Fish and chips, staple of the nation invoking dreams of trips to the seaside and pesky seagulls. Or more likely Friday nights avoiding confrontations with hooded youths. It doesn’t have the kudos of more modish cuisines; the trendy burgers and in-vogue pulled pork, but sometimes it’s the traditional you want. Which brings us handily to Oliver’s in Belsize Park, a “proper chippy” that doesn’t sell kebabs on the side, nor does it sell oysters and crab (Upper Street I’m looking at you). It sells, on the whole, fried fish and chips.
Showing the (disputed) Jewish origins of the dish we went for the matzo breaded haddock and chips, a large was just under a tenner which is fairly steep but you get a lot for your money. So large in fact it came in 2 boxes, one for the fish and the other for the chips! The picture in fact shows the last third after we had already split out 2 portions! Plenty for dinner for 2 people in my opinion, unless you enjoy the food induced coma of overly large takeaway meals. It was certainly a big piece of haddock that flaked nicely, it was a tiny bit dry (should have got that tartare sauce and mushy peas) but the batter was crisp and thick enough to add bite but thin enough not to overwhelm. And the chips, oh the chips. They were great, no poncey fries or triple cooked chips. These were chippy chips, a super soft interior; angular shapes and a light crisp outer shell. With plenty of vinegar and salt. Job done, highly recommended.