Having set the Preston internets into meltdown asking for where the best fish and chips could be found in the city, we decided to take their advice and try out one place that kept being recommended.Advertisement
Despite having lived down the road from the West End chippy for a number of years during my student days I had never been in.
Remember when studying in the city you tended to have a very limited range when it came to trying out places.
Hopping in the car on Friday night it was obvious many others had a similar idea, as the side streets round the West End Fish Bar were very busy with those nipping to the chippy.
The smell wafts through the street of battered cod and you wonder how those living nearby manage to not end up having chips for tea every night.
Facing onto the busy Blackpool Road there wasn’t a huge queue when we got inside, despite there being one woman ordering 19 fish and chip suppers (we didn’t dare ask why).
There’s plenty of staff on for the Friday night and I’m delighted to see they’ve got the fish ready. We didn’t have to wait long before it was wrapped up, smothered in salt and vinegar, and we popped it into a carrier bag.
Service is friendly and fast, just the way you want it. No messing. And the girls behind the counter seem to know plenty of their regulars too – a good sign.
Getting home, at quite a pace to ensure it was still nice and warm, we unwrapped some enormous portions of fish and chips. There’s no skimping here.
Starting with the chips and these seem to be West End’s strong point. Well cooked, but not too much, and with a decent salt level.
The fish, however, really lets them down. What on the face of it seems a decent piece of cod is really lacking in taste. During our quest to find the best fish and chips we’ve had plenty of people say it is very hard to get decent fish in Preston (which considering we’re not that far from the coast is odd). The batter is good, so does redeem them there, but the fish doesn’t have those lovely good chunk of flakes you want. It goes all bitty and is very disappointing. To quote my wife “it may as well have been cardboard with batter.”
There’s also trouble on the mushy peas front. These are standard for me, got to have them, but again there’s just a lack of taste and flavour with them.
Price wise we were up to £13.40 for two fish and chips, two mushy peas and two cans of coke. There’s no large or small option for fish and chips, there’s just a standard portion size, which is as you can see from the pictures if fairly hefty.
In summary, West End is top if you’re looking for a bag of chips but maybe think twice about a full fish supper.
Scores on the doors
Dishy fishy? 4/10
Quality chips? 8/10
Mushtastic peas? 2/5
Value for money? 6/10
Food hygiene rating? 4/5 (via scoresonthedoors.org, last inspected in June 2015)
What does TripAdvisor say? It’s only had two reviews, and they both said it was excellent. With the most recent one being in September last year.
Where is it? West End Fish Bar, 338 Blackpool Road, Preston, PR2 3AA
Blog Preston pays for its own food and doesn’t take foodie freebies, so you can be sure this review is independent.
Have you been to West End Fish Bar? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below