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Fish and Chips
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Chef-approved tips for making takeaway fish and chips taste amazing

From sauces and spices to a particular brand of fizzy drink

Kate Lloyd

Sure, 90 percent of takeaways are delicious. But ever wondered how to make them taste extra delicious? In our series, Takeaway Hacks, London chefs reveal their tips and tricks for sprucing up what the delivery person drops off. Last week we did burgers, before that curries, before that, pizza. This week? Fish and chips.  

1. Bin Li, Murger Han

In the Muslim Market in Xi’an City you see ladies frying spicy potatoes, serving them in paper bowls with a bamboo skewer for eating on the go. Their flavours go very well with fish. Add them to your chips with dried chilli, smashed cumin seeds, a pinch of salt and sugar, garlic (fresh, dried or powder), and chopped spring onions.’

2. Su Tran, Mien Tay

Next door to our Battersea restaurant there was a fish and chip shop and my brother, who works with us at Mien Tay, used to go there nearly every night for fish and chips. He liked to unwrap the silver paper wrapped butter portions and pop it on top of his chips. By the time he had returned to the restaurant and sat to eat his fish and chips the butter had melted on his chips. I also like to mix salt and pepper with a squeeze of lime juice and dip torn-off strips of fish in it. It’s simple but very tasty.’

3. James Ramden, Pidgin

You can take mayonnaise to the next level for your fish and chips by adding a good squirt of sriracha and a few shakes of Maggi Liquid Seasoning. For a triple MSG-umami-bomb make sure you use Kewpie mayonnaise, though any shop-bought mayo will do nicely.’

4. Simon Henbery, Chucs

I love a pickled onion with my fish and chips and we always have them at home. You can try blending one with some mayo too as an alternative to tartare sauce.’

5. Phil Campbell, Beast

Green Tabasco sauce – it has to be the green one – and jalapeños. There’s something about the vegetal flavour from jalapeños and the vinegar of Tabasco sauce that really does it for me.’

6. Robin Gill, The Dairy

I actually love making my own tartare sauce. I hate the processed stuff. You also can’t beat a nice slice of fresh white bread and Kerrygold butter.’

7. Dario Carvalho, Casa do Frango

I like my fish and chips with plenty of cracked black pepper and curry sauce, you simply can’t beat it.’

8. Paul A Young, Paul A Young

Have the oven on at home really high – 220 degrees – and flash the fish and chips in to reheat and crisp up the batter if it has got a bit soggy in the paper on the way home.’

9. Ani Arora, Hankies

Add pounded carom seeds, turmeric and a hint of crushed chillies on to the batter. Make a sour mango and garlic aioli dip to go with it.’

10. Olive Gladwin, Rabbit

Pair your fish and chips with some good white wine like a Sancerre, it will help cut through the grease and will leave you dreaming of the waves crashing on to a shingle beach. 

11. Phil Inzani, Polo 24 Hour Bar

I like to pimp my sauces. For the tartare sauce, add a bit of a special favour by whizzing some finely chopped anchovy into the mix, and as for the ketchup, pep it up with a dash of Tabasco to add a hint of spice.’

12. Martin Sweeney, The Petersham

Unless you’re eating them right away, ask for just salt and add your favourite vinegar when you get home, this will keep the chips from getting sweaty and soggy in the bag. Then mix brown sauce and vinegar and get dipping. It sounds odd but it’s a staple in Edinburgh and it works surprisingly well.’

13. Carlo Scotto, Xier

I add a bit of Worcester sauce to the chips (I love it).’

14. Andy Waugh, Mac & Wild

Fish and chips is best enjoyed with a cold can of Irn Bru to wash it down.’

Explore our list of takeaways for delivery in London.

Find out how to make Padella’s pici cacio e pepeGloria’s lemon meringue pie and Eggslut’s Fairfax sandwich

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