Someone had been at the salt cellar the night we dined at Geales – both battered pollock and fish pie had us gulping down water. A shame, as both were decent versions: the fish pie was a cheese, potato and fish medley, with one solitary prawn, topped with breadcrumbs; the large portion of firm pollock, cooked just so, was slightly overwhelmed by a vast wrapping of golden batter. This giant costs £10.75 (cod, haddock and sole hover around £12), but (OK) chips are cheekily priced separately – £3.45 for a modest helping. A tiny bowl of peas costs the same, meaning this chip shop classic comes in at £17.65.
There’s a short specials menu, plus a handful of grills and a macaroni cheese for refuseniks. Starters run from fish soup to Malden rock oysters; we liked the deep-fried whitebait and a hot-smoked salmon, pear and walnut salad, but loved the ‘light bites’ – bargain-priced pots of moreish vivid green olives; light pink, creamy taramasalata; and moreish pickled herring and anchovies, all at £2. Desserts are the usual mix of ice-creams and school puds. Decor is tastefully subdued, as is the clientele. There’s a commitment to buying UK fish in season – for more details, see the website.