London's best chips
Faulkner’sA hand-painted sign, mauve shutters and the aroma of vinegar conspire to make you feel you’re at the seaside here. The interior is a riot of nostalgia where legendary fish-and-chip suppers are served. Tartare sauce and ketchup are on all the tables. The chips are made from Maris Pipers, free cut then tossed once into groundnut oil before serving. Faulkner’s, 424-426 Kingsland Rd, E8 4AA (020 7254 6152) Dalston Kingsland rail.
RockTourists and workers alike love the big portions dished up at this old favourite on the fringes of Covent Garden. Hand-cut chunky Maris Piper chips are thrown straight into groundnut oil and lightly fried, then served with either ketchup or mayonnaise. The accompanying fish is cooked just as conscientiously.Rock & Sole Plaice, 47 Endell St, WC2H 9AJ (020 7836 3785) Covent Garden tube.
Daphne’sMore like tempura than traditional chips, zucchine fritte or courgette fries go for a quick dip in batter before diving into hot oil. At Daphne’s they favour a shoestring cut about 3mm thick and (unusually) dunk the courgettes in milk before tossing them in a mixture of flour and grated parmesan. Daphne’s, 112 Draycott Avenue, SW3 3AE (020 7589 4257) South Kensington tube.
Dove KitchenSurprisingly for a spot that specialises in Belgian beers, the chips here are thick and rugged – not the wispy strands of frites that are associated with the Low Countries. Fried in vegetable oil, they taste gorgeous, and are served in Hoegaarden pint glasses. Dove Kitchen & Freehouse, 24-28 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ (020 7275 7617) London Fields rail or Bethnal Green tube then 55 bus.
Anchor and HopeWaterloo’s iconic no-bookings-policy gastropub produces chips worth queuing for. Hand-cut, chunky specimens are made from peeled Maris Pipers (or sometimes Spuntas) and fried twice in vegetable oil. Anchor and Hope, 36 The Cut, SE1 8LP (020 7928 9898) Southwark tube or Waterloo tube/rail.
Masters Super FishStick to the old favourites – like mustard-battered cod – for the best experience at this ambitiously titled, but thoroughly old-school, Waterloo chippy. We’ve had some top chips here recently, even if it hasn’t always been that way. Once blanched, the long, fat hand-cut Maris Pipers are dunked into vegetable oil before being served plain for customers to dress as they see fit.Masters Super Fish, 191 Waterloo Rd, SE1 8UX (020 7928 6924) Waterloo tube/rail.
StanzaNEW!Stanza’s a new British restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue with a smart art deco inspired interior. Since opening, head chef Stuart Tattersall uses a special brand called Lovers for his chips, removing the excess starch with a good ten minutes of rinsing in water. The chips are part-cooked in water, too, before double-frying in vegetable oil, and the results are thoroughly luscious. Stanza, 93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 5DY (020 7494 3040) Leicester Square tube.
The CutThe Young Vic’s Cut bar and restaurant does a fine plate of thick chips served with home-made-style Tiptree ketchup or cabernet sauvignon vinegar and salt. Potato varieties change throughout the year, but the chips are double-fried in organic sunflower and vegetable oils. The Cut, Young Vic Theatre, 66 The Cut, SE1 8LZ (020 7928 4400) Waterloo tube/rail or Southwark tube.
Madhu’sYou can expect to find chips made from mogo (cassava – a tuber similar to the yam and sweet potato) in Brazilian venues and restaurants where the cooking derives from Kenyan-Asian traditions. This popular restaurant owned by the Anand family is one of Southall’s most stylish. Want fish with those chips? Go for the tilapia or tandoori salmon. Madhu’s, 39 South Rd, Southall, Middlesex UB1 1SW (020 8574 1897) Southall rail.
31 Fish ClubOne of the first outlets to take the chippy upmarket, Fish Club sources its potatoes direct from the farm. Co-owner Steve Orme reveals that while the water and sugar content changes frequently, Maris Pipers are best 90 per cent of the time. Their fat chips are double-fried in fresh vegetable oil. The important thing, says Orme, is that the chips are chilled after the first bout of frying. Plunging a cold chip into very hot oil results in a crisp golden exterior and fluffy middle. Fish Club also offers sweet potato chips – rather more challenging to cook thanks to the tubers’ high natural sugar content. They’re not fried for as long as regular chips, explains Orme, and cannot get really crisp without burning.Fish Club, 189 St John’s Hill, SW11 1TH (020 7978 7115) Clapham Junction rail.
50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1 A hand-painted sign, mauve shutters and the aroma of vinegar conspire to make you feel you’re at the seaside here. The interior is a riot of nostalgia where legendary fish-and-chip suppers are served. Tartare sauce and ketchup are on all the tables. The chips are made from Maris Pipers, free cut then tossed once into groundnut oil before serving. Tourists and workers alike love the big portions dished up at this old favourite on the fringes of Covent Garden. Hand-cut chunky Maris Piper chips are thrown straight into groundnut oil and lightly fried, then served with either ketchup or mayonnaise. The accompanying fish is cooked just as conscientiously.