It’s a year or so since I was last here. The business may have changed hands in that time. Certainly the staff have changed. Last time, everyone appeared to be Chinese. Now everyone appears to be east European.
Thankfully, the food hasn’t changed. There’s still a feeling of generosity here. It starts with the three freebie shell-on prawns and the freebie bread. Now, of course, nothing is really free in the restaurant business. And, truth be told, the baguette was no longer in the first flush of youth.
However, as to the main event:
Fish – enormous; big white flakes, perfectly cooked.
Batter – crisp (and stayed that way throughout) with no hint of oiliness
Chips – generous portion, fried to a crispness you don’t often see. Not even in the north.
Peas – mushy, but not so much as to be sludge. Green, but not lurid.
A plate of chippy food that’s almost northern in its quality. Or, at least, as good as the 5% of northern chippies that don’t offer oily, over-cooked food kept warm on the steamer shelf.
But you’d never mistake Masters for a northern chippy. Well, there’s the offer of freebie gherkins and pickled onions. What’s that all about , eh? And then there’s the opportunity to get alcohol. In a chippy!. And the fact that fish, chips and peas costs £11.50. No, that’s not a typo, it really did cost eleven pounds fifty. I mean, in Wigan, you can buy a house for not much more.