Today I ate fish and chips in Szeged, Hungary.
Although I was born in Britain and used to eat fish and chips fairly regularly during the 48 years I lived there, I seldom get cravings for fish and chips. However, when I see fish and chips for sale in other countries it always makes me curious. I have to know, will they be the same? In past experience, the answer has always been no.
Needless to say, when I saw a fish and chip shop in Szeged, Hungary, I couldn’t resist trying its Hungarian fish and chips.
The shop is called City Pan Fish & Chips and the exterior is somewhat reminiscent of British fish and chip shop. Though, with the branded tables outside, it’s more like a cafeteria or restaurant than a real British “chippy”.
From the way everything is set up, it’s pretty clear City Pan Fish & Chips is trying to mimic a British fish and chip shop, but it probably looks a little too nice to pull it off.
The other thing is, this Hungarian fish and chip shop sells beer. It’s been a while since I was in Britain but, from what I remember, fish and chip shops in the UK only sell soft drinks. However, the beers in City Pan Fish & Chips are British too. I asked for a beer and the assistant gave me a bottle of Bombardier. It said, “British Beer” on the label.
I’ve drunk a lot of British beer in my time, I’d never even heard of Bombardier. Apparently, its brewed by Wells and Young’s Beers and is marketed as the “Drink of England”. Personally, I’d have rather had a bottle of Hungarian brew. If I had to go for an English beer abroad I’d rather have a pint of Tetley’s or John Smith’s. Maybe even a Newcastle Brown Ale, or any kind of lager.
To be honest, before my City Pan experience, I don’t think I’d ever drunk beer with fish and chips. For me, that was a first.
Has City Pan Got it Right?
As far as the flavour goes, the fish tasted very much like the fish I’ve had in British fish and chip shops, though the serving was smaller and narrower.
The chips were very like the ones I’ve had is some British fish and chip shops too. Though the chips can change from one chippy to the next. Some are a golden colour, others are softer and more white. The chips from the City Pan Fish & Chip Shop in Szeged, Hungary are more golden.
Actually, from what I tasted, the shop has got it just about right. There was even a bottle of Sarson’s Malt Vinegar on the table. It’s hard to find malt vinegar in Europe. However, a real fish chip shop in England doesn’t serve a piece of lemon with the fish. Nor do they dish things up onto a cardboard tray. Unless you are eating in a fish and chip restaurant, where they will give you a plate, everything comes wrapped in newspaper.
The mushy peas were not quite right either they were a little to paste-like. However, for any British person looking for fish and chips in Europe, the City Pan Fish and Chips shop is a very good place to go. The peas may need a little work, but everything else is just about right.
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