Fish & Chips are a staple of British culture. They are the comfort food that will hug you just as tight at lunch as they will at the stroke of midnight, they’re equally delicious with a can of coke or a bottle of beer, and they are found on just about every high street in the United Kingdom. You will never have a problem finding a fish & chips shop when visiting this great country. However, there are good chip shops and there are bad chip shops. I have most definitely been to both and lived to tell the tale. Although recently I was introduced to a chippy that’s giving fish and chips a posher approach. This is United Chip.
The moment I walk into United Chip, all I can think is “this is an instagrammer’s heaven.” The pink tables, the modern lighting fixtures and the decorated tiles all lend themselves to a photographer’s paradise. Throw in the rainbow coloured packaging, the retro chip holders and the plethora of salts, vinegars and sauces, and you have the perfect combination of factors for a social media hit. In my experience, this can be dangerous. A restaurant that spends too much time thinking about what the social media stars of this world want can all too easily forget that it’s actually the food that brings people into the restaurant, not the cool layout of the tables and chairs. I’m pleased to report, however, that United Chip not only offers a visualising pleasing environment, they also offer one hell of a fish & chip package. In fact, they offer a lot more than that, but if we’re starting with the reason I was there, to try the fish & chips they’re famous for, I’d say they’ve won a gold star from me. Cooked perfectly and served with just the right amount of chips to fish ratio, I was in a fried fantasy.
The fantasy didn’t start and finish with fish & chips on this occasion. We also tried the soft shell crab burger… out of this world. There were calamari, skinny chips, thick chips and mushy peas too. Each and every dish ended up being the comfort food I was hunting for as it poured with rain outside. As the location, in Clerkenwell, is still quite new, our weekend visit was particularly quiet with only two other couples in the restaurant. However, I have it on good authority that lunchtime on a weekday is when this place really kicks it up a notch, with lines forming early for a taste of the fried fabulousness.
Put United Chip on your list of places to visit in London if you’re looking for great fish & chips with the added bonus of a quite fantastic atmosphere. Never thought I’d say that.
5 Clerkenwell Road
London EC1M 5PA