Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Fryer's Delight

I recently managed to sneak in a review of NYC fish n chip restaurant Chipshop in to Beef Aficionado because they serve steak and kidney pie. Although almost all chip shops here in the UK sell steak and kidney pies unfortunately, quite unlike the homemade one I enjoyed at Chipshop, the ones in chippy's are generally prepackaged and full of all kinds of rubbish. So the Beef Aficionado cannot generally recommend them. However, Fryers Delight can be heartily recommended, not because they make their own pies, they don't, but because they fry everything, from their fresh North Sea fish, to their chips and battered sausages in beef tallow.

Cod and chips
You really haven't lived until you have experienced fish n chips cooked with beef tallow, the method traditionally used before all the silly nonsense about cholesterol and fat content became such an obsession. As a cooking oil it is actually far less flavorful than other methods, imparting almost nothing and produces a crisper food with golden hue that is unlike frying done with other oils.

Aside from offering a classic taste Fryer's Delight is one of the few, and best, examples of the Formica cafes that gained popularity in the mid 20th century. Interestingly the decor does not look nearly as dated as that of many restaurants that opened far more recently.

Battered sausage

Plaice and chips

The fish at The Fryer's Delight is magnificent. The supremely crisp batter gives way to a buttery, succulent fish. Interestingly, for fried food, the fish is not in the least bit greasy. The chips are similarly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and actually taste like potatoes.

The take away menu

Sadly there are fewer and fewer authentic fish n chip shops in London and The Fryer's Delight maybe unique in the city in that it still uses beef tallow. The decor and the taste of the food both hearken back to a different age and in a town that is rapidly becoming populated by Starbucks and fast food chains it is nice to know that one can still get a taste of Olde England in her capital. Highly recommended.

Fryers Delight
19 Theobalds Road

London, WC1X 8SL, UK

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