191 Waterloo Road,
I wanted an American friend (we'll call him Jacob because that's his name) to experience the most English of English things while he was visiting England. We went to the British Museum (mostly full of non-English things pillaged by English men), to an old pub where we drank cider, we walked around the City's confusing labyrinth of streets (no grid system here, hah!). And, of course, we also went for fish and chips.
I had done some research beforehand (thanks, unemployment) and it was a toss-up between new venture Poppies or old venture Master's Superfish. We were closer to Waterloo, so Master's it was, and it turned out to be an excellent choice.
Unprepossessing, Master's Superfish has a definite air of granny about it, from the black and white photos of long-faded stars on the walls to the lack of pretension in presentation. Upon ordering, free baguette and three bright pink prawns are brought to your table, and there's always a wandering waiter laden with gherkins and pickled onions should you be so inclined. The food appears in no-nonsense portions, too. You get a forearm's-worth of battered cod sitting atop a hill of fat, non-greasy, skins-still-on-in-places chips for £7.25. While I wouldn't pay that sort of money back home, I would pay if for a hearty meal of fresh food in London.
The cod is perfect - white, firm, still moist, breaking easily with each prod of your fork, it comes away in nice chunks encased in a light yet sturdy batter. Getting the fish right is the hard part, and I would say that this fish is on par with that of my local chippy. The chips are spot-on, too, although there are no crispy bits hiding amongst the great big fat ones.
Master's Superfish is worth a visit even when you aren't toting an American tourist. Good fish and chips are hard to find and places like this should be treasured as cultural artefacts.