Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tuesday's Chips

Tues 25 April 2006

A happy quirk sees Headingley well graced with actual eat in, sit down fish and chip restaurants. Prior to coming to the UK (actually, prior to coming to Leeds the first time round) it never occurred to me that you would sit in a restaurant and eat the same fish and chips that you would get from the chip shop. Fish and chips was something you ate on the beach (in summer) or in the sitting room, in front of the TV (in winter).

My first experience of 'eating in' with my fish and chips was a few years ago in a village north of Leeds on a Saturday night. I think every grandmother within cooee had put on her Sunday best and come out to eat fish and chips, with buttered bread and a cup of tea. It was incredibly surreal.

So - would eat in fish and chips in Headingley offer me the same experience? Fortunately, the Yorkshire Evening Post published a 2-for-1 offer for Bryan's, which is on Weetwood Lane, just behind the Three Horseshoes, and off we went.

There's not really a huge amount to tell ... the menu consists of fish and chips ... Jenny had a crisis at the price (you're eating in so you are paying just over double what you'd pay on take away), I had a crisis as I realised that I hadn't done enough research into what fish I was allowed to eat, and I suspect Andy was having a personal crisis as there was no decent lager (or beer of any type) on offer. Jenny disappeared to sample the takeaway and left Andy & me to our glasses of Coke and milk respectively.

I ordered what looked like the smallest dish on the menu - haddock and chips for smaller appetites, as well as a side order of onion rings. The fish & chips came in at about £7.50. Andy ordered the normal haddock and chips which was about £8.50. So it's not cheap. If you want a cheap(er), quick fish meal you are far, far better off with take away. Andy also went for some curry sauce.

I really enjoyed my fish and chips. The chips, in particular, were very good, and the batter on the fish was crispy and light - and the fish had a good coating on it. Mmmm ... should have remembered to ask for scraps ...

The onion rings - well, I'm not a hugely experienced onion ring eater ... I could have taken or left them, and I didn't really rate the curry sauce. Andy, who knows a lot more about curry sauce than me, felt it was standard fish shop curry sauce. The portions are quite generous - you might be spending a lot of money but you won't be leaving hungry.

After drinks and the discount we came out having spent less than £15 ... which I think is not bad. To celebrate, we nipped into Arcadia for the beer that the meal was lacking.

Although I love fish in pretty much all its shapes, colours and flavours ... we should all try to eat fish responsibly. Please visit FishOnline to find out which ones are fished sustainably and have good stocks.

1. Bryans of Headingley, 9 Weetwood Lane, Leeds, LS16 5LT, phone 0113 278 5679

How to get there: buses to Headingley are many and varied ... the best selection runs from outside Bar Risa on Albion Street. Take a 1, 96 or 97A. Get off at St Chad's Road on Otley Road. Bryans is just behind the Three Horsehoes.

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Blogger Richard Atkinson said...

Wow, proper fish and chips. Not having been there since I was a kid, I wonder what the original Harry Ramsden's at White Cross is like these days. I remember it as amazing but fear that the whole franchise thing may have compromised it... and my rose tinted glasses may not have helped either.

I think I recall them using beef dripping for the deep frying but might have that wrong.

9:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you sit in at Brett's these days? I know you can at the Wetherby Whaler in Pudsey, it's pretty good too.

11:04 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

I shall investigate both Brett's & the Wetherby Whaler when I next need a fish & chip fix! I guess I should also put the original Harry Ramsden's on my list too ...

7:37 am  

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