My London Shrimp And Crab Claw Debacle! Iconic Sea Shell Fish ‘n’ Chips Reopens! London’s Food Is Calling!

London Calling!

Say hello to Big Ben! It is one of the world’s most iconic images, and certainly one of the most photographed as well. It was all part of some great London adventures I have had, which begins with some of the world’s most iconic fish’n’chips, and ends with a greasy food debacle!

Let’s head to London and check out the food!

Time To Eat!

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in London while working on various TV projects, and while I was there I got to eat at one of the city’s great restaurants!

The Sea Shell of Lisson Grove

The Sea Shell Of Lisson Grove!

I love fish’n’chips, and no one makes a more traditional English version than this place!

After the First World War, dining rooms at 35 Lisson Grove opened for business preparing and serving cooked fish. It was from these humble beginnings, the restaurant we know today was born. Named, ‘The Sea Shell’, in 1964, before moving to its present location on the corner of Lisson Grove and Shroton Street, the Sea Shell has developed into a leading purveyor of fish and chips.

The desire to provide Londoner’s with the very best fish and chips played an important role in establishing the reputation of the restaurant. That early vision and purpose made The Seashell of Lisson Grove into a fashionable restaurant that rapidly grew from a twelve-seat fast food bar into Londons busiest and best known fish and chip restaurant.

My son Jeff was with me, and I dragged him to The Sea Shell to have some food with me.

You see, there is nothing better than traditional fish ‘n’ chips, and The Sea Shell made them better than anyone…

The Sea Shell Is Open Again!

Exciting news for this who live in London: after being closed due to the pandemic, The Sea Shell is reopening for takeaway food again!

If I was there, I’d dig into some of their classic fish’n’chips and taste the unique flavor of London!

I also went to London with my daughter Jessica – her first time there – and we wandered many classic London streets like this one:

We were on the prowl for London’s famed street markets, like Camden Town, Notting Hill, and this one at Covent Garden:

My Street Food Debacle!

It was at one of these London street markets that I had my street food debacle…it all began when I came across this street food vendor:

They were serving delicious deep fried shrimp and crab claws – that’s right, DEEP FRIED SHRIMP AND CRAB CLAWS…boiled up in this fiery cauldron of grease:

Of course, I just had to have some, and so I ordered a freshly fried container of them – perfectly deep fried SHRIMP AND CRAB CLAWS:

It was a great deal, about five bucks for an ample-sized container of fried shrimp and crab claws, with a delicious spicy mayonaise….look at how delicious they look!

I loved them! THEY WERE SO GOOD!

As you can see, they were very busy, the chefs were making a ton of them, and they always had a ready supply for anyone who came by…

I enjoyed them SO much that an hour later I asked my daughter to go BACK and get some more with me! Right, nothing wrong with getting one more order of FRIED SHRIMP AND CRAB CLAWS, right?

As I walked up, this time we were approaching form the other direction, and I found myself BEHIND the cooking tent…and I noticed something…take a look at the picture below – notice the stacks of white boxes at the top of the picture?

As I walked up to them, I saw that they were sitting outside in the sun, in direct sunlight, and water was draining from the boxes into the gutter…yes, they were thawing their shrimp and crab claws in the hot sun…and then I looked at the box labels:

SECTIONED AND FORMED SHRIMP PIECES AND CRAB PARTS, MADE FROM WHITE POLLACK!

Yes, I had been enjoying NOT SHRIMP AND CRAB CLAWS, but the sectioned and formed paste comprised of pollack, egg white, seasonings, binders and chemicals…all formed into little cute shrimp and crab claw SHAPES…sure, they were shrimp and crab claw FLAVORED…and they were sitting outside melting in the sun all day…

And you know what? Since I’m in typing these words now, I lived through the experience just fine, so I say you pay your money and you take your chances, and you end up with much better anecdotes for sharing later! My daughter had a good laugh, we bought a bunch of cool stuff at the street fair, so I say: fry me up a sequel anytime, London!

Another terrific On-Air Talent, Kevin Pereira was there as well, filming a fun bar segment with our London Correspondent, Alex Sim-Wise…

Sim-Wise was a delight to work with – you can click here to see more of the story, along with the great segments we filmed in Tokyo as well:

https://johnrieber.com/2013/07/26/alex-sim-wise-her-london-shenanigans-tokyos-greatest-hits/

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Sign up for a daily hit of social media, and let me know if you’ve eaten street food like this!



Categories: Alex Sim-Wise, Alison Haislip, Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Funny Pictures, London, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Wacky Food

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25 replies

  1. I was waiting for a salmonella ending with you bowing to the porcelain gods. You and I share an affinity with fish and chips. Last summer I do believe I had some almost once a day. Yummy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi john – the fish and chips made me miss buffalo NY where they had excellent fish fries on fridays – and the London version looks like it is amazing
    And omg
    To the shrimp and crab – we have seen this at the store sometimes – crab dip with no actual crab
    And stuff like this pisses me off but I guess there is a market for the “fake” versions – I just wouldn’t want it – and isnt dangerous to leave those boxes out like that?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, they sure look like shrimp! Glad you enjoyed them and survived too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I lived in London for 60 years, and never bought any food cooked in the street. You found out why!
    But the Sea Shell does indeed serve great fish and chips. However, the best in England are to be found in seaside towns like Whitby. https://www.quaysidewhitby.co.uk/ Sadly, it’s a very long way from London.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Omg, like discovering who the wizard of oz was behind the curtain!

    Liked by 2 people

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