Address: 164 Shepherds Bush Road, London W6 7PB
Price: £8.60 for pollock and chips
It has taken me decades to write this review. Well not decades but many weeks, and regrettably, probably a couple of months too. Normally I pretty much fire them off with my razor-sharp diagnosis of ‘s’alright’, ‘not too bad’ or ‘a bit pants’, but I’m telling you, I have slaved over this review. I have sat up late at night, tearing my hair out and starting paragraphs inexplicably with “I got to thinking” like some kind of unhinged Carrie Bradshaw… Anyway, now the review is finally here.
Kerbisher and Malt is, first and foremost, a very nice chippy on Shepherd’s Bush Road. It has won awards (voted Best Contemporary Fish and Chip Shop by Esquire magazine) and gained quotesfromimportantpeople aplenty. But essentially it is unpretentious, unassuming and exceptionally good value.
The fish was probably the best, most delicious fish I’ve ever had from a chip shop. Beautifully cooked and exquisitely flaky – my companion and I nearly wept. You can choose from battered, in matzo meal, or grilled (if you’ve come to a chippy by mistake) and the choice of sustainable fish – haddock, cod, plaice, pollock or coley – is very admirable and makes you feel virtuous without even trying, which is nice.
The batter was the lightest, driest batter ever created by a human hand, and the onion rings and chips were likewise the same. You know that post-fishandchip feeling you get when you are lying on the sofa, nursing your stomach and feeling a little bit disappointed with yourself for a) eating so much and b) not eating something with more nutritional value? Well, for the first time ever, I didn’t get that. I felt fine, healthy even. And I didn’t like it.
The thing is, and the reason why this review has been so absoloutely agonising, is that I am actually a bit of a grease-monkey. I have realised, after lots of soul-searching, that I prefer my newspaper-wrapped goods to be not so perfect. I don’t like dry, beautiful chips, I like soggy, vinegar-sodden, misshapen ones with burnt corners, and I like batter with just a soupçon of grease. Kerbisher and Malt serves basically perfect fish and chips, I’m just not sure ready for it yet. Some people are so hard to please aren’t they?
P.S For the takeaway menu for Kerbisher & Malt, map, website, quotesfromimportantpeople etc. click here. Take the hint and takeaway, don’t eat in, it’s icy cold my friends. Also get the mushy peas, they keep all the other things hot.
P.P.S Also Simon Cowell apparently gets his fish and chips here. Make of that what you will. Here is a picture I found to prove it…
Told you so.