Fish & Chips At Pub & Kitchen

Rick Nichols is loving Jonathan McDonald’s fish and chips at Pub & Kitchen.

Johnny Mac is now turning out perhaps the city’s finest, crispiest, tastiest fish and chips, applying the care that only true affection can confer.

He uses fresh, hand-selected pollack (the flaky white, environmentally correct substitute for stressed-out cod). He cools it on parchment, covered with more paper or towels and ice packs (not ice!), the better to keep its surface dry to create traction for the batter. He uses amber lager for the batter, simply adding flour and seasoning, but taking care not to overmix it, which cuts down on its desire to adhere to the fish. He lets the batter ferment, at 125 degrees, over the hot line above the stoves. He dusts the pollack with flour. Batters it. Drops it in hot, clean vegetable oil, cranked to 375 degrees to drive out any greasiness. He blots the fish, twice, for 30 seconds on paper towels. And hits it with a grind of black pepper and a flick of kosher salt.

It’s a tour de force! It is why God invented the gastropub. Welcome back to earth, Johnny!

Froufrou-free fish and chips [Philadelphia Inquirer]