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Lucas North at the local Chippy

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Continuing on the theme of Skinny Minnie Lucas in the first episode of Spooks season 7, I want to focus on the first request he had when he was safely back on British soil.

If you remember, the disheveled, gaunt Lucas, with his ‘been sitting in the car boot for hours’ hair requested one thing:

Fish & Chips

It may seem like an odd request for some, but I guess if he was American, he would have asked for a burger and fries.

During my last few visits to London, I have mourned the disappearance of local Chippies.

You won’t get good fish & chips in Kebab shops. If the batter is made of breadcrumbs, it’s not real fish and chips!

The closest you’ll get to authenticity is perhaps a pub, but for locals, not tourists.

Your best bet would be to venture out of the main centre of London, and go to a residential area, and not a posh one!

There’s a better chance of scoring this dish is the estates (low-income neighborhoods).

When I was a child, we’d sometimes have fish & chips from our local chippy, wrapped in white  paper.

The outer layers would be newspapers, to keep the heat.

The bonus is that all the grease would be soaked up by the paper.

Nowadays, they pack it in those horrible white plastic containers, that are so bad for the environment that even Mc D’s have stopped using them.

I can’t tell you what a delicacy fish & chips were for me as a child!

The chips must be cut into thick chunks, with a crispy shell, and soft inside.

I like mine with plenty of vinegar poured on the chips. The only problem is that the vinegar would soak into the paper, and you’d have to top it up to get that strong taste.

The fish batter must be beyond crunchy. With its golden brown shell, it should house a firm cod filet.

Depending on your preference, you can add mushy peas.

They don’t look that appetizing, but the taste is amazing!

There’s a British Fish & Chips restaurant in the centre of my city, but I dare not try it!

On the one hand, I’m afraid it’ll be nothing like the authentic British.

What I fear more is that I’ll actually love it and become hooked.

No matter what Nigella Lawson says, deep-fried food – not that healthy!

Let Proust have his madeleins. For me and Lucas, fish & chips is what takes us back to happier times🙂

About AgzyM

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons". A fangirl through and through, anglophile, and admirer of beauty whereever I can find it. I love books and art, and spend too much time admiring Richard Armitage and other amazing British actors.

17 responses »

  1. Ah, the joy of eating that old-fashioned serve of fish and chips in paper! I like my chips with salt; Melanie (my daughter) forgoes the salt and has vinegar instead, like you!

    We still have the odd real takeaway food shop in Canberra but you need to know where to look for them. Now, kiddo, Australians know how to make a proper hamburger, not that McD crap (whoops, may I say “crap” here?)

    You need:

    a round bread roll – not those awful flat things you get from the supermarket loaded with sugar

    a proper meat patty made from minced beef (similar to what we and the Brits call a rissole) – and not that mass-produced bluh (here insert Geraldine’s bluh from “The Vicar of Dibley – Handsome Stranger” episode!!!)

    grilled onions

    tomato

    lettuce

    plus other things if you like – I suggest you try one with a slice of canned pineapple one day – yummy or what!!. Some people add a fried egg, bacon, beetroot (yuck), grated carrot…..

    Now that’s a hamburger – it’s so flipping thick that’s it’s hard to get your mouth around it!!

    When you buy a salad sandwich in Australia, you don’t just get a mingey bit of tomato, lettuce and cucumber – and it’s also so thick!!!!

    Reply
    • LOL you can absolutely say CRAP here, espacially if something is… well… crap😉 I don’t usually eat meat, but I will if it’s worth it. Therefore, no McD for me. If I’m going to eat meat, let me at least be able to identify it as meat! I have to admit the Americans know how to make a burger! Especially when you go to a real diner, with hundreds of things on the menu – usually that’s a bad sign, but it works. I went to Hardrock here in Warsaw and they served the burger on a Polish roll! Such a No No! It’s like you’d serve a hamburger on a French baguette. Nope! BTW, I don’t know if it’s because I was raised in England, but I’m one of those crazy people who loves British food. I go crazy in the food section in M&S🙂

      Reply
  2. Guess someday I need to have ‘proper’ fish and chips… The ones I ate didn’t leave me good memories!! Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity when I visited London two weeks ago. In Brazil they aren’t popular at all!!! Now, over here, there are some restaurants which prepare their own hamburgers and I’ve tasted some very good ones!!!

    Reply
    • I forgot to suggest you try it! then again, in my experience, the fish & chips that can be bought by tourists is not worth a penny! You have a reason to go back to London! BTW, what did you see when you were there that you really liked? Is it a place you’d like to go back to?

      Reply
      • Going back to London will always be in my wish lists. I love the city!! This time my visited coincided with the Queen Jubilee celebrations. Due to the excitement around it, my friend (who lives there) decided to take me to a visit to Winchester and sorroundings, which meant a lot to me because it’s the region where Jane Austen lived/died!!! I really loved it. I could say it was the highest point of my trip.
        Regarding London, instead of f&c, I decided to have a fancy tea at Harrods… It was really nice!! I felt almost like a lady (not really)!!😉

        Reply
        • I just can’t imagine someone not loving London or the UK! Espacially a fan of RA, Austin, BBC etc. I was raised roughly close to the Moors like in Wuthering Heights🙂 There’s so much to see and the British really know how to make the tourist attractions super interesting. I admire their national pride!

          Reply
          • I agree entirely with you. Strolling through the streets of London and see the city decorated for the celebrations of the jubilee was fantastic!!! I really hope to go back and see more of the country!!

          • Love everything from reading a newspaper in St. Jamses park, to English food, to the underground. Just love it! The thing with London, it’s just as you imagine it would be It just can’t disappoint!

  3. Really “fish and chips” are very different in Brazil since us have a vast coastline, generally fish are whole fresh fish, grill and accompanied by fries. The total perdition!
    In New Zealand, we went to a beach restaurant that sold the best “fish and chips” in New Zealand, had won several awards. There were “fish and chips” with breaded fish fillet, a delight! This subject give me hungry :0)

    Reply
    • I know, I think this posts can be a bit of a torture😉 I’d love to have access to fresh fish, especially that I don’t eat meat. Ideally, I’d have sushi every day of the week, laced with fish & chips on special days. I can imaine eating anything at a beach restaurnt in NZ would taste like heaven. Was this the restaurant where RA and Orlando had lunch together last spring? If it was, food? what food? LOL😉

      Reply
  4. Have not have real fish & chips. Hard to get in the center of the States. But after the pictures you posted, I want them right NOW:)

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Legenda 32: Stuff worth reading « Me + Richard Armitage

  6. Thankfully we can still get wonderful fish and ships here in South West BC Canada!! I like them with a little salt and malt vinegar – none of that white stuff for me!🙂 Pretty authentic too all wrapped up in paper for take-out but sadly not in newspaper the way I was used to (considered unhygienic nowadays) and not quite as good as I had when I last visited my hometown of Aberdeen, Scotland when we went to “The Ashvale” – voted #1 in the UK at least once!! They are THE best I ever tasted!!

    Reply
    • Good to know🙂 I remember having f&c in a posh restaurant in NY. It looked mighty fine, served in a basket, with faux newspaper tucked in, lemon and some sauce. It just didn’t work😦 As much as I think Chinese food is better in NY than in China (for my taste buds, anyway), in my head GB has the fish & chip edge!

      Reply
  7. One last comment (I promise you)… Regarding London, guess we have lots in common!!😀

    Reply
    • Yay, I had no doubt about that Luciana! BTW, it’ll be a sad day for me, as a blogger, but especially as a person, when you write your one last comment! Don’t even scare me like that!🙂

      Reply

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