Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
The Codfather, Ryde Esplanade The Codfather, Ryde Esplanade
A traditional seaside fish and chip shop with a waggish name. You’ll have seen the sort a thousand times if you patronise English seaside...

A traditional seaside fish and chip shop with a waggish name. You’ll have seen the sort a thousand times if you patronise English seaside resorts at all. Their slogan ‘we’ll batter anything’ is backed up by a comical cartoon of a fish with a machine gun. Not too bad, if you’re a collector of fish-gangster pun memorabilia.

The Codfather has two advantages over the cheaper chip shops further in the town – it is right where you need it, and it hardly ever closes. Even on a Sunday, or late at night, you can rely on the good Father of Cod to dish up the fish. They also do Matt’s favourite, black pudding – a rarity in southern chip shops, although a staple elsewhere. Cat has been known to go for a hot chicken pie, which can be a bit dehydrated if it’s sat in the hot cupboard for a while.

Sadly, the food quality is variable and sometimes really isn’t that good. The oil has on occasions been so old you could see little black bits floating in it. Their chips are somewhat pallid, and if the place is full they have been known to undercook the chips to get them out quickly. So make sure you get a well-done lot. Portions too vary, are not very big, with some fish pieces being more like fingers. However service is brisk and friendly, and the proprietor is an amiable chap who enjoys a chat if he’s not over-run with spotty European students buying cans of coke and chips and feeling daring.

  • Anon says:

    Anyone know if this business is still up for sale or rent and where I can see the details

  • Dave Crewe says:

    Just had the worst fish and chips of my life! Service with a scowl! It took 25 minutes to cook…the chips were undercooked…the fish was so small it could have been a fish finger….and it was covered in soggy, rubbery batter. No lemon with the fish…I think the girl behind the counter had sucked them all! All topped off with peas that would have passed for bullets! And all for the bargain price of £6.30! Do yourself (and your stomach) a favour and avoid the Codfather in Ryde.

  • Emma says:

    Absolutely disgraceful, the customer service is diabolical. Horrifically overpriced. The fish was full of bones and on questioning we were told that it is “to be expected” they charge for items you didn’t order and when disputed they claim it’s it means something else. Horrendous.

  • Ruth Hopcroft says:

    I’m sorry to say I visited your Chip Shop on Friday 18th July at 3pm. I have been coming to the Island for 6 years in a row and always visit your shop at least once if not twice.
    I’m sorry to say on this occasion I was really disappointed with mu meal. I always have Roe & Chips usually there is 2 decent pieces of Roe about an inch thick.
    This time there was only 1 piece of Roe and it wasn’t even a quarter of an inch thick.
    I was very disapointed to say the least
    Yes I know the prices are reasonable but surely a customer expects better than that.
    Sorry to give you negative feedback at this time but this is how I feel
    yours sincerely

  • peter says:

    i would never recmmend rhe codfather to anyone the oneat the bottom next to long johns is 5 star compared to the codfathers minus 5

  • Neil Walker says:

    Not eaten anything from The Codfather for years. We have used the Monkton Street fish and chip shop or Terry’s in Wootton Bridge. We tried The Codfather a couple of times, decided the chips were either frozen and out of a plastic bag, or might as well have been. The fish was a sort of grey colour and seemed likely to have been frozen too. Neither (mercifully!) was generous in portion. Prices were very high for what you got. Since we’ve kept our distance from it for so long, I cannot say what the place is like now, but only why we decided not to use it. Comments from others indicate that things have not changed. Glad we’ve steered clear.

  • the joker says:

    you guys crack me up !!!!! you must be really bored !!

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    Not really KJ. Defamation is the generic term comprising slander (the spoken word) and libel (the written word, which also includes TV,film and radio). The key point is that slander and libel in English Law relate to the person, not a thing(like food)although in America it can relate to non-persons. Mr Codfather might have a case if the comments imply he is incompetent as a cook/chef but it might be difficult to prove.

