There’s something irresistible about good fish and chips. What is it about that maddening waft when someone brushes past with a steaming bouquet? My death row meal would definitely feature whisper crisp chips, slathered in Sarsons and a big hunk of freshly battered piscine protein… So imagine my delight when I heard that Poppies had sprung up at the end of Hanbury Street, just next door to Rosa’s.
The fish is all sustainably caught and fried in groundnut oil.
The decor is uber-retro.
The waitresses are decked out in 50’s style uniforms and there’s even a 6 foot juke box.
It’s clear that a lorra love has gone into this.
The menu is brilliant. They’ve got all the usuals, plus delights like free range chicken, home made fish cakes, home made mushy peas, whitebait and hand peeled prawn cocktail.
There are knickerbocker glories and sticky toffee pud for dessert and you even get pontefract cakes with the bill. I’m not sure it’s possible to get any more old school than pontefract cakes.
We shared a crunchy little plate of whitebait to start which I washed down with a can of cream soda (cream soda!) All in all, some pretty delicious details.
And yet, to my genuine surprise there was just nothing that special about the fish and chips, which after all is what we were there for. I’ve definitely had better (and on one occasion much worse) at the far less fashionable Happy Days in Goulston Street. The halibut was the same price as HD but half the size. And it might have been from more ethical stock, but the flesh refused to flake with quite the same ease. The batter on my sustainable cod lacked seasoning and our mushy peas never actually materialised (apart from on the bill)…
Also the seats were a bit cramped together – which is fine if your neighbours are affable types. But when your neighbours are a trio of braying ironic flat cap wearers, mouthing raucously off about how they’re there to review for some daily rag, it’s never going to make for the best of scenarios (I could have sworn that one of them dropped his copy of Zoo on the way out…)
Our final bill came to just over £31 (which isn’t that far off what we spend on our weekly food bill) so this is definitely a one off treat place if you’re as brassic as I am. The pricing is all a bit random, with a saveloy setting you back by £4.50, a steak pie at £5.50, Heinz beans at £2 and dover sole at £14.50.
Hopefully these are all teething issues as it had literally only just opened up today. I’m sure given a bit of time it’ll bloom into a rip roaring success.
Poppies Fish & Chips
6-8 Hanbury Street
020 7247 0892