No prizes for guessing that part of its charm for me is its darkly romantic, clubby interior, designed (of course) by David Collins Studio, and the food is properly, deliciously, drool-makingly indulgent. In more abstemious days, I eschewed the legendary fish and chips, yet now that I don’t have to wriggle into anything without Lycra in it, the memory of it makes my mouth water with longing - it would be just the thing to cheer one up on a miserable day.
If you need extra persuasion to blow the calories, let Giles Coren be the devil on your shoulder - here’s how he described it in The Times: “...possibly the triumph of the day: fish and chips made with brill, the fish lighter than cod or haddock but more aromatic and sexy and the batter wonderfully delicate, just a fine, frangible carapace, rather than the yowling floury dragon’s tail you get with beer batter (which I also love, obviously)”.
The recipe below suggests plaice, rather than brill, plaice being possibly more widely available in lockdown life.
So, it’s out with the deep fat fryer this evening as I attempt to recreate the Kerridge magic at home. I’ve given his recipe for the fish and tartare sauce below, and I will leave you to your own devices on the chips - if making them from scratch, par-boil them and deep-fry them twice, and it’s best to make the chips before you fry the fish.
For the batter: 200g self-raising flour 50g cornflour 320ml sparkling water
For the tartare sauce: 100g good-quality mayonnaise 30g capers, chopped 30g cornichons, chopped 2tbsp curly parsley, chopped 1 hard-boiled egg, gratedMethod
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 185C. Make a light batter by whisking the flour, cornflour and sparkling water together in a bowl.
Make the tartare sauce by combining all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Divide into four ramekins and chill in the fridge.
Take a fish fillet and dip both sides into the dusting flour, shaking off the excess. Leave to one side.
Cover the fillet with the batter, then carefully place into the fryer. Once the fish floats to the surface of the oil, carefully lift it out and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with remaining fillets.
Serve lemon wedges, with watercress on the side, and the ramekins of tartare sauce act as little dip pots to go with the fish.
(and don’t forget plenty of malt vinegar and salt)kerridgesbarandgrill.co.uk corinthia.com/london