Monday, December 5, 2011

Fish & Chips: the winner

I FINALLY had great fish and chips this weekend! As I mentioned in one of my first blog entries, my first famous chippie visit was tremendously disappointing. Since then, I've had fair fish and chips at a few different pubs and several weeks ago, I had good fish and chips at the Golden Hind in Marylebone. I was beginning to get discouraged and was considering either giving up the search or going back to the Golden Hind for a second tasting and to possibly declare it the winner. Yet, just in time, no settling was necessary; I had really great, can't-get-enough fish and chips.

I'm sure you're all dying to know where so you can add it to your London bucket lists and join this chippy's cult-like following. Well ladies and gents, the best chippy in London is... Mickey's Fish and Chips by Paddington Station. The eatery is extremely unassuming, located just off a decently sized street only minutes from the buzzing train station. Mickey's itself is made up of two large shopfront style windows, roughly a dozen tables with seating for maybe 30 people, and a small counter and kitchen area. Since we were eating in (I'm thinking take away counts for a lot of their business) we were encouraged to sit down and look over the menu instead of standing to order. We ordered 5 medium pieces of whichever fish was freshest and two large orders of chips for the five of us. Our waiter told us he would check whether the cod or haddock was fresher and our food would be ready shortly. Minutes later, massive amounts of steaming, inviting food arrived at our table. The fish itself was a generous piece of cod but, not as grossly huge as many chippys offer. The breading had an incredible crunch to it and each taste was filled with delicious flavor and a bite of flaky, fresh fish. The fish was perfectly cooked which, combined with a delicious breading, gave the fish a perfect texture and flavor. The chips were good too, although I'm far less picky about those. The heaping plates of chips were made up of several different sizes so you could choose if you wanted a more potatoey or crunchy side dish. I opted for the medium-size cut chips so I got a bite of potato and some crunch with each chip, similar to the texture of the fish.

Another thing that makes Mickey's so great is the cult-like fan base. When we ate there, there were three other parties in the restaurant including a family and an elderly man. The third was another of our friends showing his visitors "the best fish and chips in London" just as I was. Beyond that, people that love Mickey's go all the time and tell everyone about it. Despite this being my first visit, I've listened to my friends rave about it since the first week in London. All my friends love it so much they insisted thats where I take my visitors and the next night, two of them got it take-away for dinner again. I'll definitely be making another visit before my time in London is finished. The chips were good, the prices ideal, the community vibe great, and the fish was excellent! Go to Mickey's now!

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