Smiths Authentic Fish & Chips (Tanjong Katong)
To be completely honest, we’re a bit spoiled when it comes to Katong. Time and time again we’ve gone knocking when a new eatery pops up, and time and time again, we’ve been more than satisfied. Partial to a classic parcel of fish and chips, we returned eagerly to Katong to check out Smiths.
Its classic white shophouse setting, faux marble tables and old-school coffee shop wooden chairs made a good first impression, but the long wait we endured for a menu did not. Then again, it markets itself as an “authentic” fish and chippery, and any self-respecting working-class Englishman would baulk at the thought of being served, so we helped ourselves to a menu and ordered.
An impressive selection of fish was pleasing to see and the humorous one-liners of the proprietor lent a welcome, homely feel to the strictly no-frills place. The cod and chips ($17) and the salmon fishcakes and chips ($11) came wrapped in paper; very shabby chic, but that came to be the first disappointment. Digging in with our plastic utensils, we found the cod fresh, but its batter was soggy and overly greasy, even though it’d just been prepared. The salmon fishcakes, slivers of salmon embedded in soft potato cakes, were also nothing great. The first few thick-cut chips we had missed the mark entirely, and were simply soaked in too much oil for us to finish them all. Our sides of mushy peas ($2) and a pickled egg ($2), served in Styrofoam cups, tasted as bad as they sound (and believe us, we know good mushy peas).
Dessert was the high point of the meal, the battered pineapple rings with powdered sugar ($3) and the deep fried mars bar ($5) were predictably sinful, but one really struggles to eat so many deep fried food items in one sitting.
We really wanted to like this place (we’ve got a soft spot for indie joints), and sitting outside watching cars drive down Tanjong Katong Road is therapeutic, but the food really needs improvement.