|Catch Of The Day|
We check out Chiswick's new chippy
The conversation went like this. Me, “I’ve heard that new fish and chip place has finally opened, shall we go and try it?” Him, “Where is it?” Me, “On the High Road near HSBC.” Him, “Where?” Me, “You know up near the junction with Acton Lane.” He looks blank. “Opposite where Art4Fun used to be.” Still blank. “Across the road from Connelly’s.” Face lights up, “Well why didn’t you say that in the first place?” “Maybe because not everyone believes that all paths lead from Connelly’s perhaps?”
Anyway we ventured out into the very cold evening and walked along the High Road (past HSBC!) to The Catch.
The Catch describes itself as a traditional fish and chip restaurant and take-away but the interior is far from it. Not a millimetre of formica in sight: just clean lines of dark wooden tables, white walls and gleaming chrome counters fill the tardis-like space, more in keeping with a contemporary bistro than a conventional chipper.
Both the take-away and the restaurant were buzzing when we arrived at around 8.30 though we were fortunate to get a table straight away (next to a group of diners who we overheard telling the proprietor that they had come on the recommendation of the ChiswickW4.com forum!).
And speaking of the proprietor, try as you might, you cannot fail to take pleasure in the striking resemblance between him (who also runs La Mirage a few doors along) and Fawlty Tower’s Manuel. Gawkily charming, his quirky mannerisms and the slightly chaotic service was rather entertaining and worth a visit in itself!
Onto the menu filled with spelling mistakes which we were begged to overlook (hard for me but then it’s all part of the charm of this place). Starters include fish soup, calamari rings and prawn cocktail with prices from £3.50. Mains come battered, grilled or with egg matzo (a Jewish style ‘batter’ that forms a more crunchy coating that the normal crispy batter) and include the staple cod, haddock and rock as well as skate wing, whole sea bass, sea bream and Dover sole. Prices for mains start from £9.50 and include a heap of home-made chips.
We shared a plate of whitebait (£4.25) to start which we were surprised to see came in breadcrumbs but were nevertheless tasty enough.
For mains I chose a fillet of plaice (£11.50) which I asked for grilled. The fish’s skin, which is one of my absolute favourite things, was unfortunately burnt but the white flesh was left unharmed and was delicious. My husband chose the halibut steak in matzo (£14.50) which was firm and meaty and the batter a lovely crunchy outer coat. The accompanying chips were good and chunky and tasted just as a good chip shop chip should.
Admittedly we would normally have a cup of tea with our fish and chips but as this was no ordinary chippy, we decided to share a bottle of Nelson’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc (£17.00) or 'number 5' according to ‘Manuel’.
After such a feast we couldn’t even contemplate trying the desserts which included apple pie, banana fritter and chocolate fudge cake all priced £3.75.
Our bill came to £50.00 not including service which is obviously pricey for fish and chips but the experience was worth every penny!
Being a traditional takeaway / restaurant, The Catch also offers saveloys, sausages in batter, steak & kidney pies etc. though the menu does also place pickled eggs and mushy peas in the same section as marinated olives, Greek salad and homous served with pitta bread providing an eclectic choice. A kids' menu is also available priced at £6.00 which includes a choice of mains, chips, ice cream and a soft drink.
The Catch has been open for less than a week so the slightly disorganized atmosphere can be excused. However, we found ourselves being indulgent more so because of the comical charisma of the proprietor rather than how long he had been open for business.
NB. The Catch cannot take credit or debit cards at the moment however, they do accept cash or cheques.
November 15, 2007