Question any Brit on what their favourite national dish is, and chances are curry or fish & chips will feature high up on their list. I mean seriously, are you even British if you don’t roll out of work on a Friday night craving either a large cod and chips or chicken bhuna? So surely putting them together would be a winning combination, right?
Last weekend, I dropped by Longbridge Dining Club. It was the 2019 launch event and an incredibly sunny day, and being only 15 minutes away from my house it would have been rude not to pop along for a cold cider and a bite to eat in the sun.
A good selection of the Digbeth Dining Club regulars had pitched up for the day, including Andy Low ‘N’ Slow, Urban Cheesecake, Baked in Brick and of course, The English Indian. I’d first come across English Indian back in summer 2018, at a Peaky Blinders Live event in Digbeth. I’d been eyeing up their stand all day and had decided that as I’d just eaten a big dinner, I’d pop along later on in the evening for fish and chips. Unfortunately, by the time me and my fella arrived at the stand around 9pm they had run out of fish and were packing up, but they did offer us a free portion of the chat masala chips, which were bloody delicious. Ever since then, I’d been eager to get to a Digbeth Dining Club on a date when they were there.
The great thing about The English Indian is that everything is gluten free and the fish & chips in particular are dairy free. I opted for what is arguably their most popular dish, pakora battered cod with chat masala seasoned chips, madras chip shop curry sauce, fresh mint & chilli mushy peas, dressed with lime and coriander. The batter was crispy and flavoursome, the chips had a delicious coating of spicy chat masala seasoning, which dipped into the curry sauce and seasoning provided a medley of incredible flavours.
The fact that the queue never went down all day at The English Indian proves their popularity and by the time I got home, I was wishing I’d have gone back to the stand for a second portion. Maybe there is something spectacularly weird about us Brits in that we love throwing curry spices and sauces onto our fish & chips, but boy if you haven’t tried combining your Friday fish night cod with masala chips yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s simply a brilliantly clever reinvention of Britain’s most classic dish and once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back to cod, chips and ketchup again.