  • kj says:

    ok…Defamation and slander then

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    I agree that the Codfather’s products are not exactly haute cuisine. Comments should be constructive to assist the reader not general which convey no information e.g. “crap, hell hole and stay away”. KJ, I believe criminal libel- otherwise called seditious libel- was abolished in January 2010 and does not relate to comments about Codfathers.

    Doubtless the Officers Commanding this esteemed site (M & C) appraise all comments for possible legal infringements!

  • kj says:

    There is a lot of difference in not liking something ( however you wish to say that) and slander..

  • sarah says:

    so if the food is crap should people lie just incase they get sued for saying its crap !!! if you’ve eaten from here and you dont like it cause the food is rubbish then you are quite entitled to say it, the ones that should be sued are the ones saying the food is ok !!! now thats a lie !!!

  • kj says:

    people have so little knowledge of libel law. You cannot say what you want and can be prosecuted for doing so…as can websites for reproducing those claims..there are some grey areas over forums and un-moderated quotes…but they do become open to prosecution

    Matt and Cat add: this is correct. Our commenting policy explains our stance on this.

  • kittykat says:

    oh please !!!! get a life people are allowed to comment on what they think of the food thats the point of the website …… if minty has those strong views then its his choice to voice them people can try the place and make up their own minds and if you read the rest of the comments mintys are quite tame !!! why mention courts etc !!! tut tut !!!!

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    I agree with the sentiments of Nick and Minty Mat, as I have also been disappointed with the product. I would caution Matt and Cat on allowing Minty Mat’s comments, as phrases such as “hell hole” and “stay away” might be construed as actionable in court with respect to interference with trade. If the proprietor has seen these comments, he might decide to take legal advice. Just a thought.

  • MintyMat says:

    Tragic. Yet still people frequent this hell hole. Please, if you’re reading this. STAY AWAY! Walk to Monkton Street and go to Chipmunks! They are SENSATIONAL!

  • nick says:

    having drove out to ryde yesterday my partner and i fancied fish and chips,which we purchased from the codfather.i have never tasted anything so disgusting in my life,the chips were reheated and under cooked.the fish had so much grease on it you could have cooked a full english in it.never again complete waste of £9.50 fed it to the seagulls.even the cans of coke were part of a multipack and out of date by 6 weeks.

  • tasha says:

    OMG anon the batter may be changed everyday thank god for mentioning that but read the comments as they are talking about OLD DIRTY OIL ………… that is NOT changed everyday !!! and food IS left around cause when you pass the shop at night when closed or early in the morning you can see old food everywhere – also the owner has been seen buying his chips at tesco !!!! you just got to face the fact that the shop has a bad reputation and the food is horrible !!!! the owner may be a real nice guy , but he doesnt know how to cook fish and chips , sorry but its true ……no one is making things up but i admire your loyalty ……………..

  • Anon says:

    As me and my Mum both work here, I would just like to say, The owner may be grumpy at times, but he always says hello to you and talks to you a little. And I would also like to say; the chips are not frozen chips, and the batter is changed each day. And as for leaving food out overnight, we do not do that. Thank-you to all the people who said nice things and for not making stuff up.

  • PAUL MULLERY says:

    I used this shop last year and had a good 15 minute conversation with the owner (the time it took to get my fish and chips) He is a decent sort of man and very forthcoming about his reasons for sale which are genuine. I cannot comment on the hygene at the shop but it looked quite clean and tidy to me.

    Unfortunately, when I opened the fish and chips at home, the fish turned out to be mostly batter and the chips were only average. Perhaps, because he is selling, he has lost a little interest in the business. If turnover drops due to poor customer experiences it might prove even harder to sell. Good luck to him anyway as no one likes to see a business slagged off.

  • Smarty says:

    I visited this place last week after spending 4 days on the IOW. I have to say – the guy serving me (the owner – I asked), was a reasonably nice guy. I can see why poeple may think him rude but I got the impression he’s a bit if a “Jack Dee” personality…and comes across as surly even when he’s not?

