Tom Kerridge has been grabbing the headlines this week at the opening of his first restaurant in London. The reason is his menu includes fish and chips priced at £32.50.
I won’t be heading to Kerridge’s Bar and Grill at the Corinthia Hotel in Whitehall to sample them. To charge £32.50 for a piece of brill and a few fried potatoes is outrageous, even if they do come with pease pudding, tartare sauce and something called a matson spicy sauce.
Kerridge, whose TV persona is that of the chatty bloke next door, clearly believes customers will stump up that sort of money. And he may well be right. Trying to find perfect fish and chips in London is like trying to find the proverbial holy grail. A couple of weeks ago, when I went for a takeaway to a fish and chip restaurant in south-east London that has garnered many outstanding reviews, I ended up depositing most of my meal in the bin.
I have to say that I’ve always come away underwhelmed when I’ve eaten at restaurants owned by celebrity chefs. I’ve only been to three – Jamie’s Italian, a Marco Pierre White place near Harrod’s, and Rick Stein at Barnes – , but I’ve seen enough to realise that they are no better or worse than countless other restaurants.
Something tells me that if I did indeed go to Kerridge’s Bar and Grill, expecting sensational fish and chips, I’d come away at the end of the meal very disappointed, which is exactly how I felt upon leaving Rick Stein at Barnes.
Of course, the exorbitant price Kerridge is charging for fish and chips has got him acres of space in the media. Everyone now knows Kerridge has a spot in central London.
I’d like to think the cost of fish and chips was a publicity stunt, and the price will drop by half once the media chatter has died away. But I very much doubt it.