Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Kerbisher and Malt

Before going to London, I did a lot of research into fish and chips. That was one thing we knew we wanted to get in England, and it seemed like everyone liked different spots for different reasons. One of the highly recommended spots online was Kerbisher and Malt, which we were especially attracted to since it was located in Hammersmith, only a short walking distance from our hotel room.

Kerbisher and Malt offered up fried fish in almost every form imaginable - plain, with chips, in butties and burgers, as fish fingers. (You could get it grilled too, but we don't remember seeing anyone do that.) One thing we really liked about them was that all the fish was from sustainable sources and cooked on the spot after ordering (and then delivered to your table). We also liked that they had some lunchtime specials which came with chips or a salad, ranging from £5-6. I got one of the specials, while A ordered off the regular menu and got fish and chips.

Since A was already getting chips with his fish, I opted for the salad as my side, thinking it would be healthier and we could also get some vegetables in. It was a small portion on the side of the plate, but at least it was more interesting than just some lettuce. The salad consisted of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, radicchio, and pomegranate seeds. It was lightly dressed with what tasted like olive oil and vinegar. The salad was fine, nothing extraordinary, but it was nice for lightening up the rest of our meal of fried food.

For the special itself, I got the fillet of fish "burger" which really just seemed like a fried fish sandwich. What arrived was a fried fillet of fish on bread with lemon mayo, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and onions. We weren't sure which fish this was (they had several options you could choose from for the regular fried fish, but the sandwich didn't specify), but it was good. The vegetables on the bottom were very reminiscent of the salad ingredients (quite possibly were the same without the pomegranate), and the lemon mayo added some nice flavor. Unfortunately I was still feeling some of the effects of the stomach discomfort from the day before, so I didn't have as much of an appetite as I thought I would when we were ordering and couldn't finish the sandwich, but I wished I could have.

A ordered the fish and chips with haddock (the other options on the menu were cod, plaice, pollock, and coley). He also got a side of tartar sauce, but we had forgotten with the initial order that you had to order the sauces separately so we had to add it while we waited for the food to come. (The other sauces they had were mayo, lemon mayo, red curry, and sweet chilli.) The price wasn't too bad for the fish and chips with sauce (a little under £10), and for people with smaller appetites, they did have slightly less expensive "small" fish and chip specials.

As for the fish and chips themselves, we found the batter a little on the sweeter side, sort of like those Chinese fried milk things you get at banquets. The fish itself was a really large single piece of fried fish, and very flaky. It wasn't very seasoned or salty, which was good since it seemed like they were trying to let the flavor of the fish itself shine through. We thought similarly about the chips which were also not very salted so you could really taste the potato. I didn't love the batter and preferred the way the fish sandwich was prepared, but A liked it.

Kerbisher and Malt also offered numerous sides, many of which sounded good. We had to decide whether to get mushy peas, or a fennel and dill salad, or coleslaw, or pickled onion rings, or baked beans. I've made no secret of my love for onion rings, and we were really interested in trying the pickled onion rings because they sounded different (and looked good in all the Instagram pics we saw before going). Basically they take pickled onions and then batter them and fry them up. The flavor was definitely different from "regular" onion rings because of the pickled flavor, and they were definitely worth trying. Back then, we had no idea pickled onions were so popular and loved in England, but between these onion rings and the pickled onion snacks we brought home to eat, we feel like we didn't take advantage of this as much as we could have when we were there, and have definitely learned our lesson for next time.

It's hard for us to compare Kerbisher and Malt with other fish and chips places in London, since we didn't visit any others. But we did like what we got there. We probably would have enjoyed it more if our stomachs weren't so uneasy and uncomfortable from the days before (no fault of theirs, obviously), and we would return to try it again if we were in the mood for some fish and chips.

1 comment:

  1. Once you've taken in the unique décor at this place, the hardest part is to decide whether to go upstairs or downstairs. With a large open floor plan, you'll find bars on both levels of Los Angeles venues, and someone will always come by to serve you matter where you decide to hang out.