OpinioN8

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I've been to Cannon's Fish and chip takeaway (where Pizza Bella used to be) three times now and it's not really working for me.

The first time the place was full of people just standing about. It wasn't the slightest bit clear what they were doing or waiting for, nor how the ordering / queuing system worked. The counter had a long row of bits of till roll paper stuck to it, reminiscent of Albert Steptoe after a specially close shave. Assuming this was the waiting list of fish yet to be fried I decided not to wait.

The second time I wanted cod and chips, wrapped. I had to answer the subsidiary questions "Do you want salt and vinegar on your chips?" and "what is your name?". £8.50. When I got it home the huge paper bag contained a second paper bag with chips (read this Guardian article), a cardboard box with fish, a plastic container with tartare sauce and a slice of lemon. It was good enough. 

Then the third time. Now there is a rail present with a black curtain dangling from it, which does nothing to clarify the queuing system. Indeed seeing my bemused expression one of the bystanders explained that he was not queuing to order, but to collect. So I tentatively approached the till. The chap in front of me ordered plaice, whitebait and scampi. His scrap of till roll duly covered a nick on the bleeding counter. I asked for two regular cod and one large chips, wrapped. Till roll, salt and vinegar?, name? Go and stand over there. Now call me old fashioned but what I expect from a chippy when I ask for cod and chips, is bish, bash, bosh - there you are mate, in a matter of moments. Especially in a chippy with a queue. There is no excuse for not having a ready stream of cooked fish in the hot plate. But, no. I had to stand and wait while the plaice, the whitebait and the scampi were sourced, fried and wrapped. I had to answer the salt and vinegar question twice more (why can't I do my own salt and vinegar?). So, this is not for me. I'll be going back to George's.

btw, the answer "don't tell him, Pike" to the question "what's your name" would seem peculiarly apt.

Tags: cannons, fish and chips, georges

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I've only tried it once so far, but I don't share your negative conclusion. Yes, the ordering and serving process is a bit chaotic, but I expect that to improve as both staff and customers get used to it. I have no problem waiting for 10 minutes for something freshly cooked. I thought the quality was good and the lemon & tartar sauce a nice additional touch. The chips were plentiful, enough for 2. I agree however that they go a bit overboard on the packaging. I'm not sure why you disapprove of being asked "salt & vinegar?" - this is common to all chippies. Just say no thanks. I can understand them not having a stock of ready cooked fish - it is a relatively expensive food and anything unsold has to be thrown away - not good business.  Go into a traditional chippie and you will only find cod pre-cooked (how long ago was that?), and anything else such as plaice will be cooked to order. And you won't find whitebait or scampi on offer.

So on balance I think this a useful addition to Crouch End, better than your traditional unimaginative chippie, and I will be visiting again. I can't speak for the restaurant section yet.  

My experience was I had to wait over 30 minutes for my order. They appeared to have a funny idea of sequencing the orders relative to their queue.  I am prepared to put this down to first night chaos.

The actual fish wasn't bad but a bit over cooked. The chips were ok but nothing special.  I probably will go again but it needs to improve to compare to say, Toffs, let alone Two Brothers in Finchley. On balance I would say CE is better off for the addition of an average to good fish and chip shop and of course the restaurant might be an improvement on the takeaway. They also do vegetarian pies. 

Why did it take so long to open anyway? Maybe they spent too long deliberating over the queuing system?

yes,that puzzled me too, Barbara, but I cannot agree with my good friend Adrian's luke warm comment   the result of my one & only attempt (SO FAR< I'LL BE BACK!) was the 'lunch box Tues-Fri £5.95' was complete satisfaction

now that I am ancient, I eat less- the fish was nicely crisp and big enough and so were the chips   I usually have to throw about half away elsewhere  

do a Dick Whittington, Adrian, try again!  

I didn't realise I'd been that enthusiastic.

Now been Sally and liked it. Fish is fried in rapeseed oil which is healthier apparently.

they also do grilled fish but tbh don't see point in going to a chippy & having grilled fish! 

It will all go on ur hips though!

According to CE legend, the builders miscalculated and built a wall that encroached a few inches on the adjoining plaice (sorry) at the back of the building. It seems like it took about six months to sort it out.

yes, I heard that - and that they then 'battered' the wall down too quickly, apparently, which meant they had to rebuild it, meaning the costs went up and they had to ask the bank to 'chip' in...

I can't remember the last time I so eagerly awaited the opening of a new eaterie in Crouch End - or how much my expectations were so cruelly dashed. I've been twice now - the first time with a friend for eat-in cod 'n chips and the second for a haddock 'n chips takeaway. On both occasions the chips were superb. On both occasions the fish was overcooked - a Cardinal Sin of the Kitchen - and on both occasions, the fish was tasteless and the batter unseasoned. As a Northerner brought up just south of Fleetwood in the days when it was a thriving port landing fresh fish daily, I think I know my fish 'n chips and Cannon's is a very long way from where it should be. Toff's and George's are both streets ahead of them and I feel sorry for the owners because unless they get their act together, it won't even last as long as Harrington's. (Remember them?) And the reason as I understand it that it took so long to open, was a problem with a previously installed extension at the back which didn't have planning permission.

Harringtons! yes! I always thought that that corner site was cursed because nothing lasted, but Melange seems to be doing OK.

As a fellow Northerner also maybe Cannon's needs to do chips & gravy!

we tried Melange last week and are happy to recommend it but it isn't cheap! 

I'm replying to myself because I couldn't work out where this should go!

I wish food manufacturers wouldn't try to fool us that reduced prices don't ALWAYS mean reduced value:   examples 1 from Waitrose   coquille St Jacque: not as expensive as you would think because it was almost entirely mashed potato   and 2.  Cook which has given their 3 for £10 deal wide publicity-each one a disappointment, the prawn dish for instance had only 3 prawns   we know what these dishes should cost and we know what the taste should be!     usually, I would recommend both shops

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