Fish and Chips but not as we know it.


Some say it’s  easy to make fish and chips but to make excellent, tip top, melt in the mouth, come on baby light my fire fish and chips?  Well that’s a different matter altogether. The Tailend in Edinburgh’s Leith walk is renowned. It’s renowned for using  fresh, delicious fish , for being the sister restaurant to the St. Andrews Fish and Chip Shop, and more recently because it suffered a fire which closed the doors for a few weeks. Happily the doors are flung wide once again and with  quite a billing to live up to we fancied seeing if the  hype was all hot fat …. I mean air or not.


As you might expect fish is the order of the day and you can have fish, breaded, grilled, or battered. There are the standard options – though to call any of this standard in some way decries what they do. They have daily specials and at 6 o clock on a Sunday my mother in law took us for tea. Specials included calamaries, wild trout, seabass, marlin and lemon sole.

To start I had King Scallops 3 of them plus roe served in a scallop shell with a frizzle of garlic butter, a wee side salad and a hunk of petit pain. How much for this?  £5.95….slurp.

Meanwhile long suffering husband and Teenwolf order up the king prawns with chilli dip. A million sighs as you think – aye aye freezer, tough, small taste fere – WRONG. Fresh, plump, wonderful, melt in the mouth. God these were good.Nae great.

IMG-20110529-00218 Traditional fish tea comes with garden or mushy peas, chips – more of which in a moment and two enormous haddock fillets in batter, breadcrumb or grilled. As you can see the batter option was plumped for and this batter was as light as a feather – no lighter. It is fairy light….not that sounds like a Xmas tree decoration …OK how about this spider web light. Almost weightless. Unlike me at this stage in the game.  If that scares the Bejaysus out of you then you can also plum for akids portion haddock goujons and chips or at the other end of the scale A pensioners Traditional tea which comes with white bread and butter as well as a perfectly ample single haddock fillet & of course chips.

IMG-20110529-00217 Not great fans of onion rings my lot but when I saw a bowl of them on the adjoining table I ordered them. I hope the photo tells the story. Again fresh, tasty and light light light.

IMG-20110529-00220 Here are the long suffering husbands langoustines which he ordered as his main course. Slurptastic.

IMG-20110529-00221 Lemon sole to the left 2, 3, 4 and last but not least…the chips. The giant bowl of proper chips. Lardy lovely flavoursome chips. Tomato sauce, brown Edinburgh sauce, tartare sauce, salt, pepper


The service is lovely. A young Australian girl looked after us brilliantly. There were young families, walkers with ruddy chops, a foursome of elderly and us a mixed bag of family, young, old and inbetween.

The Tailend may well be the place I would head if they said there was only an hour before the meteor hit. Fast food, produced to an exceptionally high quality with a smile. Sit in or take away.

Next time you get the overwhelming urge for fish and chips – get thee to The Tailend – you will thank me. In fact you can.


Writer & broadcaster.

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