73 Marylebone Lane
Tel: 020 7486 3644
Date of Last Visit: Saturday, May 12, 2007
The Victims: Dad, Ben, Gerry
The Damage: £35 for two for starters and fish and chips and peas! BYOB with no corkage…love it!
The Song In My Head: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Fats Waller
The Background: My dad is in town and it has occurred to me that during these last few years of food blogging in London, I’ve yet to have a proper London fish-and-chips. So I do a little research on other London food blogs and all signs point to The Golden Hind in Marylebone, which just happens to be my favorite little area of town. Dad and I hop on the bus–packing a bottle of Veuve Clicquot (Happy Birthday to Me!) and a bottle of Malbec. Ben & Gerry meet us there.
We are a tad early and they ask us to come back in 10 minutes. We do and the music is floating out onto the street. It’s old jazz…I wish I had asked what they were playing because it was perfect. The decor of the Golden Hind is a bit retro–AS ARE THE FANTASTIC PRICES–so we were off to a good start.
The Food: Dad and I started off with fish cakes and calamari while we waited for Ben & Gerry to arrive. The fish cakes were really really good. Light, even though they were very fried. I was less convinced about the calamari, but that didn’t stop me from eating it.
For mains, Gerry and I went with the cod and the chips and the garden peas. Dad went with the rock salmon, which wasn’t salmon at all but rather dogfish. Learn something new every day! Our server was great about explaining what it was and making sure my dad would like it before confirming the order. Ben went for the Haddock and I really wanted to try some, but he managed to finish everything on his plate before I thought to ask.
I need to devote some time to the fish…they have the secret recipe for breading. It was really light, but still crispy. It was very well executed. I saw one guy just order a fish–all in its fried goodness–no chips, no peas, no anything else. An idea!
And a particlularly good idea because now I need to talk about the chips. They were crap. They were flavorless. I had read online that they have a tendency to make soggy chips, so I specifically asked for well-done. We all did, actually. Well, they weren’t well done. They were still pale…maybe not overly soggy, but just not crispy and golden. They almost tasted like yesterday’s chips, reheated. That’s bad. This didn’t stop me from eating them, but with fish THIS good, they could easily tweak the chips and make the place a real home run. (It sorta is already–the prices and the BYOB pretty much guarantee a return visit by this particular London food blogger.)
The Loos: Modern. But could use a power wash.
The Service: SOOO friendly. My dad and the server chatted about Astoria (Queens). And the server was just so great about explaining the different fish on the menu. He was just so nice and smiley and friendly.
The Verdict: I loved the music–although they need to wire the upstairs for sound too–I loved the service and the BYOB policy. I loved the fish and the fishcakes and the peas. And the prices really can’t be beat. Just a couple of tweaks to the chips and this place will become a regular Londonelicious haunt.