Bristol vs the world

A travel (and sometimes fashion) blog about exploring Bristol and the rest of the world, one post at a time.

Tag: restaurant reviews

Food Friday: Ode to the Chippy

Fish and Chips

Dear Local Chippy,

I read an article today, discussing how chip shops are undergoing a revolution. I’m fine with that, I really am. I’m all up for making sure fish is sustainably caught and freshly cooked (though I think you’re already doing that, to be honest). Even if I’m more of a battered sausage girl myself.

But don’t go going too cool on us, will you? Not like all those burger joints where you have to queue for hours to get into. Don’t forget that the burger is American: it’s overconfident, it knows it can be big and bold and flashy. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, not if you can pull it off. But you, fish & chips, are the British national dish. You can’t quite get away with it. You’re just too humble, almost to the point of self-deprecation, always in disbelief that you are quite so loved.

You are, should always be, those small takeaways with white-tiled walls. Where we queue for our dinner and wait for it to be doled out in paper growing increasingly transparent from grease, careful to not look the other people waiting in the eye. You are the shop I leave with my mouth watering and my hair smelling of vinegar.

I like how you serve my mushy peas in a Styrofoam cup and I like it when you give me piles of the crispy, orange-brown chip ends you hardly ever get in a pub or restaurant (or not enough, anyway). I like how your batter is as thick as the meat it covers and how it crunches when I bite it. I like how you drown my chips in oil and vinegar and grease that drips down my fingers as I eat.

I like that your food works as well in front of the telly on a cold Friday night as it does on a British beach in summer. Even if the latter does involve fending off seagulls with a wooden fork.

I like how you don’t need sexy-sounding names, like those cool burger places. Your names are fun instead, like ‘Paul’s Plaice’ and ‘Frying Nemo’ and ‘Codfather’.

I know you’re not all as good as one another. I know some chip shops don’t quite have the batter recipe right, or don’t deep-fry the chips quite long enough (or maybe it’s too long?) so they’re too soggy, too chewy, not-quite-the-right flavour. I know it’s not easy doing what you do well.
Chippy, I know we’re both too British to be comfortable with me expressing too many emotions about why I like you. So I’ll just say that you’re doing well just as you are. Don’t go changing too much.

See you soon,

Amy

Visiting Bristol this summer and fancy trying the British national dish? My personal favourites are Farrow’s Fish & Chips in Totterdown and Crispies. But others I’ve seen recommended are Fishminister in Southville, Bishopston Fish Bar in Horfield, Argus Fish Bar in Bedminster. Bristolians – where are your favourites?

Image Credit
Fish & Chips: Alamy/Simon Belcher via The Guardian

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Food Friday: Lunch and dinner in Copenhagen

Last week I highlighted some lovely spots for a bit of breakfast in Copenhagen. But woman cannot live by pastries alone (much as I’d love to)! So here are some of the places we enjoyed lunch and dinner.

DOP hotdog Copenhagen

Hot dog stands
Everyone warns you that Copenhagen is expensive, but nothing quite prepares you for just how expensive. Especially when it comes to food and drink. That doesn’t mean there aren’t cheaper options, and a good way to save a few pennies is by grabbing lunch from one of the many hot dog stands around the city. We tried two. The one sat at the top of Nyhavn won on location. We ate in the sun, lounging on some nearby steps overlooking the beautiful, much-photographed harbour. However while those hot dogs were tasty, there’s a reason that readers of Politiken, a Danish broadsheet, voted DOP the best restaurant in Copenhagen (hot dogs pictured above). This might sound a bit odd, but the real stand-out about their offering was the bun – super soft and not chewy at all. So, so good.

Stands cost from around 25DKK, though DOP’s were a bit more expensive (around 36DKK).

Kodbyens Fiskebar dessert
Kodbyens fiskebar mussels

Kodbyens Fiskebar
From the cheapest places we visited on our trip to the most expensive. But oh was it worth it. A fish and seafood restaurant, Kodbyens Fiskebar is located in ‘cool’ Kodbyen. Also known a the ‘meatpacking district’, Kodbyen is next to Vesterbro and, conveniently, less than a five minute walk from our apartment.

As you might expect from its name, this area was – and still is – home to butchers; many now stroll to work as partygoers stagger home from the surrounding bars and clubs. Strict planning laws means that the restaurants and bars who have moved in have to preserve the white-tiled outlets as they were when they were home to butchers. As a result, none of the places in the area look particularly fancy. So despite Kodbyens Fiskebaren seemingly being one of the most-talked restaurants in Copenhagen at the moment, we loved that it was also completed relaxed and welcoming and more suited to jeans than a dress.

More importantly, the staff were friendly and helpful and the food and drink was incredible. Go, go, go and eat as much as you can possibly manage!

‘Raw bar’ plates (almost like ‘samplers’, of which you need more than one dish): DK115-145 for three pieces.
Medium courses (large starters): 105-165DKK
Bigger courses (mains): 165-255DKK
Desserts: 95DKK

Reservations highly recommended (book online)

bangaw

Ban Gaw
Admittedly Thai probably isn’t the natural choice for dinner in Denmark, but Ben Gaw on Sonder Boulevard was conveniently situated and looked full every time we walked past – both big ticks. It’s not the best Thai I’ve ever eaten (that title still goes to Oli’s Thai), and I probably wouldn’t make a special trip to eat here if I wasn’t staying nearby. But the food was flavoursome and and portions were generous. And, by Copenhagen standards, it was reasonably priced too.

Starters: 50-69DKK
Mains: 124-184DKK, but most around 150DKK

Cocks and Cows Copenhagen

Cocks and Cows
You have to ignore the ridiculous name for this one, but it’s – just about – worth it. This burger restaurant has two outlets in Copenhagen, one on Sankt Peders Straese, near the university and Latin Quarter and another on Gammel Strand, just on the other side of the river from Slotsholmen. This is the one we found ourselves in.

There’s 10 burgers to choose from (mostly cow, rather than cock based, and also one veggie option). I can highly recommend the Juicy Lucy, a hunk of meat with cheese oozing out of the middle. You can also pick one of three types of bun: sesame, whole grain or Sweet American (a brioche-style sweet bread). John and I both plumped for the latter. I never normally finish burger buns, preferring to concentrate on meat and chips instead, but I polished off most of this one!

There’s also a number of sides on offer – some fairly typical (fries, curly fries, onion rings) and others less so (BBQ wings and ribs). While the latter were tempting, instead we both chose the chilli fries, which turned out to be a good decision.

There’s also a good choice of drinks. As this was looking to be our only meal of the day, we went all out and filled ourselves up on milkshakes. They were very good, but next time I think I’d be tempted to splash out on a cocktail.

Good quality burgers in central locations, Cocks and Cows is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for something simple, good-quality and filling when in Copenhagen.

Picture credits
DOP hot dog: DOP’s Facebook page
Kodbyens Fiskebar exterior: Courtesy of Tripadvisor
Kodbyens Fiskebar food: My own, please credit if using
Ban Gaw: Thai Com
Cocks & Cows: Politiken