Fish & Chips – the glorious signature of English fast food that everyone all over the world knows. It pretty much represents a lot about the UK and, of course, carries a lot of tradition and history with it. Admittedly, I’ve got to say I don’t always have the best experience with British fish & chips. Very often, I was left feeling rather underwhelmed, maybe disappointed even. I was told London just isn’t the place for fish & chips, so I’d come to the point of giving up trying out fish & chips around town. But then Poppies Fish & Chips came into my radar and we ended up returning here & there when in the area!
Poppies: Old School Halal Fish & Chips
Poppies Fish & Chips have several branches around London, including Camden and Soho. But their Spitalfields branch in Hanbury Street is their first and original site, which also happens to be my favourite branch as well. I like their Spitalfields branch because it embraces the traditional East End chippie shop vibe, and carries a lot of character with its retro diner interior style. The restaurant interior is lined with 1950s memorabilia, and even the staff are all dressed up in an old-school floral printed diner uniform.
Additionally, their fish & chips are halal-friendly as well, using non-beer batter and cooked separately from other meats. All fish & chips come in regular or large sizes. They are served with a wedge of lemon, tartare sauce and ketchup that are put in their own-branded individual mini jars, and of course including other condiments such as malt vinegar and salt & pepper. Some classic sides like mushy peas and curry sauce would be for extras.
The Food: What We Ordered
Cod & Chips (regular) (£13.95)
Though it was just a regular portion, it was pretty huge. The battered fish was fried to a perfect golden colour with a generous amount of thick chunky chips served on the side. The golden crisp of the batter was an absolute delight – perfectly crispy, not too thick nor too thin and nicely seasoned. It doesn’t leave you with a greasy taste either. With a squeeze of lemon, everything just hit the spot.
As for the fish itself, as expected from its size, it was certainly a meaty one. It was cooked just right, perfectly flaky and tasted reasonably fresh by English standards. For the chips, they’re decent too. They’re large and chunky and were nice with a drizzle of malt vinegar and a sprinkle of salt.
Curry Sauce (£2.95)
This is pretty much a must for us. We always order a side of curry sauce to share when having fish & chips. There was one time when Poppies Fish & Chips were doing a collaboration with Gunpowder and that curry sauce was outstanding! Still, their usual curry sauce was still a delight to pair with the fish and comes in a good portion to share.
Homemade Mushy Peas (£2.95)
We also tend to like to get a side of mushy peas to share as well. The mushy peas at Poppies were quite lovely. They’re lightly seasoned just right and one portion was good to share between the two of us.
Restaurant Review Summary
For London, Poppies Fish & Chips no doubt serves a good decent plate of the British classic. We really enjoyed its retro, nostalgic and traditional atmosphere as well, which gives so much character & charm to the dining experience. As far as halal fish & chips options in London go, Poppies is a solid one and with a central enough location to try out!
Nearest station: Liverpool Street