Cabbies love it, fish is brought in daily from Billingsgate, and service is so no-nonsense it’s entertaining – Masters ticks a lot of ‘London institution’ boxes. Step through from the small takeaway section into a simple dining room painted floor-to-ceiling turquoise. Fellow diners, from older couples to office workers and tourists, sit at functional tables that lend a canteen feel to the place. Food, though, is of a high quality. Starters showcased the fruits of the fryer, from spring rolls to whitebait and battered mussels, but we stuck to the complimentary bread and cold prawn.
A wide range of fish comes either battered or grilled (generally pricier). Classic cod was generously sized and delivered quick-sharp from the fryer, its soft flesh suggesting freshness. Grilled tuna had the thickness of two T-bone steaks and showed good grill-bar charring, though its dryness needed the rich tartare sauce and free juicy pickles to provide lubrication. Accompanying chips were pale and uninteresting, yet so hot they practically fizzed. You can bring your own booze here, despite wine being available from £10.95 a bottle.