A Barcelona food blog
There is probaby no food discussion amongst Brits more contentious than which is their favourite fish and chip shop. One that one person enthuses about another hates and we all seem to have our preferred place to go for that weekend ‘chippy tea’. In Barcelona such a discussion is futile and comparisons impossible as there is only one fish and chip shop in the city.
The self-titled Fish and Chips sits on Rambla de Raval which cuts through this neighbourhood, a melting pot of nationalities. In an area where kebab shops, curry restaurants and north African cuisines are plentiful it seems only right that our national dish should be represented here too as this would be the set up in any UK town or city. Fish and chips, wherever I am in the world, are generally a deflating experience for me. The hypnotic waft that lures me in to the fish fryers more often than not pushes my pleasure buttons far more than the battered cod and malt vinegar soaked chips I leave with ever do. But on a dash from work to meet some friends in a nearby bar I popped in for a bag of chips to line the stomach.
You could easily forget where you were for a moment as you enter the café, the premises being so reminiscent of a chippy back home that it’s almost like being transported 1500 miles just by stepping over the threshold. Well done to them for creating such an authentic environment.
Like many chip shops in the UK, there was the pie cabinet with its sorry looking pasties that had seen better times. I was grateful to see that my chips went freshly into the fryer and weren’t going to be served to me soggy after sitting for hours. To make you feel even more at home there’s mushy peas, curry sauce, baked beans or as we northerners love, gravy, to moisten your fish and chips. I think a request for ‘scraps’ might be pushing it a bit though.
For those truly homesick souls Fish and Chips also sells a selection of products from Taste of Home, the overpriced English supermarket here which is packed floor to ceiling with those packet foods British people strangely seem to be so fond of.The shop proudly displays a certificate of training from the Federation of Fish Fryers although I’m not sure if this extended to draining them of oil as mine needed a few more shakes before being wrapped in their paper, the server also didn’t have a clue how to wrap the paper so they could be eaten on the move. Surely a pre-requisite for any fish and chip shop? I had to rip away billowing sheets to get at my chips and douse them in a bit of salt and a good slosh of malt vinegar.Too much grease and a few too many chips that should’ve had a few more minutes in the fryer spoilt the moment somewhat and would’ve been cause for complaint in a British chippie. However, on the street, on a cold February night, heading to a bar and over a year since this potato and vinegar combination had hit my tongue, I chose to overlook their errors.
Fish and Chips, Rambla de Raval 26, Raval