A Little Plug- Johnny Mac’s Plaice

ed 29/12/16- Johnny Mac’s changed hands after some 15 years in autumn 2016 and was renamed shortly thereafter. Menu changes and subtle re-branding are sneaking in as the year ends. So far, so OK.

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What- Traditional fish n chip shop
Where- Church Rd, Brightlingsea, Essex.
How much- Inexpensive, £5 a head to eat out £10 to eat in with drinks
Overall- 10 out of 10!

There really are at least a million places in the UK claiming to sell the best fish n chips in the country and until recently I would have agreed only with a tiny shop in Southampton I can’t remember the name of. But screw those people I never like them anyway, Brightlingsea in sunny Essex is now the answer to all your fish n chips needs.

I must hold my hands up to admit that the locality, roughly 300m from my front door, does a lot to favour my opinion of Award Winning chip shop Johnny Mac’s Plaice but I’m not the kind of person to shy away from a little expedition to get a good dinner. Since we relocated to this neck of the north east essex woods we don’t need to warm up the huskies as this blissfully local eatery hits all the bases when you don’t feel like cooking for yourself.

Mine’s the usual thanks. The mushy peas are pretty good too.

Johnny Mac’s is where it’s at, people. Operating as both take out and sit in they offer a good, full menu of exactly what you exepct from your local chippy plus some bugers, kebabs and exotic delights such as deep fried haloumi. I’m sure all that stuff is great but I wouldn’t know as I will have the fish and chips please or possibly sausage and chips if I am feeling particularly indulgent. Ok it isn’t michelin star stuff and there isn’t that much I can say about it other than that it is bloody amazing- freshly cooked and perfectly crunchy battered items with a generous pile of fat but internally fluffy chips worth blogging about. Fantastic. Is a decent bag of fish and chips worth your time reading and, more importantly, my time writing? Maybe, maybe not. There’s only so much to wax lyrical about battered fried fish and the nation’s favourite potato method. What puts this plaice (ahahaha) over the edge are three simple but oh so easy to balls up things.

Service: Their service is excellent, smiley and friendly and if you are lucky enough to catch Mr Mac himself manning the friers he is wonderfully nice chap. Mediocre service echos to the food sometimes, and crappy service detracts from it, this is something I really believe and the staff there are an enormous credit to them.

Value: Prices to eat in at JMP roughly echo what you would pay to take out less from similar eateries in the area or the bigger towns nearby. Every time we’ve taken away from JMP I have been pleasantly surprised at the lack of damage, taking home more than anyone can finish for a fiver a head or less. Their budget fish n chips is less than £4 and more than enough to satisfy even a hungry soul. All the more reason to throw a cheeky battered sausage on top.

Curry Sauce: Yes, curry sauce. Something I had forgotten exited until the older male sibling came to visit for late fake Christmas and requested a tub of curry sauce with his friday night chippie dinner. It’s brilliant- sweetly spiced mellow gloop that yeilds perfectly to a dunk ready chip. I don’t care if it comes out of a massive bulk catering tub of generic non branded yuk, it’s perfect and I will hold on to my fantasy that it is handmade out the back to an old secret recipe from the 80s. Bloody excellent.

If you take out, Johnny Mac’s is the perfect naughty night in straight out of the paper infront of Eastenders. If you eat in, it’s bright and comfy and wonderfully served with a nice chunk of fresh salad and a posh pot for your curry sauce, served next to a huge display fish tank and some local history shots on the walls. It’s the best fish n chips in the world, they  are open every day late morning through to close and you should go there.


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