Fish ‘n’ chips beside the sea, is as British as the Last Day of the Proms, summer pudding and a glass of chilled Pimms. Ventnor is famous for its small fishing fleet and delicious fresh fish and shellfish. Let me tell you where the locals go for perfect fish ‘n’ chips, using the finest sustainable catch…
If you want glamour, attentive, four-star service and a wonderful backdrop then head to the elegant Royal Hotel, for their famous posh fish and chip lunch. Ask for a table on the geranium scented terrace, with views over the lush sub tropical gardens and imagine what Ventnor must have been like when Queen Victoria took tea here, and the town was the most fashionable health resort in all Europe. Sit back, relax, order a Kir Royale and wait for your delicious fish ‘n’ chip feast to arrive.
The hotel has its very own fisherman, so the fish, usually bass, skate or cod has that elusive, pearly texture and taste, that only occurs when your fish was still swimming in the sea hours before your lunch. Even better, the batter is light as air, letting the flavour shine through. While head chef Alan Staley, has sampled many local potatoes to find the one that turns the humble spud in chip perfection. The answer is the Golden Wonder. Once triple cooked to perfection you end up with a chip that is crisp and delicate on the outside and offers a melting, creamy interior. You will also want to leave room for pastry maestro, Steve Bott’s sublime pudding confections or his homemade ice creams and sorbets – a taste of summer on the island.
Fish n chips Al Fresco at The Haven, on the Promenade
Nothing compares to eating the finest, sustainably caught fish ‘n’ chips with that all important sea view, as you tuck in. Our hot tip is to try the very friendly kiosk at The Ventnor Fish Haven. The fish, straight off the Blake’s fishing boat doesn’t get fresher than this and follows the seasons. The batter is pleasingly crisp, and not too greasy, and for an extra fifty pence, you can sample the tangy lime and coriander mayonnaise.
There are daily specials including: delicious local mackerel in light breadcrumbs, Ventnor Bay crab and chips and fishcakes, although these were a bit disappointing. There was simply too much potato and not enough fish in mine, for the taste to be memorable. Some fresh lemon wedges would be great too.