Superlative Fish and Chips
Review by Patricia and Dennis Cleveland-Peck
Without doing more serious research it would be silly to call Kerbisher & Malt the best fish and chip shop in Britain (and, as fish and chips is our national dish, that might mean in the world) but we both felt it would be very hard to find a better one.
Smiles welcomed us into the unpretentious, sparkling clean shop with its tiled walls and stone flagged floors. The word ‘shop’ is deliberate, for K & M does not style itself as a restaurant, the seating is comfortable but it also operates a normal take-away fish and chip shop.
We were pleased to see that reasonably priced beers, wines and even a sherry was available and we sipped a fresh Muscadet while making our selection. Haddock, cod, plaice, pollock or coley can be ordered grilled as well as battered or in matzo meal; sensible as batter doesn’t suit everyone. The side dishes looked interesting: mushy peas of course, also salads, pickled onion rings and even home-made baked beans.
We chose grilled plaice and battered haddock respectively - and we both gasped as the dishes arrived. The plates were piled high with scrumptious- looking chips on the top of which the very generous portions of fish lay in state. The plaice was grilled to perfection and tasted sweetly of the sea and the haddock was moist and succulent within just the right amount of crispy batter. And yes, the chips were amazing. K & M double-fry freshly peeled and hand-cut seasoned British potatoes. No preservatives and no frozen chips to be found here.
We shared our sides. The Kerbisher green salad was much more than green, containing not only lettuce, rocket, cucumber and radiccio but also tomato, onion, pepper and pomegranate seeds – and with a good dressing. The fennel and dill salad was pleasantly astringent and turned out to be an ideal complement to fish and chips - something Dennis will make at home.
K & M however, serve more than just classic fish and chips: they also offer fish burgers, fish cakes, calamari, fish finger buttys, fish nuggets and more. Another sensible thing is the fact that Kid’s menu is also available for ‘ less hungry adults’ for it is best to be hungry when visiting K & M. I was, but even so I asked if I could take home a good half of my chips, they were far too good to waste. No problem, they were returned beautifully packed. And the chip butty they made later was at least a reminder of their fluffy inside, crispy outside, freshly-cooked selves - a reminder to return to this the supremo of fish and chip shops.
Portions of fish cost from £5.80- £6.80, chips are £1.80. Side dishes vary from £1.450- £3.00. Home-made tartare sauce, lemon mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce and curry sauce are all 50p.
Kerbisher & Malt
164 Shepherd’s Bush Road, London W6 7 PB
+44 (0)203 556 0228