    The food wasn’t great though. The chips were covered in black bits – a result of very oil and didnt taste great. They were also “al dente”, and undercooked. We could have taken back, yeah but we were staying in East Cowes and it wasn’t worth it.

    This could be a great chippie but more attention needs to be paid to the quality of the food. It took about 10 mins to get my food (there was no queue), and whilst I’m happy to wait for food to be cooked fresh, the food I had was pretty bad.

    Sorry – but that was my experience.

  • sarah - local says:

    sorry christie-lee , but like you said he is your dad so of course you will defend him to the end , however the long and short of it is , the shop has a bad reputation and the food is awful but i do admire your defense of your dad and im quite sure he is a nice man and maybe the trouble is he is just desperate to sell !!! it still is the worst excuse for a chipshop ive ever been too …………..

  • Christie-Lee says:

    Firstly I would just like to say thank you to the people who have left genuine comments and also said nice things.
    Secondly yes Reagan is the daughter of the owner as am I, however it was not her who left this comment as she does possess the ability to spell correctly.
    Jane The price of fish and chips is not £8.50 not even close. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if the food was not to the right standard then you obviously have the right to complain and get your money back as per our policy. However please do not tell lies.
    As it has been stated many times my father is not a rude man, in fact very friendly so maybe you have the wrong person when calling the owner rude and grumpy. If there is a problem he will sort it out and apologise he would never throw someone’s money back at them, please make sure you are insulting the correct person!
    Unfortunately every business has problems with its staff and people may have other things going on elsewhere in their lives that contribute to the fact that they may not be smiling the whole time. However saying that a friendly service is a thing that we constantly ask our staff to provide.
    The shop is up for sale for no other reason than we are leaving the island as to be closer to our family, not that it is any business of anyone else.
    I am not saying that people have not had bad experiences and I would like to take this chance to apologise to any one that has and also if you have did not receive the correct response when informing the member of staff on duty.
    Sara local I don’t know who informed you that we reuse pies and saveloys but it is once again not true, and as you have not witnessed this for yourself I suggest in the future you do not make comments on things you have no real knowledge on, not to mention not having any sort of proof.
    James thank you for your above comment, as you quite correctly stated we have no control over the size of the fish portion as it come pre-cut, also the fish does not go on the size or shape of the piece, it goes on weight you may a have a long short fat or thin piece but it will always weigh the same.
    Staff are not dirty and if our hygiene was bad then of course environmental health would shut the shop down.
    Again I would apologise if you have had a bad experience but in future please make sure you do see the OWNER and not staff members on these matters as he will sort it out in the correct manner.
    I have taken care not to insult anybody or cause offence in writing this comment and merely stand up for the verbal abuse my father has received, you do not know him and have no right to insult him. However that said I believe i have the great misfortune of a tirade of abuse coming my way.

  • Dan says:

    It is a terrible chip shop, I use the new one thats opened on the sea front Little jims , chips are great . I wish someone brought the cod father. BUt think that owner has 3 shops there on the front.

  • mrs bowerman says:

    we also in a state of hunger visited this discusting premises two years ago, the food standards were poor the staff flapped about not really knowing what they were doing, gathering shriveled salad from a dirty fridge not washing hands, i will never eat there again, it should be closed its a disgrace to the iow,thursday 2nd sept on returning from a lovely day out in portsmouth, walking past the shop what caught my eye but old mouldy chips and food all along under the counter, officers where are you, can you not see this ! sat out side the shop an employee of said chip shop eating, i commented to him the state of the shop he casually looked shrugged shoulders and carried on eating. come on environmental health get you act together and shut it down, if not for the hygene. sorry lack of, but for the first impression on those valuable visitors. please visitors do not eat there.

    Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, mrs bowerman. If you really feel that strongly about the Codfather, you might want to consider reporting them to the council’s environmental health department.

