Only cod and haddock will do for fish and chips, says top restaurant critic –

Only cod and haddock will do for fish and chips, says top restaurant critic Published:  06 August, 2013

BRITAIN’S leading restaurant and television critic has penned a strong defence of traditional fish and chips as they used to be served before alternative species became the vogue.

Reviewing a meal he had at The Fish and Chip Shop in Upper Street, Islington, London, for The Sunday Times Magazine at the weekend, A.A Gill said fish and chips had been having a hard time of late, left out of the Great British Food Revival.

“They didn’t fit with the foodie orthodoxy,” he says in his Table Talk column. “Then there was the campaign against eating the great cold water shoaling fish (cod and haddock) and trying to interest us instead in octopus, Pollock and pilchards.”The Fish And Chip Shop has been remade by Des McDonald, former head chef at the award winning Ivy restaurant and only opened in May this year.

AA Gill describes the beer batter as “thin and crisp as a filo (pastry) “, adding the cod was so fresh “it flaked with an opalescent, glistening gumminess that is the mark of a perfect cod”.In a tilt at those who urge people to swap cod and haddock for less popular species, AA Gill, who is noted for his witty, amusing and sometimes caustic reviews, says: “Along with haddock you should accept no substitutions. No coley or Pollock is going to come close to being this good. Killing a second rate fish because you feel mildly guilty about a perfect one makes no moral, environmental or economic sense.

“Get over yourself,” he writes, adding that fish and chips need to be eaten fast and piping hot.