“Fish & Chips is all that and much more”
By Heather McPherson, Orlando Sentinel
Owner Raymond Goonewardeena grew up in Sri Lanka, “but learned to cook in the Bronx.” The weather brought him to Florida and a welcoming community has made Central Florida his home.
The restaurant’s menu “is a fusion of where I grew up, influences I have picked up along the way and my own favorite foods,” Goonewardeena says.
The restaurant’s namesake entrees do the Brits proud. Depending on market availability, guests can choose from haddock, cod, catfish, whiting and Florida black grouper. The fish was blanketed in a golden brown crunchy coating and the potato planks (the chips) were hot-from-the-fryer crisp.
Keep your fingers crossed for the she crab bisque. The soup has generous lumps of crab meat and is kissed with just the right amount of sherry. The New England Style clam chowder is equally as good.
A reader tip sent me to Fish & Chips and I am forever grateful.
“Best fish & chips in Orlando”
Step inside the shop and you are overwhelmed by the lingering scent of malt vinegar. The sweet smell is intoxicating. One sniff and your stomach readies itself for fried fish.
It’s a simple setup inside: chairs and tables line one wall and a small bar/counter serves beer and wine. Beer signs glow above the bar and decorative fishing nets hang from the ceiling.
The menu is simple; it’s focus squarely on freshly-prepared fried fish. Yes, there’s a chicken breast and a burger thrown in, but everyone comes for the fish. The fish and chips selection includes haddock, cod, whiting, catfish and black grouper.
On my most recent visit, I chose the cod fish (market price/$10.45). The cod was dipped in a beer batter and served deep fried. The piece was large, crisp, not greasy at all, moist, and flakey inside. A piece of fried fish just doesn’t get much better than this. The steak cut fries (chips) were fried just as golden. The cole slaw was not overly sweet and not overly runny. It was, in fact, just about perfect.
That being said about the fish and chips, the real reason I keep coming back to the restaurant again and again is for the fried oysters ($7.95). They are heavenly. The very large oysters are battered fresh, and served piping hot. The breading is crunchy, and the succulent oysters inside explode with a salty-sweet bang when you bite into them. I’ve truly never tasted oysters this good.
Service is friendly, yet unobtrusive. A husband-and-wife team run the place, and they clearly understand how proper fish and chips should be served. Start with the freshest seafood you can find, dip it into a nicely-seasoned batter, fry to golden, and serve it hot and with a smile. They’ve nailed it at Fish and Chips.
For the best fish and chips in Orlando (and incredible oysters), do yourself a favor and visit Fish and Chips Restaurant soon.
4 ½ Beer-Battered Goodness out of 5