What comes to mind when you think ‘fish and chips’? Don't answer that. I’ll tell you what should come to mind. The absolute batter-handed legends known as Fry Magazine. Self-styled ‘leading title for the fish-frying and fast-food industry’, Fry is to chippies what the dictionary is to words. Does that make sense? Not quite. But it doesn’t need to. You understood it.
Every year Fry produces a top 50 list of the country’s best fish-and-chip shops. Their standards are exacting, their expectations high. Anonymous judges are sent across the UK to mark restaurants across more than 40 categories. Flakiness of fish. Crispiness of chip. Crunchiness of batter. And then other stuff like value for money, social-media presence and Covid-safe measures. This is a ranking you can believe in.
Are we disappointed that London (allegedly famous for its fish and chips) only features once on the list? A little! But then we’re competing with The North here. Up there, fish and chips are a matter of life and death.
So what’s the plucky London restaurant that made the list? Is it the one on Theobald’s Road? That one in Camden? Wrong on both counts. It is in fact somewhere you may well have never heard of, in a reassuringly normal part of town. Take a bow, Every Fish Bar in Harrow.
That noise you can hear is every fancy food PR agency in London grinding their teeth in fury, at having been beaten by a humble takeaway with fewer Instagram followers than my dog. You love to see it.
The delicious brainchild of Mohammed Gbadamosi, Every Fish Bar is one of the few Black-owned chippies in the city. Aside from battered seafood (sourced from Billingsgate) and fried potato, Mohammed makes sure the menu also includes dishes like joloff rice, jerk fish and patties. He describes it as a ‘traditional fish and chips shop with a fusion of Afro-Caribbean dishes’. And we are sold.
‘If people are talking about their local fish bar in Harrow, they’re talking about Every Fish Bar,’ Mohammed told MyLondon. ‘London being a very diverse and multicultural city, people are more open to trying new things.’
Scraps, though. Does he do scraps?
London’s best fish-and-chip shops according to us.