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The biggest names in showbiz eat at Masters Super Fish. Look at the photo. See? We sat next to an autographed photograph of Danny Blue!!!!!!
I'm not shitting you. We quite possibly sat at the same table Danny Blue once sat at. Danny "Blue Comedy" Blue, the former member of the Monster Raving Loony Party. The rebel who screams "bollocks to political correctness". The patriot who knows what the REAL national dish is ("bollocks to chicken tikka masala," he possibly says). The radical comic who's not afraid to make mother-in-law jokes. The adult entertainer who's "rude but not crude". The legendary comedian who's literally shared a stage with Jim Davidson. The proud defender of the British sense of humour. The archetypal lad's lad who hosts stag shows with busty British strippers. The man who, in his immortal words, is "innocent until proven filthy". It's Danny cocking Blue!!!!
Blue, along with numerous other Cockney micro-celebrities, eats fish and chips at Masters Super Fish. And from this day onwards, so do I. For less than a tenner, we received an eminently shareable portion of fish and chips, mushy peas, bread and butter, pickled onions, gherkins and fried prawns. The cod was perfect: crunchy, crisp and ungreasy batter, and flaky, fresh fish. The chips and tartare sauce were spot on. If I hadn't been sitting opposite a lady, I would have consumed the sensational pickled onions in a undignified cutlery-free frenzy.
I love the food here, but not as much as I love everything else about Masters: the clientèle of pensioners on their ten-thousandth visit, ravenous cabbies refuelling, net-savvy tourists taking photos of mushy peas, and middle-class theatregoers incongruously sipping red wine; the yellowing newspaper clippings and dog-eared wallcharts of fish species; the David Brent poses and Alan Partridge desperation of Danny Blue and his photo-opping, arse-end of pier, Davro-worshipping Z-list pals.
I love the tragic, funny, timeless, wonderful Britishness of it all.
Oh, by the way, the first ever chips to be fried in the United Kingdom, hit oil in Oldham, Lancashire, in the 1860s.