
  • It's just not as much of a fishy-ness to it, I would say.
  • - Yeah, there's just not
  • a lot of flavor coming through from that.
  • It's not in an unpleasant way, you know.
  • The batter's good. It lets the batter shine a little bit.
  • Yeah, let's give these chips a try.
  • Yeah, these very much fit my idea
  • of a classic chippy chip.
  • You do get, maybe a little bit underdone
  • compared to other ones that we've had today.
  • You don't get quite as much crunch on the outside,
  • but the inside, you really do get a lovely potato-y,
  • fried potato-y flavor, and it's nice and fluffy as well.
  • - Yeah, very, very fluffy and then in parts
  • you can see a little bit of skin on.
  • It's kind of like that roughness of them.
  • That's a classic chippy chip.
  • You're looking for a little bit of skin,
  • little tiny bit of crunch,
  • but mostly it's all about the quality of the potato inside.
  • We move on to our final stop,
  • fine dining seafood restaurant Bonnie Gull.
  • - [Harry] So what you're looking at now
  • is Bonnie Gull's take on classic fish and chips.
  • So what we have is a beer-battered haddock.
  • We have chips, which are cooked in beef dripping,
  • and we have a homemade tartar sauce and mushy peas as well.
  • It looks incredible.
  • Ju, what are your thoughts?
  • - Well, it almost just looks like too good to eat.
  • It's just like a work of art on a plate.
  • It's just, I don't even know how they get
  • the fish to stand up like that in the batter,
  • very, very mesmerizing.
  • I'm actually really looking forward to trying this.
  • - [Harry] Look at that snap!
  • - Really buttery, really melt-in-the-mouth texture
  • on the inside, but just the batter is just,
  • I could just eat that batter.
  • Just have a snack pocket of that batter
  • and just snack on it all day long.
  • You know it's good when the chip also has that crunch sound.
  • - Little bit.
  • That was really fluffy on the inside.
  • Yeah, I think that gives it more like a,
  • like you say, a roast potato vibe
  • that you'd expect with a roast dinner.
  • - Everything on this plate
  • is encased in something wonderful.
  • So the fish is encased in this amazing batter,
  • the potatoes are encased
  • in this really, really great crispiness.
  • It's almost like little joys hidden inside joys.
  • - So here we are.
  • We've had our five fish and chips.
  • We've had some time to think about what our favorite was,
  • and now we're outside Tower Bridge in London,
  • and we're ready to give you our answer.
  • - It's time to reveal our favorite, should we go on three?
  • - On three.
  • - OK, one.
  • Two.
  • Three.
  • Bonnie Gull. - Golden Chippy.
  • - Aww. - We disagreed.
  • - Yeah, we can't actually decide on one together then.
  • Why did you pick Golden Chippy?
  • - For me, Golden Chippy took the crown
  • because it was just the quintessential chip shop experience.
  • In terms of the food, where you get
  • that flaky fish, crispy batter, chunky chips,
  • and for me, yeah, it was just classic fish and chips.
  • - OK, I see your point.
  • I picked Bonnie Gull because the quality
  • and standard of the food that we saw that day
  • was like so much better than everything else that we tasted.
  • I just thought the batter was perfect
  • and the size of those chips, like, who couldn't love them?
  • - So as hard as this is gonna be,
  • we weren't here to pick the best two.
  • We were here to pick the best fish and chips in London.
  • Can I convince you to come over
  • to the side of Golden Chippy?
  • - OK, I can be convinced to go over to Golden Chippy
  • only because I think that as a fish and chips,
  • proper English fish-and-chips experience,
  • it gives you that in a way
  • that fine dining at Bonnie Gull doesn't.
  • So I think in terms of like all-around food,
  • plus the proper authentic experience,
  • OK, OK, I'm gonna go for Golden Chippy.
  • I can move over to Golden Chippy,
  • but Bonnie Gull was delicious.

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Description

INSIDER duo Harry Kersh and Ju Shardlow travel across the streets of London to find the best of the best fish and chip serving in the city. The restaurants we visit have received several accolades, with one even being named the best restaurant in the whole of London. We try each dish and rate them based on the quality of the fish, crispy and fluffiness of the chips and the value for money. What restaurant was the pair's favorite? Watch and find out to see where you can find the best fish and chips in London.

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The Best Fish And Chips In London | Best Of The Best