Fish and chips at Vintage Salt

“A rose by any other name may smell as sweet” but does the same work with restaurants? Renaming or rebranding may sometimes be a way of boosting flagging bookings, injecting a much need dash of excitement or a way of getting over a poor review, though none of these reasons apply here for the name change from The Fish and Chip Shop to Vintage Salt has more to do with brand alignment than any need for this restaurant to up it’s game.
I have been a longtime fan of this, Des McDonald’s first opening, conveniently situated close to me on Islington’s Upper Street. I’ve enjoyed a range of fresh seafood there when I couldn’t get to Suffolk to eat my battered cod on the beach, batting away the hoards of herring gulls, which in Aldeburgh seem to me more like a plague than an endangered species.
Supper on Saturday night was my first visit for some months and I can report that whatever the restaurant is called the food and the reception  was as good as ever.
I do like it when you are welcomed into a restaurant with charm.Such a greeting might seem obvious but that is by no means certain these days, when a frosty look can chill the smile from your face as you walk in.
We ate simply sharing half a dozen oysters and a generous 1/2 pint of prawns with a small loaf of delicious warm crusty bread, followed by cod and chips all round.
The battered fish of the day is a cost effective choice as it comes with chips and house made tartare sauce, both of which are extras on the main menu.
The oysters were plump and fresh and the prawns juicy, with the warm bread and butter being the perfect accompaniment. The cod fillet, encased in it’s crisp golden carapace, was enormous and it was served with a more than generous portion of delicious chips. I have always wondered why some restaurants are parsimonious with chips, when the basic ingredient costs only a few pence.
Two caveats: the batter was a little under-seasoned and my gin, lemon, sugar and thyme cocktail, recommended as a refreshing aperatif, was over sugared and under lemoned. The charming staff were quick to rectify the drink but there is no changing batter once it’s fried!
A bottle of the house white and a pint of beer brought the cost of the meal for the three of us to £110 including a gratuity. We weren’t rushed and it was a very pleasant end to a busy Saturday. Booking is recommend but beware, I mistakenly booked the Vintage Salt at Selfridges, thank heavens they phoned to check thep reservation!!

Vintage Salt

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