As Hungry as a Wolf
Fish & chips has enjoyed the glorious title as one of Britain’s great double acts for as long as we can remember. Fried fish was introduced to England in the seventeenth century when the Spanish Jews landed. As the fish trawling industry thrived and national rail routes expanded, it was not long before the nation was enjoying moist white fish in crisp golden batter.
The history of the ‘chip’ is varied, but what we do know is this dynamic duo soon became the staple diet among working class in England, some saying that the Industrial Revolution was fueled partly by fish and chips! Winston Churchill referred to this famous combination as the ‘Good companions’ and Michael Jackson had a weakness for mushy peas!
Fish and chips is an English national institution. In fact, you would be hard pushed to find a town in the UK without its local ‘chippy’, particularly in a thriving city like Brighton & Hove where you are inundated with choice. I decided to check out the city’s most popular and most respected fish and chop shop, having served local residents for over 25 years…
Wolfies of Hove has earned a solid reputation in this seaside city as a traditional fish & chip shop with old school pie, mash & liquor. Situated a few blocks from the sea and a stones throw from Hove Station, Wolfies is a devoted family-run business. Pride and passion is evident and this love for tradition radiates from the team to each and every customer.
Prime ingredients are locally sourced, from the finest sustainable fish to Sussex potatoes which, in my opinion, make the hand cut chips so much tastier than anywhere else in the country. Quality is of paramount importance to the Wolfies team and these hearty local ingredients along with a modern approach to an age old tradition result in a crowd pleaser that have people happily queuing down the road.
After a busy week I thought I would treat myself to a Friday Feast and made my way over to Goldstone Villas at 6:30pm. Now this is definitely a get-there-early joint as the queue was already out the door. Foodies were flocking like seagulls to indulge themselves in this award-winning take away.
The white tiled walls were gleaming with the Wolfies of Hove logo and the stainless steal counter, home to large jars of pickled eggs and onions, made me feel rather nostalgic. As a traditional British comfort food it is so refreshing to see a venue that is authentic and genuine. From the moment you walk though the door, you are struck by how happy everyone is; the girls behind the counter dancing along to the tunes playing on the radio and having banter with their regulars and the gents (including the owner Dave’s son Danny) busily preparing the fish fillets as the fryer crackles and the extraordinary smells waft down the road.
The special of the day was smoked Haddock & Hand cut chips and to not disappoint (myself of course!) I decided to also order the Lamb & Rosemary Pie. I sat outside on the wooden picnic bench and people watched as the crowd continued to grow. As I did, I savored every mouthful of the crisp white fish without even a moment of guilt as this faultless and effortless take-away satisfied my end-of-week craving. The battered fish was light and fluffy and the pie rich with a scrumptious flakey, home-made pastry. This was a seriously good combination and an affordable treat which, after a dry January and carb-free February, I was certainly in need of.
Other items on the menu include Scampi, battered sausage and of course mushy peas. The menu is extensive, yet traditional. There are gluten and dairy free options available (which is a welcome concept for the humble takeaway) and I was very excited to discover you can order online too. Wolfies of Hove certainly ticks all the boxes for us Brits’ and my visit made me realise how wonderful tradition and history can be, how we should be cherish and promote our heritage from sausage and mash to tea and crumpets!
The quintessentially British chippy continues to be a Friday night favourite. Wolfies of Hove have done us proud and I hope this summer, as friends and family descend on us Brighton residents, we all take a moment to introduce them to the Best of the Best for a seaside treat!
Lindsay Katherine Hills