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Rock & Sole Plaice Review:
Like many others families in the UK, I was brought up on a traditional Friday night diet of fish and chips, brought home from the local chippy by my dad after he finished work for the week. The rustle of paper and smell of vinegar seemed to herald the start of the weekend. Sadly this tradition has become lost over the years as my tastes have become more discerning and the average chippy more disappointing. So it was with some trepidation that I accepted an invitation to celebrate National Fish and Chips Day at the renowned Rock & Sole Plaice.
I need not have feared as situated on the corner of Endell Street in the heart of Covent Garden, this little gem of a find is a delight. Open since 1871, having weathered two World Wars, it remains an institution in its own right. Deservedly so, as both the setting and menu fail to disappoint, fish and chips are naturally the star (haddock, cod, plaice, lemon sole, skate and more) however you’ll also find salads, pies and pasties, sausages and starters and classic British desserts accompanied by cream, custard or ice-cream, all cooked to perfection.
It was a lovely summer’s evening so we were able to sit outside and soak in Covent Garden’s bustling atmosphere, however there is also available seating inside if the British inclement weather prevails. I ordered the lemon sole, served with chunky chips and a creamy tartar sauce. Sole is a fish not often found at your local chippy, so it was quite a treat, especially as it tasted so fresh, deliciously light and succulent with a fabulous grease free, crunchy batter. My friend enjoyed the skate, also rarely found on menus, which she described as piping hot, flaking off the bone and reminiscent of days in Cornwall by the sea.
The hand-cut chips were magnificent, and are reportedly the biggest in the country, a wider circumference meaning they don’t absorb the peanut oil they’re fried in and consequentially never become greasy. I am also told that by using a top quality peanut oil a higher smoking point is achieved, resulting in crispier and better-fried fish befitting of the freshly-caught MSC-certified fish of the highest grade (the same deep sea beauties that stock Harrods’ fish counter).
To make the meal complete we also had a large mixed leaf salad on the side and a couple of chilled Peroni beers, followed by a delightfully chilled wine from the adequate drinks menu.
The proprietor, Amed Ziyeddin joined us just to tell us that this year marks the family’s 35th anniversary at Rock & Sole Plaice, he was charming and enthralled us with stories of how his father had learnt the fish and chip trade under the watchful eye of the previous proprietors, three sisters who are tributed in a loving eulogy on the wall of the shop.
So if you’re looking to enjoy a truly excellent, authentic and reasonably priced fish and chip meal in a wonderfully central London location, why not head to Rock & Sole Plaice, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Rock & Sole Plaice
47 Endell Street, London WC2H 9AJ
T: 020 7836 3785