Saturday, 19 June 2010

John Longs Fish and Chip Shop.

I called into John Long’s fish and chip shop today. While your only minutes from the tourist heartland of Belfast with The Crown Bar only round the corner this gem is a whole other world. Long’s now owned by Michael Copeland has been in existence for almost a century and is housed in an old red brick warehouse in a pretty barren industrial area. It’s now literally the only building in the street.

Seating comes from old school Formica booths; I remember fuscos in West Belfast used to have seats like this before it moved in the 1980’s.

I had to ask the woman behind the counter how long it had been there as it didn't say anywhere inside, "96-97 something years" she said. They serve proper pots of tea, peas/bread and butter side orders and coke that comes in a proper coke glass. This isn’t ironic retro design, it’s just somewhere that has done its job well and without fanfare for so long that no one wanted to change it and it hasn’t changed that much in decades.

The chips here taste different to other chips in Belfast; this is down apparently to the use of the drier English Maris Pipers not our more moist native spuds, although the Cod is straight from Ardglass.

Having ordered a pastie supper (£3.30) and a coke (£1.10), a fresh cod fish supper is £6. I was about to tuck into my pastie and chips when a large family of travellers appeared in spread across about four booths. Then two of the families’ wee lads began to pretend to spar with each other. One of the fellas in the group roared over to what looked like his granda for “any aul king size skins for an aul joint like”.

I paid my bill and as I left I found the lad smoking outside.
Long’s makes a great Lunch and is literally “cheap as chips”, check it out. Go up between Jury’s Inn and The Fitzwilliam, past Mc Causland’s Motors and it’s on your left.
If you’re over in East Belfast I’m also a big fan of the Bethany on Cregagh Road.
Sadly I left the SD card for my camera at home so the pics come courtesy of

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