Des McDonald, the serial restaurateur behind Q Grill and former Head Chef at The Ivy, heads up Vintage Salt (formerly known as the Fish & Chip Shop), two minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street station (the first is in Islington).
The fishmonger-style white tiling, industrial metal stools and hermit crab artworks give a seaside vibe without any of the kiss-me-quick tackiness – the overall interior effect was fantastic, in fact. The soundtrack would put anyone in a great mood, with everything from Paul Simon to Yankee Doodle, and the staff are super knowledgeable as you’re trawling through the gluten-free menu, which features classic fish and chips, plus many other upmarket seafood favourites. There are several non-fish options too.
Starters of Atlantic prawn cocktail and London Particular Fritters (ham hock and mushy pea fritters – odd but good!) went down swimmingly. For the main, we devoured a shrimp burger and classic haddock and chips, with a side of deep fried “wally” (gherkins) and chunky homemade tartare sauce. Good, safe comfort food – nothing mind-blowing, but nothing to fault.
My Spice Trader cocktail was fab – like an Old Fashioned for the masses, it was almost too drinkable! More adventurous drinkers can try a Dirty ‘Fish’ Martini – a concoction of vodka, anchovy brine and anchovies… Whatever floats your boat, I guess!
When you’re floundering for a city venue to take a date/friends/parents to, Vintage Salt is the perfect plaice. A failsafe meal in a glorious setting, for around £25 per person (before drinks).
Have You Heard Of It? dined as a guest.