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24 March 2010

Perfect Fish & Chips

Getting fish and chips perfect isn't easy. Late last Friday I tried to make battered haddock and chips for the kids, and it was a modest disaster: not epic, but still embarassing.
If my children had tried the fish and chips in Fishy Fishy Chippy in Kinsale, they wouldn't even have looked at my effort. The Fishy Fishy fish and chips are, well, perfect. The batter on the haddock and the hake we enjoyed is close to a tempura batter, rather than the traditional chipper batter which is much heavier. The chips were, well, perfect: dry, starchy, salty, and they even have malt vinegar on the table so you can add the correct note of working class echtness.
(Which reminds us of a Peter Mandelson joke: Mandy, up in his constituency of Macclesfield or somesuch, for the weekend, is keen to rub shoulders with the natives and show his comradely spirit. He goes into a chipper and orders his fish and chips. Peering over the counter he sees some green stuff. “Oh, and I'll have some of that guacamole too”, says the Prince of Darkness. The “guacamole”, of course, is mushy peas. We're sure this joke has no basis in reality – Mandy would be perfectly briefed before entering the chipper by his staff – but let's not worry about truth.)
Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy is coming your way, by the way, courtesy of “Martin's Mad About Fish” on RTE television on Thursday, April 22nd, at 8.30pm. The series of six programmes is directed by Rory Cobb. Martin's two books, The Seafood Lovers' Cookbook, and Irish Seafood Cookery, are both in print and available from good bookshops