Friday, June 22, 2007

North Sea Fish Restaurant

North Sea Fish Restaurant, near the British Library.

I've tried to go to the North Sea Fish Restaurant on two previous trips to Britain, but both times I arrived between 2:30pm and dinner time, when they're closed. This time, Ben and I resolved to make it on time. Ben said that when he was a kid, his dad took him and his brothers there, and it was good.

But of course we waited until one in the afternoon to even leave the flat, which put us in danger of missing the fish restaurant window once more. But Ben's expert piloting of the Mark II Golf through Westway traffic, ability to avoid hydroplaning in high speeds on the motorway in the rain, and reliable knowledge of west London's streets put us outside the NSFR with 15 minutes to spare.

Even though Ant later pointed out that the NSFR is "just a chippie", it's a marvelous one. It has a shabby but comfortable pub-like interior (though it was uncomfortable in the sense that the booth we sat in was designed for a smaller sized diner than me--I banged my knee on the table both on climbing into the booth and in climbing out).

I ordered haddock, chips, mushy peas and a pickled onion (they gave me two). Before this trip, Will suggested that I try a pickled onion as my next step into the world of British food. The pickled onion is like a very large cocktail onion that you bite into like an apple. This puts the vinegar-soaked onion right next to your nose as you bite into it, so the phenomenology of eating one of these things is what I imagine it's like for Tintin when he gets chloroformed.

The rest of the food was great. As we sat and ate our lunch, I watched with sympathy as three different groups of people were turned away because the NSFR was "closed" (though the door was open, and there were people inside eating).

I'll have to come back for dessert.

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