As a British expat, one of my favourite things about living in Barcelona is its delicious gastronomic offerings with the abundance of fantastic Spanish and Catalan restaurants all over the city. From time to time, I get a real hankering for the Britain’s most iconic dish – good old fish and chips! The thought of rich and crispy battered fish and chunky vinegar drenched chips with a dollop of tartar sauce is enough to make me drool. And whilst Barcelona has a plentiful supply of the fresh fish and many British expats living here, there aren’t a plethora of places serving up the timeless British classic. This was until twosome Julie Stephenson and Julia Fossi opened up a fish and chips joint in the heart of Barcelona’s trendy Raval district in 2008 serving up battered fish with Spanish-style potatoes. However, they closed in 2013 and left a fish and chips-shaped hole on the Barcelona food scene.
Enter The Fish and Chips Shop…
Located on Carrer de Rocafort, 70 in Sant Antoni, The Fish and Chips Shop, opened in 2015, is a real gem offering the quintessentially British dish with a spicy twist. The restaurant is run by Pakistani brothers Mani and Magid Alam who have transformed the takeaway classic in to gourmet style street food, elevating the dish to a whole new level. Whilst I love traditional fish and chips, the dish isn’t renowned for any particular flavour sensation, mainly just for its enticing smell and greasy texture. The same cannot be said for the incredibly flavoursome version served up at The Fish and Chips Shop. Here, fresh line-caught hake (instead of cod) is coated in smoked batter which gives it a real depth of flavour and is served along side slightly spicy chips with homemade tartar sauce and an unexpected but delicious mango chutney. The results are immense and can be described as anything but bland.
What to expect
The restaurant itself is tiny, seating just 15-20 people which means there is always a queue of hungry diners waiting outside to bag a seat. There is the option to take away too. The decor is simple, modern and quirky with urban murals on the walls and a bar with a few tables and stools carefully position around the small space. The atmosphere is informal and the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The fish and chips come in a paper cone and the beer is served in large metal tankards keeping it cold, adding to the experience. The menu is small but all the dishes are executed perfectly. If you’re not in the mood for fish and chips, try the battered asparagus with a romesco dipping sauce, pickled cod cheeks or fried edamame beans, they are all mouth-wateringly delicious! The prices are reasonable, with a meal and drink not costing more than €10. What’s more, the portions are very generous, you are sure to be left feeling satisfied.
All in all, The Fish and Chips Shop is a fantastic little restaurant serving up exquisite food for reasonable prices in a small and quirky space. A bold statement, but the fish and chips are the best I have ever tasted! It’s well worth a visit.