On Tuesday the 29th of May I woke up early to take the bus into the city and meet up with strangers from the internet – specifically, Twitter – at Electric for the Tuesday Tweet Meet and a piece of news caught my attention as I headed out: the next day, 30th of May was National Fish and Chips Day.
Now, gather ’round boys and girls because it’s Confession Time: I’m not terribly into fish and chips anymore; the heaviness just doesn’t sit well in my stomach any longer. Regardless, I wanted to give at least one chipper a shot during my holiday.
During the Tweet Meet, my new friend Evin told me about The Fish Hatch, a walk-up chipper adjacent to its parent site, The Imperial Hotel, naming it as one of the best places for fish and chips in the city centre. I remembered the next day when it was Officially National Fish and Chip Day, returning to the city to find The Fish Hatch just before the lunch hour rush. A walk-up in an alcove just around the corner from the Post Office, I was a little sad to note that monkfish was no longer offered but happily ordered haddock instead.
Michael, the congenial man of the kitchen, took an interest in both my foreign accent and Canon SLR camera, gesturing for me to sit at the tiny tiled bench normally reserved for the waiting queue. Soon my order was ready:
Haddock Fish and Chips (€8.50)
Everything is made to-go and packed in a convenient box complete with a container of mushy peas, cutlery, lemon, ketchup and tartar sauce. The tartar sauce is made in-house and normally I’m adverse to it, but brown sauce is not something one requests in The Republic for fish & chips (so don’t), besides which the tartar sauce more than made up for this and I may or may not have asked for another helping (hint: I totally did). I could have personally used a bit more fish and less chips, though the chips were very good. I have yet to meet mushy peas that I liked, so I feel incompetent to leave an opinion other than I could take or leave them.
When I inquired about the monkfish, Mike informed it was just not cost effective to have on the menu any longer. Scanning the options again I casually mentioned I never had hake, as it is an uncommon fish to serve in the states. Amazingly, Mike immediately saw fit to rectify this and gave me a complimentary piece of hake. It was comparable to its cousins cod and haddock, and I found that I enjoyed it fried better than other fish. Side note: do NOT conduct a Google image search of ‘hake’ if you’re alone in your home at night. That fish is the stuff of nightmares!
I wish I could be more enthusiastic about fish and chips as a whole as going to The Fish Hatch was a very pleasant experience; chatting with Michael and trying out hake being the highlights. As I wrote earlier, though, chippers just aren’t my cuppa anymore. However, if chippers are your cup of tea, you can’t do much better than The Fish Hatch. Be sure to give a friendly hallo to Michael and tell him Rachael, the food blogger from L.A. sent you!
The Fish Hatch
Pembroke Street (around the corner from the General Post Office)