When I was younger, Friday evenings were reserved for two very exciting food events in the Kemp household. Friday night was both ‘sweetie night’ and ‘chip night’. On arrival home after a hard day at the office, my dad shook his jacket pocket. My brother and I would hear a crumple and chase him around the house until we finally caught up with him, raided his pockets and gorged on sweets. All of us would then bundle into the car to the local chippy where we’d order whatever we wanted from the menu to take home and eat at the table. Back then I obviously didn’t care about eating sweets before dinner.
I can’t comprehend having a Friday night chip night now, partly because there are no worthy fish and chip shops even remotely near me, or many in London for that fact. But also because there are so many good value restaurants in London, I’m kind of spoilt for choice. Did you notice I didn’t say I can’t comprehend a Friday night sweetie night…?
Last week I was invited to try Golden Union, a family run chip shop on Poland Street in Soho so I wandered down from my office at lunch time and enjoyed a simple battered haddock, chips and mushy peas. The waitress asked if I wanted small or large. The fish is sold by weight so a small is 6-8oz and the large 8-11oz. I ordered a large before changing my mind to small (£9.50) as I was going out for dinner that evening. The plate arrived and I was surprised by how much was on the plate – a large beer battered haddock was surrounded by a mound of chips, the mushy peas (£1.75) arrived in a separate dish on the side. The batter was lovely and light and the chips crispy and fluffy. The mushy peas were slightly disappointing though as they were quite pale and a bit watery.
The restaurant itself was packed full with local workers enjoying their hearty lunch. I’m told you have to book to avoid disappointment. As I was eating, I spotted a few pies on plates. They looked incredible, rustic and home made – because that’s exactly what they are. Everything is freshly made on the premises and the staff arrive ridiculously early each morning for preparation. But it pays off. Every plate that I saw was almost polished and customers had beaming smiles on their faces.
But it’s not all about the food, Golden Union has teamed up with Centrepoint, the leading charity for the homeless, for the annual EATT event on 8th February 2012. EATT (Eat At The Table) gives homeless young people the opportunity to tuck into delicious homemade fish and chips on the evening, which will be served by celebrities! Lucky them.
Food For Think was a guest at Golden Union
38 Poland Street
020 7434 1933