In England cod reigns supreme.
Deep fried and battered.
Yet, with the decline of both cod and the local fish’n’chip shop, you could be fooled to thinking otherwise.
I used to work at, what can only be described as, an over-glorified fish and chip restaurant, in the heart of London.
I was a receptionist-slash-waitress-slash-verbal-punching-bag for management.
It’s still there today. Its almost become an institution.
God help us.
Local business men with meetings, high society types and foreign travelers, would all descend on the place, seeking (supposedly) ‘the best fish and chips experience’ in London.
But for £15 and upwards, not including service charge for extras.
You can get stuffed.
I don’t mean that in the happy go lucky “eat till your full” way.
I mean it in the classic, “even if I had gold dripping out of my nose, I still wouldn’t” way.
In the whole time I had worked there, I had tried it once.
Seeing how they mostly fed us overcooked pasta and some rice (I was forever bloated), you can imagine the built-up anticipation, before that very first bite..
I had expected more.
Sure it was sustainable, line caught, freshly delivered and local, and whatever else they made us recite till our teeth chattered.
But let’s simplify it:
I’m on an Island, where potatoes are the cuisine’s staple…
Need I say more?
My fish was oily, and the chips were extremely salted. These were the distinguishing flavors.
This is fish by the side of the road in Bangkok.
Its freshly grilled, barely salted and its a magical 30 baht.
That’s probably one of the main reasons why I like Thailand.
From fish sauce, to fish paste to shrimp/fish curries, fish is in the air.
Fish is everywhere.
Early in the morning you can catch droves of street sellers, preparing their charcoal in anticipation for the fresh fish.
I headed to my local market, where you can select the type of fish you want, alive and wriggling in shallow water.
Whilst I do think that this is a tad bit cruel.
There’s no denying that it isn’t fresh.
Oh and did I mention it was 60 baht.
I’m sure I can find potatoes now…