Yesterday, I ate the worst Fish N’ Chips I ever had in my life.
Although it was a sweltering day that made everybody squint when the sun got in their eyes, I wanted something hot to eat. Like many office workers, I had been trapped in a cold air-conditioned room the entire morning and needed to sit outside in the warmth with a good hot meal.
Feeling a craving for some hawker-style Western fare, I looked around the coffee shop that was a three-minute walk away from the office. It was at a typical Western food stall you’d find in a kopitiam. Not a particularly memorable name or good-looking shopfront. The dishes were a little pricey but I figured I would give it a try so I’d know whether I should come back for more.
I settled for Fish N’ Chips. Some lightly battered fish with fries and some baked beans served with tartar sauce. I mean, what could go wrong?
The answer is a lot.
When the beeper rang and I went to collect my Fish N’ Chips, the first misgiving surfaced in the form of the shoestring fries. The picture of the dish clearly showed crinkle-cut fries. While I do eat both because all fries are good fries, the sight of the fries planted the first seed of doubt.
As I tucked into my food, I thought to myself, the fries are a bit salty hor. Figuring it was just that one fry, I took another and then another… It was all of them. All of the fries were extremely salty and 3/4 of them were overdone. Well, maybe the fish would be better.
Spoilers: the fish was not better. Soft, white flesh was revealed as I cut into the fish with the knife provided. The fish tasted like nothing. The texture was pleasant and it looked like fish but there was no trace of any discernible taste. The thin batter was red, like the sugar that comes with apom. Maybe there’d be a hint of paprika or cajun powder? Nope. The colour, heck, all of the batter was simply ornamental. There was no crunch or perhaps I couldn’t feel it because all I could taste was salt from the fries. I had successfully pickled my own mouth.
The tartar sauce provided did help to add some much-needed flavour. Alas, it was all gone before I had even finished half of the fish. I speared the remnants of the fish with my fork and dragged it around the plate to soak up as much ketchup as possible from the baked beans. The beans were long gone.They were undoubtedly the best part of the dish. But then, they did come straight out of a can.
At least, it wasn’t as bad as these canned burgers. Just look at Emmy’s face!