Next month it will be one year since I moved to Soho for work. I still miss working in Shoreditch but having worked on Wardour Street previously, the area is not unfamiliar and I looked forward to re-discovering my favourite old haunts (Maletti, Tosca, Star Cafe, The Dining Plaice) and new adventures.
I happened to stumble across one such eatery last month. Golden Union Fish and Chips, which opened in 2008. In recent times, independently owned fish and chips restaurants/takeaway are very far and few between. Certainly a big chunk of them are turning into Chinese takeaway with fish and chips on the side. My all time favourite had always been The Brothers Fish and Chips on Water Lane in Maryland, London. With my grandmother living across the road I recall many treats of being given change to run down to the shop after school to get the both of us chips. It’s a wonder that I’m still so slim. Unfortunately they closed down a few years ago. I don’t know whether they’ve set up shop elsewhere or simply retired. I suspect it’s the latter. To me, without them, Maryland isn’t the same.
Yesterday I cooked fish and chips – from scratch – for the first time. It was surprisingly easy – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall helped a lot.
There are a lot of recipes and videos advising on how to make the perfect batter. Some use fizzy water, some use beer, some neither. I wanted beer in my batter so after looking around for a while, this video came in very handy before I got to work. It seems apt that the video was from Hugh as he is currently actively involved in campaigning with The Big Fish Fight.
I halved the quantities Hugh recommended. So instead of eight tablespoons of plain flour, I used four, and a half bottle of Organic beer (the other half I disposed of sensibly – in my stomach).
It’s been almost six months since I left the rough but comforting arms of Shoreditch and changed jobs travelling to the never-ending turnover of Soho. One of my colleagues recently changed jobs and his new 9-5 role is in Shoreditch. The SAME road my last job was, no less. I felt a slight sadness as I remembered how much I loved working in the area and couldn’t wait to tell him where to eat lunch in Shoreditch. His leaving gift from me being a blog post especially for him – Nick Christian – sorry for the delay but below is for you.
Have you ever been to Burlingtons Fish Restaurant?
If not, you should. I was taken there at the weekend by two lovely foodie friends. Extensive menu of scallops, mussels, oysters, calamari, salmon, lots of other delights and of course – fish and chips. The best I’ve had in a long time.