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Geales Fish Restaurant - great fish and chips in Notting Hill

2 Farmer Street
London W8
Tel: 020 7727 7528

It is surprising that good old fish and chips is so hard to eat in civilised surroundings. This is now thankfully being put right by the people behind the re-vamp of Geales. This well-known chippy has had a thorough makeover and has now set itself up as a very snazzy little dining room. Set in the prettiest corner of Notting Hill, in ‘Hillgate Village’, Geales is now under new ownership with Garry Hollihead as its Executive Chef. Garry is probably best known for his cooking at Embassy London.

We loved everything about Geales, from the understated but elegant décor, to the starched white tablecloths, and polished cutlery. The walls are chic grey walls and French windows allow plenty of natural light into the room. In the summer there is al fresco dining, with the windows opened right back and the tables spilling onto the pavement. There is ample space and no music, just the sound of contented banter between diners enjoying the food and each other’s company.

The stylish art deco style menu had plenty to tempt us, with nine starters in total ranging from classic fish soup to dressed crab. I began in a highly decadent fashion with half a dozen Duchy of Cornwall oysters and a glass of perfectly chilled house champagne. The oysters tasted very fresh and clean, with a dense creamy texture and a wonderful aftertaste that whisked me to a virtual seashore. These came served with a merlot vinegar and shallot sauce which added a nice degree of piquancy. My guest began with the Thai soft shell crab; this came battered and deep fried, and was served with a very pleasing sweet and sour dipping sauce.

To follow, of course, there is battered fish, with four different types to choose between - cod, hake, haddock and sole. The fish was moist, the batter crispy. There are numerous side orders, including chips, proper mushy peas, and a whole host of accompaniments to tickle every whim. If this sort of dining isn’t what you fancy there is the gut-busting ‘Geales Breakfast’, consisting of poached haddock, dry cured bacon, black pudding and poached egg, or lighter seafood and shellfish options from the daily specials menu. Meat lovers have not been forgotten either, with a sirloin steak served with Béarnaise sauce for those who are not fans of aquatic cuisine.

To conclude, there were seven desserts, including nursery favourites such as jam roly-poly and rice pudding. We shared a rich and fudge-like treacle tart, which came served with nostalgic ‘hokey-pokey’ ice cream. This, if you’ve never tried it is a wonderful combination of vanilla and honeycomb and is a must have when you eat here. Our other choice, a selection of sorbets (lemon and raspberry,) came served delightfully in a traditional sundae glass evocative of yesteryear.

There is a short but comprehensive selection of wines on offer, with several available by the glass (which includes five different champagnes). There are also soft drink fish and chip classics, including ginger beer, dandelion and burdock and cream soda.

A night out at Geales is a most agreeable experience. The food is neither heavy, nor filling, and we came away feeling both content and keen to return - you can’t say fairer than that.

Louise Elgin. August 2007.

A three-course meal for two with wine and water is around £75.00.
Fish and chips from £11.00

2 Farmer Street
London W8
Tel: 020 7727 7528

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