March 21 2010
Mark C O’Flaherty
When I took a rather grand restaurant critic friend of mine to Fish Central recently, she looked at the menu, arched an eyebrow and announced, “My goodness, I’ve been eating in some terribly expensive places.” Disarmed by the thrift of this Cypriot-run Formica-chic dining room attached to an EC1 council estate take-away chippie, she was, as I knew she would be, bowled over by the food.
This restaurant is my default destination in London when I want the finest fish and chips, but it’s also great for oysters, chargrilled squid and cod, haddock, plaice, skate or salmon that can be served perfectly grilled, with matzo meal, or deep-fried. There’s also a splendid Alvarinho (£17.95) on the wine list and a Bollinger for £39.95.
What’s as good as the food is the ambience – this is the most trad London eaterie I know, and the first place I’d take someone from out of town. On a Friday night the early evening sitting is a mixture of off-duty cabbies and dressed-up East Enders. Later on the Shoreditch trendies descend. All this, and a Knickerbocker Glory too.
Prices range from £4.45 for chargrilled squid to £9.95 for skate.