Although this well-weathered chippy closes at 5.30pm, that’s late enough for its market-stall customers who’ve been up since dawn. There’s an earthy romance to Something Fishy. ‘Ea’ in?’ asks the server in a liveried visor-cum-hairband. If no, you get a polystyrene box; if yes, a china plate. Descriptions are deceptive: the ‘small’ cod protrudes from the box and overshoots the plate. Its batter is a crunchy golden coat, which yields easily to a light incision. The white flesh is succulent. A lemon quarter sits atop as a garnish: a lah-di-dah innovation, which we like.
The chips are chunky, firm and so plentiful as to leave scant room for the squirt of tomato sauce, self-applied at the counter. Some diners choose the first-floor experience; we prefer to sit next to the sliding windows at a blue Formica-topped table furnished with a cruet set and vinegar bottle with the fingerprints of the previous user on the glass, or outside where the market cries entertain.
You finish, belch, say ‘lovely jubbly’ and call for a slab of plump, moist bread pudding lightly toasted on top. ‘Thassa pahnd, luv.’ Up West, it’d be a tenner.