Today for lunch I visited the Rideau Centre Food Court to investigate the Elephant & Castle owned The Chippy (50 Rideau Street, Ottawa). I was unsure of what to expect as it appeared to be a high end fish and chips place in the food court.
The first thought, when seeing the name "The Chippy", brought me images of a food court outlet Cookie Monster would worship at. After all Cookie Monster does believe that the number 1 cookie in the world are the "Chocolate Chippy". But sadly, no there are no chocolate chippies at this "Chippy", heck not even a cookie in sight. Only fish and chips kind of chippies. Somewhat of a disappointment I guess for any googly eyed blue fur wearing monster.
I arrived at 11:30 to find the Food Court just starting to build for the coming noon hour lunch rush. A tip for the Rideau Centre Food Court, come before noon if you want to eat there. Otherwise you will be lucky to get a clean table.
There was nobody in line at the counter staffed by two employees so I was able to order right away.
The Order: 1 Chippy Value Meal (2 Pieces of Fish and Fries) with a Medium Coke.
The order was put together quickly by both employees who seemed to work in tune. No problems with the service in putting the order together nor should their be, I was the only customer at the counter and they did not seem to be run off their feet yet. It was still early.
I grabbed my ketchup, napkins and straws. The interesting part of the condiment station is unlike the A&W counter across the food court, The Chippy lets customers gather their own condiments instead of placing them prequantified on the customer tray by the counter's employees. The Chippy doesn't skimp on condiments either. Customers are free to dispense their own ketchup into healthy sized plastic ketchup cups. As well, napkins are also available to the customers to manage themselves instead of being placed on the tray. The only complaint, the napkins are a little thin and are more likely to be seen used as a wrap around the bottom of a Baskin Robbins ice cream cone. Thus, I compensated by taking slightly more napkins than normal at a fast food place.
Next I ventured over to a clean food court table.
The Chippy loads the fries and fish into one open top cardboard container with the fries on the bottom and the fish on top. The Medium Coke comes in fountain dispensed form into a clear plastic glass you put a straw in. The Coke is about the size of a regular 355 ml can of coke in terms of volume.
The fries taste wise were pretty good fish and chip place fries. The only issue was they were room temperature and were obviously premade and left to sit too long without adequate heat. I noticed later after finishing my meal that the fries were placed in a stainless steel bowl. I'm guessing these were the ones that were already fried and were waiting to be scooped up as the fries looked golden brown. The bowl was left to sit on the counter though. If this restaurant specializes in fish and chips, keeping fries adequately heated in a professional grade french fry area like McDonald's should be expected.
The two pieces of fish were average tasting at best. The fish was at least warmer than the fries but taste wise was pretty average that could be found at any run of the mill pub. Size wise one of the two pieces of fish was excellent, the other was about the half the size. For a restaurant claiming to specialize in fish and chips, the fish was mediocre.
Overall, The Chippy is a mediocre food court fish and chips place. Nothing special but nothing terrible. Sure the fries were a little lacking in temperature but that is easily fixed. For $7.50 before taxes for two pieces of fish and a Coke I wasn't expecting much. Not a terrible place to eat lunch at an urban mall but I wouldn't take guests from out of town with so many restaurants nearby.
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