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Kerbisher & Malt: British food can be tasty

kerbisher_malt
FACTFILE


Rating: 7/10

Address: 164 Shepherds Bush Road,
London, W6 7PB

Tube: Hammersmith (Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly and District)

Hours: Check the website

Price:
Fish: £5.80-6.90; Chips: £1.80

Official Website

By Corinne Chang

In the comments of many PR releases, Kerbisher & Malt has been regarded as the ‘Jesus Christ of British food’. Praises like “Kerbisher & Malt proves the great British chippy is alive and well” have been flocking in for the West London fish and chip shop.

It is unique among other British cafés. Instead of using frozen, prepared fishes, Kerbisher & Malt has fresh fish of various shapes and sues. Also, their chips are not the long, skinny (typically frozen) variety. Kerbisher & Malt peel and cut their potatoes into semi-circles in the shop, and then double fry them. Great for your taste buds if not your heart.

Tradition with a twist

Many Britons praise the ‘warming’ quality of their food, which traditionally focuses on quantity over quality. Kerbisher & Malt prove that traditional British food can also be a delicacy without losing any of its traditional attributes.

The West London café’s food has all the qualities of a delicious dish: no bland flavors, not too much, not too little, carefully selected fresh vegetables, nice decoration of the plates, and some creativity.

Reality restaurant TV

Interestingly, Kerbisher & Malt has a screen in its eating space. They don’t play music, however, but feature a live feed from their own kitchen, trying to prove that their food is clean made. It’s not a popular move with all of their customers though: “We can see it’s clean, we don’t need fiction…It’s disgusting that it films out its employees,” says Malyan Elhamdi, a semi-professional eater. 

The live feed made the cooking process mechanic. Cooking a great dish should be like composing a melody. Which professional musician would like their writing process live streamed to all their listeners? Very few, I’d imagine.

Unfortunately, the quality of the dishes varies. Most are delicious, but their excellence can occasionally dip. This might explain why Kerbisher & Malt never boasts ‘good cuisine’, but only wonderful ingredients.

British food on the up

No one would deny that British cuisine is better nowadays. Nevertheless, many are still wondering why ‘British food’ fades compared with other country’s cuisines. “British food is not good because people don’t know how to cook properly,” said Faith True, a retired chef who lives in the countryside.

Fortunately, Kerbisher & Malt are going some way to showing that British cuisine can be pulled off with the panache that is more and more in demand in a cosmopolitan world.