I love fish and chips.
As far as I’m concerned, fish ‘n’chips comprises the complete meal, combining delicious flavoursome chippiness and tasty fishy nutrition coated in a batter of crunchy goodness. That’s what we all grew up on, in a town full of Italian chippers run by people with names like Di Vito, Marsela and Nardoni. People who grew up with us and who became part of us.
In Limerick, we know our fish and chips.
I’ve never been a fan of Donkey Ford’s. Their chips are soggy, flaccid and unappetising, though of course, I have been known to hoover a bag or two when tempted, or after a surfeit of drink, but apart from that I wouldn’t go near them. Poor enough.
Anyway, this is all a preamble to something else, which is this.
René Cusacks have taken over the old Lazio café in the Milk Market, and now they’re doing fish and chips. As a family that has been dealing in fish forever, their offering is impeccable. Their menu presents you with a choice of cod, hake, calimari and whatever else is available on the day, as one would expect of a fish restaurant.
Last week, I went and had cod and chips, which I gobbled down like a dog with two dinners, just as my friends did, and that was for a very good reason. It was delicious. The batter on the cod was the crispiest, the crunchiest, the crackliest batter I have ever had on any cod ever. And the fish was the tastiest, freshest, most delicious cod I have ever encountered.
I’m telling you now. Go and experience this piscean experience, but the advice comes with a however.
The chips are not Italian chips, and I’m sorry to tell you that, but it’s a fact.
True, they’re not skinny McDonalds chips. They are big and chunky, but they’re cooked in a bland vegetable oil, entirely unrelated to the wonderful chip culture we grew up with, and that’s not something I want to buy.
Sorry, René Cusacks. The battered cod is as good as anyone will find anywhere, but the chips are a one-legged Tarzan.
In future, I’ll buy my battered cod in Cusack’s and my chips in Enzo’s. That works for me.