Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
It’s not the rarest of occasions, the opening of a new fish and chip outlet in a seaside town. Frankly, it happens pretty regularly....

It’s not the rarest of occasions, the opening of a new fish and chip outlet in a seaside town. Frankly, it happens pretty regularly. Some chippies stay the course for decades – or in the case of Stotesbury’s, Newport, over a century. But whenever new hands take up the fryer, locals do tend to pay a bit of attention. After all, a really good fish and chip shop is going to be an asset to the town. And everybody likes chips, right?

Tony's, Ryde

Thus Matt and Cat paid close attention when they heard that central Ryde chip shop Alexander’s had closed down, and shortly afterwards reopened under a new name – Tony’s. The quality of fish and chips in Ryde has been the subject of heated debate on these pages in the past, and so pretty soon M&C made it their business to get down to Tony’s and find out whether it was any good.

Matt and Cat’s bill
Large cod £4.90
Large chips £2.40
Regular cod £3.90
Regular chips £1.60
Total £12.80
Tony's, Ryde

Takeaway chips on the way home from a busy day – it’s a British tradition that your reviewers are proud to uphold. Matt was at home, laying the table and polishing the cutlery, whilst Cat queued up at Tony’s. The little counter was chocker with staff; a couple of ladies fussed about and a chap further back seemed to be doing the cooking. He cooked Cat’s fish to order and, while she was waiting she had a peek around the restaurant. There was plenty of seating.

Once home, the fish and chips could be given some scrutiny. First impressions were not entirely favourable – the portions were generous and suitably cooked, but the chips themselves appeared to be a massive pile of ‘bits’. The inclusion of a handful of bits is usually a good thing, but it should never be the bulk of the meal. A minority of decent-sized chips were on top, but underneath, where the bags of chips had settled, was a mass of tiny fragments. Perhaps they ought to be called ‘chippings’.

Still, there was always the fish. That was actually a lot better than the chips. With no large cod available Matt had been given two medium cod for the price of a large – a pretty generous substitution. And the fish was moist and tasty, with a good coating of crisp batter. Good marks for that.

By the end of the meal, both Cat and – remarkably – Matt had been defeated by the chips, and a large proportion of them hit the bin, uneaten. Even the reasonable fish didn’t manage to compensate – those chips just were not up to the mark. With the mighty Wight’s just around the corner Tony’s is going to have to try harder then this.

  • Neil Walker says:

    My findings are similar to Matt and Cat’s. Cooked to order, large cod is generally excellent, but your chips are liable to be precooked and left in the keep-warm receptacle, so the likelihood is that they will not be as good as the fish, unless, that is, you are lucky enough to arrive when a fresh lot of chips comes out of the fryer. If the keep-warm receptacle is getting low, then all the “bits” will have sunk to to bottom and that’s what you’ll largely get as your portion of chips. This is common to many fish and chip shops. The same comment is also true of the nearest other fish and chip shop, Wight’s in the High Street, where it is also true that the tomatoes used on burgers are not always fresh.

  • Jane says:

    Tony’s fish and chips are the best in town. Lovely food and reasonable prices. Very clean and cheerful staff, I always look forward to going there, especially with my granddaughter.

  • Bob and June Ennis says:

    I made my first visit to the shop just after it had reopened and I must say that I was well pleased. I did say on leaving that it is easy to get it wrong but harder to get right. Since then my wife and I have made regular visits and consider the food and service are very good. The previous comments regarding the chips are at odds with our experiences, the Maris Piper potatoes do make very good chips and we have never been disappointed with our generous pieces of cod. As pensioners we really do appreciate your charge of £4.50 for the meal. Keep up these standards you deserve success. June and Bob.

  • Clare says:

    Amazing service and a really reasonable price for a well cooked meal would definitely come back and will be recommending

  • Jasmine king says:

    They had problems with there chipper they where a new business learning the ropes so giving them a review so early to when they first opened was really unfair. They have a shiny new chipper now so less chippy chips and the price for a large cod is wrong its £4.40 not £4.90 if you want to try something I would go for the cheese burger really yummy !!!😃😃

  • Sally newnham says:

    I also visited tonys very recently or though you wouldent no it was called tonys unless you asked as they haven’t got a sign yet. The Fish was beautiful the best i had in a long time i had no issues about the chips and the girls was very friendly next time im down from London ill try wights and let you know

  • Andy N says:

    I also tried them recently and found the fish to be excellent, as was the service and fresh cooking. I also had chippings and that may be down to the produce. However, for me the real size chips, I found slightly under cooked. So it appears Tony’s does need to work on perfecting the ideal chip. I will give them another go and hope next time it will be 10/10

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