Tempting takeaways at Chamberlain’s of London

Today we’re heading into the City of London (London’s financial district)  for a tasty takeaway. Chamberlain’s of London is in lovely Leadenhall Market, one of the oldest markets in London dating from the 14th century. It was originally a meat, game and poultry market and stands on what was the centre of Roman London.

The ornate green, maroon and cream roof structure was designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones who was also the architect of Billingsgate and Smithfields Market. It’s a unique and pleasant space, and one that I had shockingly never visited until today’s visit. Love that there’s always somewhere undiscovered to explore in London. The market is home to a range of pubs, shops and restaurants.

I did think it looked vaguely familiar despite having never been there – and then I read it was used to represent the part of London near the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. That would be why, I have seen that move more times than I’d care to admit.

Chamberlain’s of London’s four-generation family fish business started with William Stedman in 1940. He was a porter in Billingsgate market. The restaurant was opened in 2001 and the takeaway fish shop is their latest addition. The fresh cod and haddock is UK-fished (often from Peterhead in Scotland)  and comes via Billingsgate just down the road.

What’s on the menu

The menu is simple with a choice of cod and a couple of specials daily (today plaice and haddock). And then there’s all the usual extras like mushy peas, home-made tartare sauce, ketchup and vinegar and home-pickled gherkins, shallots and eggs.

You can taste that these are all made with love – and they lift the classic fish and chips, making it an even better eating experience. I love mushy peas and these were clearly made from scratch and were topped with a drizzle of mint sauce – lovely.

The home-made vinegar was distilled from beer and had a delightful sweetness and zing. And the pickles were…well, pickley. I introduced my dining companion Jules to pickled eggs for the first time and she liked them! It’s been a while since I tasted one and I can’t say I was looking forward to the experience – remembering my last encounter as not great – but I was pleasantly surprised.

The cod was particularly tasty, beautifully plump, juicy flakes in a light and crisp batter. And all the extras added up to a highly enjoyable experience.

Chamberlains: Cod

The plump piece of cod with lemon and tartar

Chamberlains: Chips

Piping hot crispy chips

Chamberlains: pickles and sauces

The array of homemade pickles and sauces

Chamberlains: cod close

Close up on the cod

Chamberlains: entrance

The welcoming entrance to the takeaway

Chamberlains: takeaways

The fish boxed up for takeaway

Chamberlain's: menu

What’s on the menu

Today’s price point

A substantial portion of cod and chips with three pickles, mushy peas, ketchup and tartare sauce will cost you £13.80.

There’s a lovely seating area outside the shop under the protective roof the Leadenhall Market.

Chamberlain’s of London is at 23-25 Leadenhall Market, London EC3V 1LR.

A Chinese fix at Chuck Yang’s Speciality Dish

There comes a time when that craving for Chinese food gets the better of you. That’s when you know it’s time to head for a small local restaurant deep in the burbs in Rondebosch, Cape Town. Taiwanese chef Chuck Yang cooks up a storm and steaming hot, freshly prepared dishes are delivered to your table.

The prawn foo yong is a firm favourite. Prawns and vegetables in a tasty sauce nestle under this savoury omelette which is both crispy and fluffy…I need to learn that trick.

Egg foo yung

The general chicken is one of our favourite Chinese dishes ever. It’s tasty, moist and slightly crunchy and scattered with sesame seeds. Who knows what’s in it – but everyone who tries it falls in love at first taste.

general chicken

General chicken is generally mouthwatering

This is the kung po beef, a spicy little number. Watch out for the large pieces of chilli, it’s not advisable to eat a whole one, unless you’re a real chilli die hard.

beef kung po

Kung po beef is perfect for chilli lovers

Sweet and sour pork, a Chinese classic, is done perfectly with crunchy veg and a silken sauce.

sweet and sour pork

Classic sweet and sour sauce

Chuck Yang’s food is wonderful and it’s amazingly great value for money, too. Our bill for four people was under R500 (£28) and we had rice and vegetables as well as these four dishes.You can take your own wine which helps keep the bill down, and they don’t even charge for corkage. They’ll supply you with wine glasses, tonight ours were daintily retro.

Don’t expect linen tablecloths and silver service, just great, authentic Chinese food. We like to request the table set behind the bead curtain at the back and sit back and enjoy the freshly prepared dishes from Chuck’s busy wok. He knows what he’s doing!

table

Dainty wine glasses, a stripy tablecloth and chopsticks at the ready

Chuck Yang’s Speciality Dish is at 93 Campground Road, Rondebosch.