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Archive for the ‘Fish and Chip Restaurant’ Category

How hard can it be to cook the perfect portion of chips? Quite, it would seem, or there wouldn’t be such a fuss surrounding the crispy little fellas. Heston suggests triple cooking, Delia does them in the oven, and my Mum will only use Maris Pipers. Few foods impassion or bring out the food thief in us all quite as much as the humble fried potato chip. With all this in mind, and in honour of National Chip Week, I decided to try out four of Thanet’s finest purveyors and create my own Chip Pageant. Who would win the inaugural, coveted and catchy title of Thanet Gannet’s Chip of the Year 2010? It was all to play for as we set off on Saturday lunchtime, minus breakfast, in search of the perfect potato punnet. In quick succession we visited Eddie Gilbert’s (Ramsgate), Peter’s Fish Factory (Margate), Newington Fish Bar and the Fish Inn (Broadstairs). At each we purchased an open portion of chips, salt’n’vinegared and then marked on Crispness, Quality, Fluffiness and Presentation. By 3pm the car reeked of condiments and I’d sworn to never eat another chip. But despite my newfound dislike for the sexy spud I did have some useful research data that revealed a conclusive result. 4th place went to Newington, who unaccountably serve their chips sweating in a polystyrene container. Next up was the Fish Inn, who scored highly on the presentation front and portion size. 2nd was Peter’s, who delivered great all-round chips. But the title goes to Eddie Gilbert’s, whose beef-dripping fried chips scored highly in every category except presentation. Sadly the small chip bag made it awkward to liberally apply condiments, meaning the last few chips were not quite as amazing as they could be. A point dropped then. I guess I’ll just have to keep searching for another year. Perfect.

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Where would you go in Thanet this weekend if cash and calories weren’t an issue? I’d head down to Posillipo’s in Broadstairs on Friday evening for chilled beers, a pizza that could flatten a tenor and a large helping of Neapolitan charm. Saturday morning would be spent reading the papers at Peens whilst I made one of Thanet’s finest breakfasts disappear. Magic. Off to Ramsgate around 1ish to try and solve the amazing Eddie Gilbert’s conundrum.  Batter or no batter?  What a dilemma. What a decision. What a place. Still no closer to answering this gastronomic riddle I’d cast off in search of my beloved curry – fat nostrils leading me Margatewards. Everybody has his or her favourite spice girl and mine is The Indian Princess. She’s a little too modern for some and a little too expensive for others but I’ll take her as is.  On Sunday I’d probably treat myself to a lie in but would rise just in time to order lunch at Age and Sons. I’d spend the afternoon grazing on local produce in an informal setting, happily pickling myself on their remarkable wine list. I’ll leave Sunday night free, however, as there are 13 other Thanet restaurants nominated in the 2009 Kent Restaurant awards that could do with my custom. I won’t be able to visit them all in one evening, so maybe you could instead.

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Puns, I’ve discovered, are rather hard to avoid when writing about fish, so I’ll do my best not to use the most deliberate of gags. We visited this new Ramsgate restaurant on a Friday lunchtime wishing for greatness but anticipating some teething problems at the very least. The warm interior gives a tasteful nod to the sea and has diners seated upon reclaimed church pews whilst they consume the holiest of creatures. Staff display just the right balance of friendliness and professionalism to make you feel comfortable yet reassured. The standard fish and chip menu is an extensive affair and that’s before you’ve even cast an eye over the rather interesting specials page.  All of which came as a surprise to me due to the lack of a working website – page 1 stuff surely? Ordinarily I’d opt for the obvious but decided to plunder the specials instead. I could have cried as I watched plate after plate of fish and chips (£8.00+) teasingly pass by.  What had I done? My neighbours happily taunted me with conversation of perfect batter, amazing chips and just so mushy peas. I was a broken man. The gorgeous bread brightened my spirits a little, a mountain of spicy whitebait (£4.95) almost brought a smile, and would have, had it more of a kick and something to dip it in.  A lemon aioli perhaps? And then a beautiful thing happened: my main course arrived. An epic slab of cod with chorizo and artichoke puree (£14.00) It was superb. I wanted to stand on my chair and celebrate. I’d won the Battle of the Lunches. My adversaries lay slain across my new favourite restaurant, weeping into their ketchup-stained napkins. Who needs batter when the fish is this good? Not me. Well, not today anyway. I’m hooked (sorry).

32 King Street, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 8NT, 01843 852123.

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