Fish and chips is a delicacy that I have only really begun to appreciate in my adulthood.
Up until then, my Friday lunchtime trip to The Golden Fry chipper in Waterford was all about the battered sausage (with a scoop of chips, never a bag – it’s all about the scoop).
My first foray into Fish and Chips was Dooleys in Tramore East, and that was because of peer pressure. No one eats battered sausages from their lap on Tramore beach.
Nowadays I’m a fish and chip aficionado. It’s my first port of call on any pub grub menu – but the best I’ve had, hands down, is at Ashton’s Gastropub in Clonskeagh.
Ashtons is the type of spot that has regulars. You can rely on it, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll go back again and again. This is because it’s nothing if it’s not consistent. Even if it’s not a superstar, show-stopper menu, it’s consistently good – as is the service and atmosphere.
Consistency is also the cornerstone of good fish and chips. Quality varies wildly from spot to spot – but there’s never been a less than perfect fillet of battered Haddock placed in front of me at Ashtons.
Juicy, thick white fish with a perfectly light and crispy layer of batter puts the frozen stuff you get in some chippers to shame.
I’ve never been massively into chips, but I will clean the plate at Ashtons – the perfect portion – with plenty of those precious crispy fellas tucked into the little bucket.
I don’t touch the mushy peas. Mushy peas are a bad buzz and I remove them to my companion’s plate immediately.
Here’s the big selling point – there’s a large jar of my lifeblood, tartare sauce, on the side.
There is nothing worse than running out of tartare. I pour it onto the fish, then dip each forkful, and then dip each chip if I have enough left over – which I always do at Ashtons.
(Lemon is drizzled over the chips only once all the crispy ones have been demolished.)
Last time I checked, the battered haddock will set you back €17 including chips, lemon and pea puree. It’s pricey, but if you love fish and chips and you’re looking for something a little fancier than the corner chipper, it’s worth it.
So that’s me. Where do you fish and chip?
Lead image via Instagram/pinkballjen &