Phil Drover and James Price interrogate a staple of British cuisine
Must try: Fresh fish (especially the cod)
Good for: Quick bite, pre-night out meal
Since moving into Astor College as fresh-faced freshers last September, we have learned that there are only so many Tesco Everyday Value pizzas one can consume within one week. Henceforth, we have decided to commence our quest to find great value eateries within the reach of the typical first year UCL student living in halls. We begin our journey with Gigs.
As lifelong patrons of Gary Lineker’s local chippie, we expected great things from this restaurant. Tucked away just off Goodge Street, Gigs is a friendly Cypriot fish and chip restaurant previously deemed the sixth best London eatery of its kind by Metro in 2013. Serving a plethora of fast food ranging from döner kebabs to Cypriot sandwiches, Gigs’ signature dish nevertheless remains their reasonably-priced battered cod and chips (£4.99 with a can of Coca-Cola). On this occasion, Phil opted for the chicken and mushroom pie with chips (£4.50), while James went for the aforementioned house speciality (i.e. the fish and chips). The two dishes were presented in the obligatory paper wrapping by friendly and helpful staff. Contactless card, as brought to you by Visa®, was welcomed.
Both meals featured Gigs’ generously-cut chips. Although our initial impressions were promising, we must confess that we were slightly disappointed upon our first bite. A little undercooked, with a tendency towards softness, these chips were certainly edible but constituted a quiet understudy to the triumphant centrepiece of both meals. In stark relief, neither Gigs’ cod nor pie failed to impress the taste buds. Meltingly delicious, their cod batter was cooked to crispy perfection and nicely complemented the fish itself, which was freshly-caught, succulent and soft. The chicken and mushroom pie was of a similar quality, despite the astonishing fact that it was not Pukka branded. Impressively, the pie was structurally sound and refused to crumble under the soft pressure of Phil’s fingertips. In terms of flavour, the filling struck a subtle balance between runny (à la water) and viscous (à la bitumen).
Our verdict? Not overwhelming, but certainly a solid choice for the cash-conscious UCL student.
Gigs Fish and Chips
12 Tottenham Street,
Featured image: Gigs fish and chips