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Park Slope Chip Shop: Best of British (NYC Blog)

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Park Slope Chip Shop: Restaurant Review

Place: Park Slope Chip Shop, 383 5th Avenue at 6th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Cuisine: British, pub food, comfort food
Cost: Cheap to moderate.
What I ate: Battered cod and chips ($12) with curry sauce ($2), treacle pudding with custard ($5).

Park Slope Chip ShopAfter having a long, terrible day, I was in the mood to eat my feelings. Wanting to indulge in some serious comfort food, I decide to go with one of the national treasures from my homeland–fish and chips. Upon entering the Park Slope Chip Shop, I see it is very cozy and it reminds me of a commercial I remember growing up seeing, “small but packs a mighty punch.” The dining area is delightfully kitsch, with small objects stuffed into almost every orifice, highlighting Brittania in all of its cool glory. There were only two servers and I suspect them to be the owners, their identity given away by their heavy southern English accents. They were prompt, friendly and so easy going.

I sat down and glanced at the menu and at the precise moment I was ready to order, there was someone there waiting with no notepad, but instead an arsenal of knowledge concerning every dish on the menu. Aside from fish and chips, the menu consists of British favorite dishes such as bangers and mash, shepherds pie and Ploughman’s lunch. These are dishes which you would find at a local British cafe, pronounced ‘caff’. After being easily coaxed into having an ice cold pint of lager, I looked around at all the wooden tables and benches. Most of the dining area is communal seating, which encourages flashbacks of back home, where debates are easily provoked between strangers, or when rowdy football fans begin to randomly sing in unison. In other words, the setting is authentic. My plate arrives and it is loaded. The chips, not fries, are perfect. They are the right thickness and fried perfectly. As is customary, I cover the fish and chips in malt vinegar and salt. Another custom is to burn your tongue on the first couple of chips, which I fulfilled with no issue. I then tackle the huge piece of battered cod in its crispy, golden brown casing. Which was still mostly crispy, even after my vinegar dousing.

It was done very well, the fish was still succulent and only just falling apart underneath the batter. This is the point where I had to slow myself down and pour on the curry sauce. The sauce is neither spicy nor rich and it’s a touch sweeter than I’m used to but lovely all the same. Curry sauce may seem an odd addition, but it is in fact a culinary reference to Britain’s South East Asian connection. I work my way through the dish, abandoning my knife and fork midway until my plate is clean. The only thing I missed was pulling the chips off the paper–they’re usually wrapped back in Britain.

Even though I definitely had no more space for food, nostalgia forced me to order a bit of pudding (dessert). I opted for the treacle pudding, which is a heavy sponge cake thinly coated in treacle, a dark and sugary brown syrup (not to be confused with caramel, as it’s actually more akin to molasses). The steaming hot custard it arrived with was not too thin or thick. And it was the perfect amount to accompany each bit of sponge cake. This dessert, although very simple, was so wonderfully executed I almost teared up. However, I elected to maintain a stiff upper lip and ask for the bill so I could waddle home.

–Nikkita Flavius-Gottschalk is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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