With the London Olympics about to start, it is appropriate to think about British food.
British food is often maligned, but there are many great famous British dishes including bacon and eggs, steak and kidney pie, Cornish pasties, Yorkshire pudding, the Sunday roast and the classic fish and chips.
The first fish and chip shop opened in London in 1860 serving fried fish, chipped potatoes, bread and butter and tea. Fish and chips were one of the few foods not subject to rationing during World War II and they are still one of the most popular take-away foods in Britain today.
Chumley Warner’s claims to be the most southerly authentic British fish and chip shop in the world. It was voted Best British Restaurant in Australia 2010 by the readers of The Telegraph newspaper in England. Adrian and Louise Warner started Chumley Warner’s due to demand from customers at the neighbouring Britain on the Bayside shop for a genuine British ‘chippy’. Adrian, a trained fine dining chef, decided to create an authentic chippy – importing the cod and haddock and even the paper, the frying oil and the sauces – everything except the potatoes for the chips.
While it is a take-away, there is seating for 30 people on wooden tables outside the front of the shop. There is no table service but the counter service is warm and friendly. All products are served in paper, the traditional British way. The fish is ocean-caught cod and haddock from the North Atlantic, coated in a crisp but slightly greasy batter. The chips, cut in the shop, served hot, doused with salt and vinegar, are soggy – but that is the way British chips usually are, thick, soft but very tasty and moreish.
Other traditional British fare includes pork pies, mushy peas, black pudding and haggis. The steak and kidney pie is cased in traditional suet pastry with a generous and tasty filling. The mushy pea fritter was salty but very flavoursome. Add some gravy, pickled eggs, pickled onions and finish with a deep fried Mars Bar!
Chumley Warner’s is a traditional British chippy, somewhere for homesick expat Britons to relive memories and where Aussies can experience flavours of Britain. The style may be different from Aussie fish and chips but judging by the queues, it is a winning experience not to be missed.