These days, fish and chips is very much a part of our local cuisine. From hawker centres to restaurants, this much-loved dish is available nearly everywhere.
However, due to localisation, the preparation of fish and chips in Singapore may not stay true to the authentic British version. Traditionally, the fish is dipped in batter, not breadcrumbs. Some places here use American-style French fries or shoestring fries, but British chips are significantly thicker. Also, in England, they sprinkle salt and malt vinegar over fish and chips, something which we don’t normally do here.
Here’s where you can find the most authentic and best-tasting Brit-style fish and chips in Singapore, tried and tested!
The Old Brown ShoeEDITOR’S PICK!
619F Bukit Timah Road
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 4pm-12am, Sat-Sun: 4pm-1am
Situated in a row of shophouses between Coronation Plaza and Hwa Chong Junior College is this little gem that’s a well-kept secret among local residents. From its name – Old Brown Shoe is a song by The Beatles – right down to fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, this cosy, friendly pub exudes quintessential British vibe.
Thin and light, the batter for the fried fish is crisp at the edges and has a delightful melt-in-the-mouth quality. Encased within is a long, thick slab of soft and luscious dory fish. The fish is barely seasoned, but it’s nothing that a dash of salt and pepper can’t fix.
The unsalted fries are also a boon for those who prefer to customise their own seasoning. Generous in portion, the fries are amazingly grease-free. However, they tend to turn limp quite fast, probably because they are served wrapped in paper and the steam causes them to turn soft.
They serve a wide array of condiments – malt vinegar, chilli, ketchup, salt and pepper – all without us having to ask for them, a major service plus point in our books. The Old Brown Shoe also gets our vote for being the best value fish and chips in this round-up!
Molly Malone’sBEST CHIPS
56 Circular Road
Opening hours: Tue-Sat: 11am-2am, Sun-Mon: 11am-2am
Molly Malone’s is the first Irish pub to open in Singapore. Though we usually associate Irish stew with Irish cuisine, Molly Malone’s best-selling dish is English fish and chips.
Why is it such a crowd favourite? Probably because it consistently tastes awesome and offers good value! Each order comprises four reasonably large pieces of battered fish and a side of chips. The flaky, juicy fish is mildly seasoned and is rather flavourful on its own. Gorgeously golden, the batter could be a little thinner, but is sufficiently light and not oily.
Their thick-cut fries are also superbly executed. Wide and flat, they are incredibly fluffy on the inside, and manage to stay crispy and grease-less on the outside.
Tartare sauce and ketchup is served, but malt vinegar has to be requested for.
442 Orchard Road, #B1-01 Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade
Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 11am-1am, Fri-Sat & eve of PH: 11am-2am, Sun: 11am-12am
Here’s another Irish pub that serves more-than-decent fish and chips!
Although our battered fish was slightly over-browned, it had a lot of potential. The batter was thin, light, and crispy, while the fish was very moist and tender. However, the batter was a tad oily. This lack of temperature control is probably more of an occasional oversight than a regular occurrence.
The chips were better executed, remaining crisp till the end of the meal. One bonus here is the serving of mushy peas, which is a traditional British accompaniment to fish and chips. Other condiments served are tartare sauce, ketchup, and malt vinegar.
230 Tanjong Katong Road
Opening hours: Daily: 12pm-11pm
Price: $16.00nett (haddock & chips)
This fish and chips specialty shop claims to serve authentic British fish and chips. They have the widest choice of fish, including cod, haddock, and plaice – which are most commonly used in Britain for fish and chips.
Although the batter coating is thin and light, it is also limp and very greasy. We were also not very impressed with their fish. Our haddock was dry and stringy. The singular piece of fish was rather smallish in size.
As for the chips, they aren’t the usual variety that we’re used to. This version is more like hand-cut fried potatoes. The exterior is not dry and crisp; rather it’s quite oily and limp. Some of us didn’t like it at first, but the rich taste of the potato slowly grew on us. It tasted especially good doused in malt vinegar.
Though they claim to be authentic British fish and chips, there’s no point being authentic if the food fails to impress our tastebuds. Considering that this is a self-serve joint -- with plastic cutlery and food wrapped in paper – prices are on the steep side if you choose more expensive fish like cod and halibut.
1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-106/107 VivoCity
Opening hours: Sun-Thu: 11am-12am, Fri-Sat & eve of PH: 11.30am-1am
Their fish and chips is listed in the “Nibbles” section of the menu, hence the three small pieces of battered fish. It doesn’t matter if lack of quantity is made up for with quality. But sadly, even that is lacking.
Thick, heavy and doughy batter, coupled with dry fish, result in a most disappointing fish and chips we’ve had for a long time. Faring better are the crispy chips, served with their in-house blend of curry tartare dip.
The only bright spark here is the strangely addictive dip, but even this fails to mask the failure of the battered fish.
inSing.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the eateries featured here.