Fish and chips, the signature British takeaway. Synonymous with seaside trips and post pub munchies. The humble chippy has made an appearance in most of our lives at some point. Fish and chips, so British it puts an appearance on every pub menu and if you watch American sit-coms it’s what they think we eat every day. However unless you are by the seaside it can be difficult to find a chippy to sit down and enjoy the crunchy golden delights at your leisure. Catch 22 opened at the bottom of Park Street earlier this year in what used to be a recruitment agency. I was invited by them last month to test out their wares and so one Wednesday evening I took one of my closest friends, Steph for a fish supper.
After sinking a pint at the nearby Hatchett, a pub where we have spent many a weekend dancing away, we headed the short distance to Catch 22. As you enter the counter and frying station are the first things that greet you and it is just like stepping into your local chippy, but with a restaurant with seating out back. The back is actually more spacious than I imagined the walls are covered with 50s B-movie posters, which greatly appealed to me as I enjoy kitsch very much. So you can happily dine whilst being watched by the creature from the Black Lagoon.
There are a number of options on the menu, the standard fare but for those looking for a healthier option they will also pan fry you some fish with garlic and herb or chilli for a bit of pep. They also have a separate fryer for gluten free fish and chips which I know can be a hard thing to track down for the gluten intolerant. A friendly waitress buzzed amongst the tables and we ordered cod and chips, the classic, and steph went for scampi and chips with some battered mushrooms and curry sauce for dipping. We waited about 15 minutes whilst we chatted away about up coming plans, the smell coming from the fryers was intoxicating to rumbling bellies such as ours. The waitress arrived with two plates filled with golden treasures and with gleaming eyes we got stuck in.
The batter on my fish was as crisp as you always hope for it to come but often are disappointed because it has come into contact with steam or rogue water from peas and become a bit too soggy. My cod had a good batter to fish ratio and the fillet was plump and very fresh. Chips were just as enjoyable, with enough chunky fluffy ones but also some good salty crisp ones to satisfy all fried potato enthusiasts. The portions for both the scampi and the cod were generous, you certainly won't go hungry.
The only real disappointment were the battered mushrooms, no real effort to flavour these with anything that might make them sing out and worth ordering as an extra with your fish supper. Catch 22 is definitely worth a visit, you'll be warmed by a very enjoyable British classic, that's a cut above most offerings in the city. Plus afterwards you can pop up the road for a scoop of Swoon gelato, if you have enough room that is. Although this meal was complimentary it did not sway my opinion. To find out more about Catch 22 visit their website.
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