Kerbisher and Malt, 164 Shepherds Bush Road, London W6 7PB
This week we visited Kerbisher & Malt, a newish modern fish and chip shop in Hammersmith. Firstly, I’m not a huge fan of fish and chips, I find it too bland unless it’s doused in salt and vinegar and I’m by the seaside. Plus we never venture into Hammersmith, especially to eat, so we hoped it’d be worth it.
When we arrived we were pretty much the only ones in there and by the time we left it was packed, Ade was excited to see Terry Venables ordering a takeaway. He looked happier than my picture suggests and gave me a big smile.
A week before, Simon Cowell was papped coming out with a takeaway. This seems to have created a flurry of visitors, we overheard one man at the counter say ‘I’ll have what Simon Cowell had’. ‘Simon who?’ came the response from the waitress.
I have dined with Simon at the House of Lords, twice in fact. It was for a work charity event that he used to attend, and I witnessed that he had a very simple taste in food. The House of Lords would serve a great tarragon chicken but he would opt for sausage and chips, which was meant for the kids. So when I found out he visited Kerbisher & Malt it didn’t surprise me.
Anyway, I better talk about the food and leave the celeb spotting to the day job. We ordered Battered Coley £5.80, Chips £1.80, Calamari £4 and sides of Pickled onion rings £3.00, K&M Baked Beans £1.50 and Fennel and Dill salad £2.50. What amazing prices, and I can’t remember the last time we saw chips for less than £2. They were so much better than our local chippy (called The Chippy), which my dad insists does the best fish and chips, and appears to be the main reason for his visits to our house. Sturdy, crunchy and fluffy, no soggy chips here.
The fish was so good I ate the lot and I always leave some, especially the batter. I was slightly dubious of the pickled onion rings, it seemed an odd combination but it totally worked, and they were golden brown and huge. Ade’s calamari came served on top of a crisp rocket, mixed leaves, red onion and cucumber salad, surprisingly good and served with a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice that tasted so fresh. The fennel salad was lovely also, I was particularly fond of the pool of gorgeous Spanish olive oil at the bottom, although it felt quite strange to have salad alongside fish and chips.
The beans, now these were my favourite, about half the size of your average baked beans, and in a delicious light tomato sauce, they were soooooo good. See recipe above from the ES Magazine.
I had a glass of Corbieres, Chateau Mont Milan 2008 for £3.25 but it was a bit too cold, that’s my only critism of the place though so not bad. Ade had a Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock £1.95. The only dessert on offer is Jude’s ice cream £1.95. I bet if they did desserts they would be amazing (deep fried ice cream anyone?), but I can’t imagine many people being able to manage one as we were stuffed when we left.
We were in an out in less than an hour, although there is a drinks license it’s not the kind of place you hang around, it is a fish and chip shop after all. There is no music, it’s so clean and sterile, although its small size and bench seating gives a cosy effect. We liked the flat screen tv on the wall showing the chefs at work, it was odd to hear them shout ‘service’ every now and then.
If my dad and I happen to find ourselves together in Hammersmith for some reason, I know where I’ll be taking him. A lovely little place, I don’t know why no one thought of it sooner. I expect one will pop up in Soho at some point… Let’s hope so.
TUES – FRI 12.00-14.30 & 16.30-22.00
Nearest tube: Hammersmith