By Paul Mitchell, London Dining Review
The Phillips family has been frying up fish and chips at their Olde London restaurant since 1994. They have perfected an incredibly flakey and tasty batter that makes their seafood an enjoyable taste of jolly ol’ England.
Located at the end of a suburban strip mall in the city’s south end, the restaurant is fairly understated. Tables and chairs are unassuming as are the modest booths that line the side wall. The busy kitchen is tucked behind a front counter that stays active pushing out take-out orders.
There is no limit to the types of fish that are thrown into the deep-fryer. For the budget conscious, creamy and mild Alaskan Whitefish ($5.35 for one piece) is an affordable option. Halibut ($13.95 for the dinner that includes coleslaw and dinner roll) is my preference because of its rich flavour and flakey texture. And in celebration of English tradition, I can not help but order a side of mushy peas ($1.25). Olde London also serves up battered haddock, cod, salmon, scallops and shrimp, plus a strange mix of burgers and chicken.
My plate arrives heaping with thick-cut potatoes and a large piece of crispy, lightly coloured fish. The coating is similar to tempura: light-weight, not too crunchy, but with enough texture to complement the meat’s heavier feel. The vinegar-styled coleslaw and peas add a bit of acidic vibrancy along with a variety of other fresh tastes.
While halibut is not exactly the cheapest of lunches, and certainly not ideal for those who have to sit through afternoon office meetings, Olde London Fish and Chips provides a delectable filling reminder of the British Isles.
Olde London Fish & Chips
561 Southdale Road East, London, ON
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 8:30 pm; Sunday, 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm; Closed Monday
Rating: 3.5 stars