In business in Notting Hill since 1939, Geales opened a second branch, in Chelsea Green, only a few years ago. The menu is comfortingly old-fashioned – a list of dishes from the 1970s is displayed on the wall and apart from the current absence of Bajan flying fish, little seems to have changed. Prawn cocktail and sticky toffee pudding have timeless appeal (especially in Chelsea, it seems). Atlantic prawns, served shell-on with aïoli, had a proper snap to them, but a dozen maldon rock oysters weren’t the best specimens we’ve had.
Mains include Scottish mussels, a lobster and shellfish platter to share, fish pie, and lobster tagliatelle – the last featured a rather cloying tomatoey sauce and lobster chunks that, although chunky, didn’t taste of much. Most people are here for the posh fish and chips, and rightly so: a large hunk of cod, falling into fat white flakes, came encased in featherlight crispy batter. Chips cost extra, but were fine examples: firm, fluffy and golden.
Looks aren’t up to much: white tablecloths and black leather chairs in a nondescript room. To drink, there’s a shortish wine list and a trio of Meantime bottled beers, but this is SW3, so surely it’s got to be champers – top-quality bubbles from Ridgeview in Sussex, in fact.