Much as we Brits like to take other cuisines, modify them and pass them off as our own, there are a few things we’re well known for – roast dinners, afternoon tea and a hearty portion of fish and chips to name a few!
World famous for fish and chips, Harry Ramsden has been serving the traditional favourite for almost 90 years. Proud of its heritage, Harry Ramsden still closely guards the secret recipe of Harry’s famous batter which is freshly mixed every day to ensure the consistency is just right to complement their MSC certified fish fillets.
Despite having a lot more competition these days, Harry Ramsden is still very much a household name when it comes to fish and chips, and I have so many fond memories of many a fish and chip dinner when we went on half-term family holidays to entertainment parks like Butlins! As kids we used to love playing on the 2p machines at the amusements, and to this day my mum and I still remember the night that we happened to find a 10p in one of the 2p slot machines, we randomly put it into one of the 10p slot machines as we were walking past, and a ton of 10ps came crashing down, which we then put to good use buying Harry Ramsden’s fish and chips for the family!
Even though those family fish and chip dinners feel like years ago now, Harry Ramsden still successfully run plenty of takeaways and restaurants all over the UK, they can be found at some Welcome Break service stations and some of their most popular seaside restaurants have expanded to offer pies, salads and a huge range of desserts alongside their World Famous fish and chips.
Their most recent expansion is into local supermarkets, with them now offering two new products – Large Prime Cod Fillets and Large Prime Haddock Fillets – with the view to providing an authentic, quality seaside supper that can be achieved in the comfort of your own home.
Found in the freezer aisle of over 450 Sainsbury’s stores around the UK, the first thing I noticed was the packaging – it’s so cute! With traditional stripy deckchairs and seaside images printed all over, the box itself is built to open like a takeaway container, as you peel back a cardboard flap to reveal the fillets inside. Cooking them couldn’t be easier – simply put them in the oven at 220°C/200°C fan for 23-25 minutes (conveniently the same temperature that I’d cook frozen wedges/chips at!).
The fish is beautifully white and flakey but more importantly the batter is deliciously crisp and crunchy – is there anything worse than limp, soggy batter!? I judge fish and chips almost solely on the quality of the batter, and if I’m honest I rarely get fish and chips from a takeaway nowadays purely because by the time I’ve taken it home wrapped up in paper the batter has gone soggy. Fresh out of the oven, the batter on these fillets is perfectly golden brown, just as it should be. There’s a good amount of fish too – which for me is the next priority. Much as I love batter, I can’t stand it when the ‘fish fillet’ is 90% batter with just the thinnest sliver of fish inside – not to mention that an excess of batter is definitely more prone to going soggy too!
Overall I think this is a great product. It’s so quick and easy – perfect for those with busy schedules, it tastes good and at £2.25 a portion it’s not bad value either! While it may be a convenience food (and I do absolutely love cooking!) I’m sure you’ll all agree that sometimes when you’re short of time and just want some good old comfort food, fish and chips certainly does the trick.. and I don’t fancy going through all the effort of making batter and deep frying myself at home! It’s a great alternative to a takeaway at the end of a long week too – does anyone else still keep up the old tradition of fish and chip Friday!? I still remember fish and chip Fridays from my school days and for many years after I first met Marcus we’d get a Friday night fish and chip takeaway every single week!
A pack of two large fillets (290g) retail at £4.50 in Sainsbury’s stores across the UK.