On a scruffy drag near the back entrance of Clapham Junction station, this lovably old-fashioned bistro has been dishing out affordable, homely fare for generations. Wooden tables are laid with disposable tablecloths, big mirrors fill the otherwise bare walls, and music takes the form of loud-ish Italian ballads that sound like they’re fresh from Eurovision. It’s not swanky, but it is charming.
The Med-leaning menu is enormous. There’s a specials board on the wall, plus an à la carte of affordable versions of ‘fancier’ stuff, like a decent rib-eye steak with garlic butter (£14.95), or linguine with a half lobster, squid and mussels (£14.95), but most people come here for the more straightforward fixed-price menu. On this, all the starters (beef carpaccio, deep-fried mozzarella) cost a fiver, with mains (chicken milanese, cod and salmon fishcake), clocking in at £8. Or you can really splash out for a three-course, £16.95, full shebang. Sure, the food is fairly dated and the results are a tad unrefined, but it’s all perfectly pleasant and satisfying. My tip: don’t order anything too adventurous: simple is what this place does best.
The other thing Fish in a Tie does really, really well, is service. Staff could not be more welcoming or accommodating. It’s the model of a budget neighbourhood restaurant.