  • mrs brittain says:

    my sister had a cheese an onion pastry well that is what we asked for
    we got a hollow thing that looked dead the chips were gross the shop was not fit to let pigs in disgussing
    the worse food we have ever had the staff were so dirty an untidy why this shop is still allowed to open is joke

  • mrs brittain says:

    there was no taste to the fish what so ever
    the staff had hair hanging down not tied back hands were dirty
    the shop was filty chips under the counter that had been there for god no,s how long
    came out of shop took one taste an the sea gulls had the rest
    the shop should be closed down

  • 3 stars says:

    James – according to Scores on the doors it has 3 stars

    Compliance with Hygiene
    Some major non-compliance with statutory obligations – more effort required to prevent fall in standards.

  • james says:

    I Love how poeple are moaning about the fish sizes, they only come how they are cut by the fish mungers, also the place is for sale because the owner is moveing of the island and not because its a poor chippy, it has a 5 star rating and has so ever since it started to be rated way back when it opened by the owner about 10 years ago, it also has pictures of famous people who have visited an enjoyed the chippy, i must admit it is no where near as good as it used to be, but its not as bad as all you moany people that havent got a life think, dont get me mixed up for some one who works there or may be friends cos im not, i live along the road an some times have chips when i fancy them, i find the lady who works there a whee bit sad lookin now days but she used to be lovly, i dont no if any thin has happend in her personal life or nothing.

  • Sharon says:

    We visited Ryde and have done every year for the last few years; we visited Codfather and were served by a young girl who was more interested in the television than serving! We finally got the food back to our holiday home; I was disgusted. They were frozen chips and the large cod was small and was definately not cod; I dont no what sort of fish it was but it wasnt fresh or cod. This shop should be closed down; we are from Staffordshire and a chip shop like this just wouldn’t survive where we come from. I will never visit it again and will definately not recommend it to anyone.I have even considered ringing trading standards as regards the fish it was absolutely awful!!!! Do not go here and hopefully it will close. I cannot believe that they get away with serving frozen chips and such poor food. The young girl serving needs to go on a customer care course and the owner needs a few lessons from Gordon Ramsey!!!!

  • francis says:

    in 1 word i thought it was horrid i would not go back unless i was paid!

  • Edward says:

    Just thought that I would add that “Raegen” is the daughter of the owner of the chippy in question (I know her well)

  • Mat says:

    Errrr. I’m not entirely sure of the validity of the above 2 comments! I’ve given The Codfather 3 chances in the last couple of years and will never go back. It’s an abomination of a chip shop and quite embarassing to have on the seafront. I just hope tourists make it to Alexanders, Chipmunks or that one I always forget the name of next to Mellish’s!

    That last comment has had me in stitches though. Belongs on the pages of Viz!

    Matt and Cat reply: we thought so too – it kinda speaks for itself.

  • raegan! says:

    i visite there alot and im not a chubby little lady either loverly chip loverly staff (and that terry man at the top has a fish and chip shop called terrys! and only commented so people wouldnt go there they would go to his, well i went to theres thinking it would be loverly and trust me they are not! also alexadra’s WORST EVER folling Terry’s of corse how much grease can you get in one portion! if i was you i would not listen to anyone else! it is amazing fish and chip shop and they will actually batter anything! they battered my friends tee-shirt, then changed the batter!!! loverly food there would recomend it to anyone! (and the portions are big aswell! trust me) best chips ever what more would you want from a chippy?? 🙂

  • Francis says:

    lovely i enjoyed it very much the food was nice and the staff were friendly i would come here again!

  • Edward says:

    I agree 30p is may to much for a 3/4 full sachet of Ketchup

  • owen says:

    30p for one sachet of ketchup!!

