The last time I visited London, I was 17, tearing through the city with my junior college choir mates. Food was very low on my teenage self’s agenda, the highlights being M&S’s Percy Pig gums and MacD’s Maharaja burger (or was it the McRib?). Well, if you had been thousands of miles away from home, hanging out with friends (c’est chic!) all day long with limited adult guidance, you wouldn’t have cared about what you ate either.
This time around I vowed to do better on the food front, even making advanced reservations at several restaurants. But tourists being tourists, our first real meal in the city had to be at a fish and chip shop (though a pub selling the dish would probably suffice). A cliché for sure, but one we felt compelled to propagate nonetheless.
We were not too surprised therefore to find ourselves having mixed feelings about our meal at Golden Hind. On the one hand, the fish (a choice of cod, haddock and some random varieties such as skate) was delicious. Freshly fried, grease-free and piping hot, it came enveloped in a batter thin enough to see the firm white flesh underneath. Go for the cod if you are seeking a creamier mouthfeel, and the haddock for a fishier taste. On the other hand, the chips, which had to be ordered separately, were a little cold and dull tasting, while the mushy peas were, well, mushy peas, there just to greenify the table for a peace of mind.
With cousin C’s assistance, we managed to polish off two desserts on the short list. The pudding drowning in custard came out as the winner, the custard extremely thick and eggy and fortunately not too sweet. The apple pie though was anemic both in looks and taste with an undercooked crust.
So to conclude, our foray into the Golden Hind was not a slam dunk. But the fish was still pretty commendable, and the fair prices, BYOB policy and convenient location near Oxford Circus make this one good spot for decent, fuss-free fish.
Address: 73 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2PN, England