Kensington Place has turned part of its swanky fish restaurant into local pop-up chip shop, the Notting Gill Chippy. We head along to see if it’s the plaice to be, or just a load of old codswallop
If there’s one thing an out-of-towner loves to tell a Londoner, it’s that there’s no ‘proper’ fish ‘n’ chips to be had in this city. No triple-fried slices of potato soaked in vinegar, no crispy cod wrapped in a page of the Daily Star, and certainly no in-house brown sauce. Kensington Place restaurant have tried to fill the gap in the hearts of west London locals with its new temporary pop-up the Notting Gill Chippy, housed at the back in a wood-paneled enclave, complete with a chalk-board menu. You can sit in and eat, or grab and go.
This is no classic after-school chip shop, but the Notting Gill twist on the proudest of deep-fried British traditions is definitely worth a look. When our classic cod arrived, it was practically the width of the tray – served atop a fake tabloid filled with news of the restaurant’s arrival. Inside the perfect batter, there was a healthy, meaty fish free of any sogginess, and the chips were plump and crispy as any you’d find by Blackpool Pier. West London-friendly additions to the menu aren’t without their charm – the meal went down particularly well with a pint of the Harviestoun ale and an unusual side of lentil dahl. Fear not neophobes as mushy peas also make an appearance at £2.50. Less impressive was the dense lobster-thermi bun, a sort of savoury donut packed with lobster thermidor sauce; which conjured up memories of unwanted wedding vol-au-vents.
The cost is high if you’re going by seaside prices (£8.50 for classic fish and chips) but many nearby pubs will charge a similar rate without the expertise, or the unconventional options, like the curried-spiced batter fish and chips. Sadly, the short run means Notting Gill will soon be tomorrow’s fish and chip paper, but if it (hopefully) returns next year, we’ll be waiting with wooden fork in hand.
The Notting Gill Chippy pop-up has been extended and will now run at Kensington Place until the 24 September, Kensington Place 201 Kensington Church Street W8 7LX; kensingtonplace-restaurant.co.uk