Although not as cold as it has been, I was fairly under-dressed for the damp, breezy day and while warm and sweaty I think the run from Uxbridge had depleted my breakfast. Very hungry, I popped into the first chippy I could find, the Sea Master. “It will be ten minutes,” which I accepted, deciding to cut the run short of the last mile and a half to Croxley and to just leave for home from Rickmansworth.
Well worth the wait … the fish was perfectly steamed inside the crisp batter envelope and not at all more salty than absolutely necessary. Why can’t EVERYONE do this?
The proprietor was nice.
The fish was dreadful … although probably cooked this week, it had definitely sat in the heating cabinet long enough for the flesh to assume the texture and taste of cardboard but, blessedly, there wasn’t much of it under the thick, oily mat of stale batter. Yuck.
I always have my doubts about chippies that claim to be “Award Winning,” but the Aquarius in Ruislip Manor deserves any accolade received. The fish was perfectly steamed inside a succulent batter crust and the small was incredibly filling: it would have been good value for money even as a run-of-the-mill bite of cod, but I awoke this morning wishing I had bought some extra to reheat for breakfast and lunch.
Three pints into the evening’s jog around Joe Strummer-land and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. With one more pint to go before the ride home, I grabbed a ‘small’ cod at Micky’s. “Any chips?” the guy asked but I shook my head knowing it would ruin my supper later if I filled up. That ship had already sailed, though, since the ‘small’ cod was about the same size as a small refrigerator. Tasty, too, and easily the best bargain in the area.
Safely into familiar territory on the evening’s run I still wasn’t into what I would term precisely SAFE territory. I wanted to consult my maps to make sure I stuck to the, ahem, better streets but I didn’t want to make myself conspicuous by fumbling around under a street light. Hungry, as well, I killed to birds with one stone by grabbing a bit of cod at the Catch Fish & Chips stand.
My god! This piece was awesome. Moist but not soggy, a crisp crusty batter with a bit of flavour and without too much salt. Is that corn flour in the batter, or maybe a bit of chickpeas? Are there beef renderings in the frying fat? They are doing SOMETHING right, here.
£4.90 for a small piece of cod doesn’t sound bad at most chippies where the definition of “small” is roughly the size of your head. There is no ambiguity regarding size at the Seashell.
Getting fucked by strangers like this still wouldn’t be so bad if it was just done well. But, this tiny morsel had absolutely no flavour to speak of. I could have saved the ten minutes waiting for this to fry by just eating the takeaway box. This opinion is shared by others and seems to go back a few years.
The interior of the shop is nice, though.
I ordered the fish to go then, realising he was cooking it to order, opted to eat in. This was a really good choice, civilized, even. And, the fish was good, too. Near the Joe Meek site, for you rock and murder-suicide tourists.