  • Fiona says:

    we had the misfortune to be hungry on opur way to Portsmouth last Saturday for a night out. We stopped for a large portion of chips, wrapped, to share at the top of the pier. By the way a large portion of chips ion most places is exactly that…..LARGE. Once we got to the top of the pier with 10 mins to wait for the cat, YUM chips. NO NO NO NOT YUM.Actually the worest chips i have EVER had and the smallest large chips I have ever seen!!!! In fact if i had counted them a would guess at 30.
    Please dont go there, i actually am adding this because i cant find a website or contact for them as this was going to be sent direct to them

  • Hannah says:

    I went here several months ago to pick up some fish and chips for our tea. The staff were grumpy and I was unimpressed with the long wait even though the place wasn’t very busy at all. Got home with my order, unwrapped it all ready to dish up. Had asked for two portions of large chips to go with our fish – what we had was in my opinion the size of half a small portion, if that. My other half marched straight back down there with the chips to complain, only to have the owner accuse him of having removed most of the chips! He eventually (reluctantly) gave us an extra portion of chips.
    Will not ever be going there again and will make sure our friends and family don’t either.

  • richard says:

    this place is just getting worse and worse, has got really bad reputation , no wonder its been up for sale for about 3 years…………

  • Mat says:

    I’m sad to say that I agree. It can’t be too much effort to change the oil and liven up the menu a bit. There should be a law about chip shops using fresh spuds. Perhaps I’ll run for election on this single issue!

  • sara local says:

    i know someone who use to work in this shop and apparently if they dont sell the pies they have heated up that day they keep and reheat the next day etc until sold the same with the saveloys, they have also battered all sorts of stuff in the oil and not all food stuff which surely is not right for the oil,

  • sara says:

    yuk they state on the sign that they are traditional, but they use frozen chips and carnt even cook those properley, puts you off eating out no wonder shop is up for sale.

  • Sean says:

    Quite poor Chips. Unusual shape, rather like frozen chips served from catering vans at events.

    There was also a For Sale sign when I visited the shop in early June 2008.

  • madeline says:

    Limp soggy chips and fish that was not too fresh. I won’t be going here again.

  • grace says:

    Iused this shop all the time as does all my familly i have never had a prob my mum once did but got full refund and the food for free. the owner is a really nice man who can not do enough for you and the portions are really big. dont know what more people want from a chippy. Around where i come from it has a good reputation. The chips are also the best i have ever had

  • terry says:

    This shop is a disgrace, the food is terrible and the shop has an awful reputation on the island all the people i know never eat there and the tourists only do it once, the owner is rude and the service is terrible, i would avoid this place and go elsewhere gives fish and chips a bad name and as for batter anything – how about starting with a decent bit of fish and chips before you batter mars bars etc no wonder the oil tastes so bad.

  • george says:

    my wife and I visit the island regularly and always use this chip shop. the food has allways been great and ample portions also it is only £7.00 for two cod and chips. The owner is a very nice man who will always have a chat to you if he can and when ever he isnt there his daughter allways serves with a smile. I recommend the codfather to any of my friend who visit the island and have never heard one complian yet.

  • Jane says:

    As a supporter of island businesses it pains me to say but the Codfather is the saddest representation of a traditional English Fish & Chip shop I have ever experienced.
    Limp chips, greasey portions of cod no bigger than fish fingers and all for the princely sum of £8.50. Living very nearby, we returned the offensive food only for the owner to grunt at us, sling it in the bin and throw our money back at us without even an apology.
    What impresion are we giving our tourist trade if we cant even get fish & chips right?

  • Gina says:

    After playing a game of bowls, me and Mark were peckish and fancied a nice bag of chips. We found the Codfather and bought some. Must admit the chips were gorgeous…they were perfectly cooked. My only moan is about the service. It doesn’t cost much to fact it don’t cost anything. The woman looked totally miserable and so did the young girl working with her. There was a lady there who just needed a bit of damp tissue to wipe her hands before she ate her chips because she had put her hand on something sticky on a hand rail. The girl just looked at her like she was loopy because she had asked about the tissue behind the counter and if she could have some to wipe her hands.

    Like I said before though..the chips were yummy, but if served with a smile, then I am sure they would have been super duper.

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