Salt n Batter review date: March 27, 2015
60 second review so no score
It is a truth universally acknowledged that fish and chips taste better when eaten by the sea. It makes sense. Salty, freezing gales – especially when they come straight from the North Atlantic Ocean, with nothing to interrupt their descent except Iceland – rip open the senses.
These biting winds make food freshly lifted from hot oil all the more rewarding, while the acid of malt vinegar and liberal amounts of salt make your tongue’s taste receptors not so much open as dance.
The small town of Rathmullan sits on the far north coast of County Donegal in Ireland, yet another landscape to remind why this is truly God’s country. Snow capped mountains on the horizon meld into fields and eventually the steel grey waters of Lough Swilly. Most of all however it’s the sky, an endless canvas of blue hues shifting and shaping like the waters below:
Just before what’s left of daylight disappears completely, the perfect moment arrives for fish and chips. Salt n’ Batter is a good name for a chip shop. A quick look online reveals other pearls, here’s my top 3:
1) Frying Nemo
3) A fish called Rhondda (In Rhondda, South Wales)
The staff at Salt n’ Batter are so familiar and friendly it’s like you’ve been coming in for years. It’s understandably busy on a frigid evening, while next door they also run a café called Belle’s Place serving up home made cakes and decent cappuccinos.
The chip menu is impressively global, with no fewer than 21 ways to have them – coleslaw, taco, kebab, cheese, garlic, gravy – if you want it, they’ve probably got it. Every iteration of burger, chicken, kebabs, sandwiches and yes, even salads.
But on nights like this, there can be only one: ‘traditional fish n chips’ for 7.60 euros.
You don’t need me to describe it, but hey. Open box, lift, inhale, bite: the crunch of the batter followed by the flaky, slippery yield of haddock, the steam rising from the chips into the cold night, once decapitated. A riot of salt and vinegar – the proper industrial chip shop kind. Truly one of life’s great eating pleasures, the finest of foods in the finest of settings.
Belles Kitchen / Salt n Batter
Pier Road, Rathmullan, Co Donegal, Ireland
Tel: +353 (0)74 915 8800 http://www.rathmullan.net/belles-kitchen