Another day, another layover at Heathrow. This time, I had a couple hours, so I decided to go back to The Perfectionists’ Cafe, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in Terminal 2, this time for lunch.
“The Perfectionists’ Café Fish & Chips uses day-boat caught, sustainable varieties of fish from the coasts of Cornwall. Our relationship with these smaller boats helps us source the very best quality fish.
Inspired by a visit to see a nutty professor at Leeds University, The Perfectionists’ Café special beer batter is aerated through a siphon to create the lightest, crunchiest texture possible, and for that real smell of the ‘chippie’, it is served with an atomizer of malt vinegar pickled onion juice – bottled at source. Just spray onto the fish and chips for flavour without sogginess; unless of course, soggy chips is what you want, in which case, go crazy!”
The server brings a small dish with malt vinegar and an atomiser containing the pickled onion juice ‘bottled at source’. I imagine a running river of malt vinegar pickled onion juice with a bottling plant next to it.
My lunch comes and the fish looks like the batter has been aerated — light and crisp. The fish itself, light and fairly mild, offers to complete the fried, battered fish experience. It looks like there’s extra batter strips on top to provide further crunch. Certainly the best fried fish I’ve ever had.
The chips are absolutely perfect. Golden-crisp on the outside and soft and steamy inside, they are a master class in chip making. Also on my plate was the traditional minted, mushy peas. I’ve had them several times and I really like them. Fresh, green with a hint of mint — they’re the perfect foil to the richness of the rest of the meal.
The malt vinegar goes well with the chips and the spray…well, it just passes the line of gimmick to actually providing a hint of flavour and aroma. Of course, I haven’t been to a “chippy” often enough to judge the authenticity of the experience, although I am sure that an atomizer would be met with a derisive sneer in a seaside fish and chips shop. Nevertheless, it’s fun.