Wot no Fish?

Liverpool still keeps on with its pretence of having Fish and Chips shops when it actually has none.

Now then, when I lived in London, a Fish and Chips shop sold, well, fish and chips.  Many different varieties of fish were available.  Starting off with cod, or plaice, or rock salmon (‘huss’ as we called it when I lived in Brighton), or skate, or haddock, or ray, or pollock, etc., etc.  To supplement the fish would be fish derivatives like fish cakes or even scampi (which isn’t a fish, just fishy).

Yep, a choice of fish from a Fish and Chips shop.  A bit like going in to a DVD shop and finding a choice of DVDs.

Imagine going into a DVD shop and finding all they have is just one DVD.  That would be bonkers, right?

Yet in Liverpool, Fish and Chips shops don’t have a range of fish.  They just stock one fish, and it’s usually cobbler (or basa) which is incredibly cheap and can be passed off as cod to the ignorant customers.  This is because most northern Fish and Chip shops are actually Chinese takeaways trading as a Fish and Chips shop.  Even more strange is that they are usually owned and run by Vietnamese people, not Chinese.  But, I guess that’s no stranger than ‘Indian restaurants’ usually being owned and run by Bangladeshi or Pakistani people without the customers realising there’s nobody there from India.

There are no Fish and Chips shops in Liverpool in the proper sense.

When they are not cunningly disguised Chinese takeaways, the Fish and Chips shops will be Turkish run pizza and kebab shops, yet still sporting the ‘Fish and Chips’ legend on the outside.

The situations I’ve described are all over the North and South Liverpool suburbs, and onward into the neighbouring areas like Sefton and Knowsley and beyond.

And, now it seems in the centre of Liverpool as well.

Take the recently opened ‘Downtown’ in the touristy central part of Liverpool.  Yep, ‘Fish and Chips’ it proudly declares as part of its brand new shiny green signage.

Does it have a range of fish?


When asked, they actually had no fish available to cook.

When then asked what fish they normally have, they told us they weren’t sure, “probably cod or something like that”.

Looking down their Advertising board outside on the pavement and you’ll see they’re not really a Fish and Chips shop at all, more a Turkish or Mediterranean cafe.  Indeed, their actual menu is far greater and offers a delicious range of dishes.  So, why say they are a Fish and Chips shop?  It makes absolutely no sense does it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slagging their food off.  It is very yum. But the menu isn’t dominated by a selection of different fish despite it calling itself a ‘Fish and Chips’ shop.

Why is this happening?