For the last year or so I have kept on hearing how good The Mayfair Chippy is and that I have to go. I’ve resisted, not for lack of interest but because I’m so rarely in the mood for Fish & Chips; I’m invariably left disappointed by the chips, the batter or even the quality of the fish. Those that have read the review of The Smokehouse will recall that, as much as I liked the place and will go back, it was the starters/snacks that stole the show and I was disappointed in the chips and batter of the actual main fish and chips. But when Elizabeth of Mayfair Curated invited me to join her at The Mayfair Chippy, I couldn’t say no.
Situated on North Audley Street, it’s unquestionably the sleekest and most stylish chippy you’ll ever go to. Housed in small shops built as part of those large red Mayfair mansion blocks in the early 20th century, many of the original features remain, including the wood panelling which juts up against the modern white tiles, beautiful modern art works, old oak blanket tables and raw cast iron swing stools with brown leather seats. A great touch is the neon sign for takeaway orders that hangs next to one of those black and white pegboards so common in chippys.
To start – a sharing board of heritage beetroot with goat’s cheese, black pudding fritters with an apple sauce and crackling served in those little copper saucepans, and deep fired Cornish squid with a roast garlic and parsley mayo dip. The beetroot was the perfect example of this now traditional modern starter, fresh and clean with that salty tang of goat’s cheese and piquancy from the beetroot gel. The squid was crisp in its batter and the mayo the perfect light but flavourful accompaniment. The black pudding was the only blip on the board, being a little dense and in need of salt. That said, this didn’t stop me having seconds of it and everything else on the board.
The Mayfair Chippy may serve mains as varied as soft shell crab burgers and steamed muscles but, lets face it, there is but one thing to order as the main course: battered cod and chips served with the redoubtable mushy peas, tartar sauce and that now traditional curry sauce (why people like the stuff I don’t know, its just revolting). It was, put simply, the most perfect fish and chips I’ve ever had. The cod came away in large flakes of fresh flawlessly cooked fish in a batter that was crisp, light and with just that right amount of oiliness (that point where it gives flavour but doesn’t leave a mark on the greaseproof paper). The chips, thank god, weren’t stodgy, the mushy peas were, well how does one describe mushy peas, but they were that, and the tartar sauce was as tartar sauce is – though if like me you like it punchy with tarragon and cornichons, then you may find it a little flat. It was the most immaculate and enjoyable fish and chips I’ve had anywhere at any time. Even now I still find my mind wandering to it and next thing I know I’m unintentionally drooling.
Dessert was faultless and, and given it was Bakewell tart, a dessert I have always despised, that’s saying something. Indeed, the only reason I didn’t finish it was because I was stuffed already. This wasn’t just some small pastry casing filled with marzipan, jam, icing and then topped off with as sweet as sweet can be glacé cherry. No this was a large wedge of what was more like a set batter cum custard studded with raspberries on jam and a beautiful homemade pastry crust. Served with honey and almond ice cream, it was the perfect way to end the meal.
In every respect The Mayfair Chippy is the perfect chippy. That is unless you want the old school greasy spoon style chippy with the cracked tiles and the chrome fryer cum hotbox. From the décor through to the service and, most importantly, the food, the chippy is the best of old school charm mixed with the clean light modern touch that we look for these days. It is immaculate in all aspects, and who doesn’t want to have their fish and chips with a cocktail or two, or even a bottle of wine or two?
London Lamppost Score – 4/5
The Mayfair Chippy
14 North Audley St, Mayfair, London W1K 6WE