Now do you remember me telling you all about the Maiyango closing menu I went to? No? Well, if not, here it is. The big question I was left with after enjoying some delicious food was what on earth was going to take the place of Maiyango? Some might say that the owner is a master of marketing – there were lots of teasers but nothing concrete for some weeks. You could even book into the new restaurant (in advance of it re-opening) without knowing anything about it! A lot of mystery and intrigue.
So I was invited back to the old Maiyango, now called The Fish and the Chip, to see what was on offer. This time the kids were invited too, which excited me no end as there are very few good, independent restaurants in Leicester who deal with feeding kids well.
The outside of The Fish and the Chip is striking. Now it turns out that some people have an issue with the Union Jack exterior. I rather liked it – reminded me of my Britpop days when I had Geri style stripes in my hair. Turns out it won’t be long for this world though. It’s soon to be repainted.
The interior could not be more different from Maiyango. It is as bright and airy and reminiscent of the seaside as Maiyango was dark, sultry, smokey (without being smokey obviously) and reminiscent of an Eastern boudoir.
I love a bit of salmon and teal. My sofa is the same colour as their bar counter. Seriously, if you didn’t know this used to be Maiyango you wouldn’t know. It’s open plan and airy and bright and just very, very contemporary but without being anything other than comfy. It’s hard to be stylish and also a nice place to be. So often design and comfort don’t marry. But it does here. Onto the menu. My boys LOVED the chip shop style newspaper menus.
The menu had bags of choice but not too much. I am wary beyond wary of lots of choice, it smacks of a kitchen trying to prove too much. There’s fish and chips (obviously), sausage and chips, pasties, pies, fish finger sarnies, mushy peas, bread and butter, pots of tea, ice cream sundaes, apple pie – you know the stuff. Close your eyes and you could almost be on the coast with the roar of the waves, sand in your socks and seagulls nicking your chips.
But you’re not. You’re in Leicester. And so there are chips with chilli and cheese. There are soft tendrils of calamari with a dusting of five spice and celery salt served with griddled lemon and mayonnaise that squelches.
There’s a massive surf and turf burger that almost, I said almost, defeated me.
There’s a Korean spiced tofu burger for the vegans in your party. There’s skinny fish, lobster, Thai fishcakes, sweet potato chips and even Ghost chilli mayo. There’s something old, something new, nothing borrowed and well, definitely something blue. (The decor!)
My eyes naturally drifted to the sides, as they so often do. The sides say so much about a restaurant. It’s the equivalent to watching how a potential suitor treats waitresses, taxi drivers and small animals. Avoid any man/woman/restaurant who fail to show the correct degree of respect.
My plan is to go back with my man and order everything on the sides menu. And a lot of cocktails.
There’s attention to detail on all fronts. The soft drinks include homemade lemonade. This is elderflower and raspberry lemonade and mighty fine it was too.
This is their resident cola. It tastes like I remember cola tasting as a little girl. And I’m not talking Panda Pops. (Though I was partial to a cherryade Panda Pop with a packet of Walkers Smokey Bacon in the 80’s).
Now I know you want to hear about the kids menu. It’s ace.
It’s varied, well priced, the portions are HUGE (I reckon they would happily feed most adults), there’s a drink included (hurrah!) and there’s pudding too (and not just the usual ice cream option). It’s also so incredibly creative. Designed by the owners wife, a mother to two young kids, she clearly knows that keeping the kids happy keeps the adults happy. So there’s proper colouring, proper pencils, shark ice cubes and a whole lot of love. (YES!)
This might look like an ordinary fish bowl of juice…
But look! Sharks!
Better get those sharks.
And then the mains – look at them. Proper food, not babied, but also much adored. My only suggestion might be to offer a reduced size menu for toddlers. The gravy with Laurie’s sausage and chips was so delicious I stole it for chip dunking.
Charlie was the only one of my three boys who finished his main (above) but they all managed to squeeze in a pudding. Max went for a brownie which he insisted was served plain. They only went and warmed the plate though.
Charlie chose the sundae. As did us adults.
This was absolutely perfect. Strawberry and mint ice cream, white chocolate buttons, real milk chocolate painted around the outside and dipped in sprinkles. A toasted marshmallow, honeycomb, mini marhsmallows. It was all there. I loved it. Charlie was not so keen on the mint element of the ice cream but this could happily be subbed.
Laurie chose the doughnut.
I loved their slightly nutty tasting coffee.
And I felt sad that not one of my kids chose to decorate their own biscuit. So here’s a photo of another child doing just that.
My verdict? Big portions, big flavours, reasonably priced and a relaxing gaff. We will most definitely be returning.
Get the monthly newsletter...
and subscribe to get all recipes straight to your inbox!