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?
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.
Large cod £4.90
Large chips £2.40
Regular cod £3.90
Regular chips £1.60
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.