GLISTENING haddock are being scooped from the fryers at the back and tumbled balletically into the display, satisfying fishy “thunks” punctuating the air. Crimson fiery haddock is also being piled up over there; less vibrant spicy fish behind the glass to my left.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a chip shop range with so much appetising food sitting quietly waiting to go out to customers. Yet it seems to be going nowhere.

This tiny queue is moving at such a snail’s pace that Joe, sitting in one of the booths over there, has already raised a WTF eyebrow at my complete lack of forward motion.

I shrug back and look pointedly at the chaos behind the tills hoping someone, anyone will take command, or even make eye contact with us bozos out here. Nope. Nobody is in any way interacting with the customers waiting and there are not even that many of us.

When I joined this queue, I’m guessing 15 minutes ago, it was just a few tiny steps to the counter, two people in front, and there were three people on the tills.

Whoosh, I thought. Right now there’s just one till guy. And he’s on the phone. Which after an age he will pass to his customer. Uh? There are many people stomping around behind the counter, shouting, dealing with takeaway orders, perhaps table orders, but the icing on the cake is the two guys standing, (franchisees maybe?) amidst all of this.

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Failing completely to get involved. Frankly? It all comes across as pretty amateurish. But let’s be fair. These are early days for this brave attempt to bring an English chip-shop chain into the full-fat, beating heart of Glasgow.

Oh, anyone know what happened to Harry Ramsden’s? A sign perhaps that this city has turned full circle and having recently gone off traditional chippers for those bijou hand-knitted ones, we now want the old-school stuff back.

We must do. Because although the counter queue in here is pretty small on a Tuesday night, the place is busy. Every booth is filled. Eventually, anyway, I will make the front of that queue, place my order, and will be given a buzzer and an order number.

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Yes. That’s right. That snail’s pace queue is not even to get any food. Just to order and pay. So I will sit down and wait. And wait. Bzzzz. Back to the counter. OK, that wasn’t too long, though as the fryer people in the back are clearly doing a shift tonight there’s been plenty of food available.

Deep-fried haddock first. Batter very crisp, it’s got those pointy, splattery bits that guarantee a crunch. Fish: white, thick (not the way I like mine but I think that’s more the English style), and tastes fresh.


Fiery fish now. I don’t know why this hasn’t been done before in spice-mad Glasgow. It’s simply a fish supper – well smaller pieces of haddock, with chilli through the batter: it’s OK. The spicy fish at least comes dotted with Indian spicing including cardamom pods and is possibly the best of the lot.

The fishy problem is this: it’s not that hot. It’s also been carelessly put out with some strange, hard-chew moments, variable quality and surely would be better if it hadn’t been sitting in that display. Chips: ditto.

They’re fine. Chunky, yellowy, undoubtedly single-fry, chip shop style. Just nothing special. Out of curiosity, I order onion rings. They’re a bargain at £2.49. They’re also truly terrible: processed onion bits and flaccid batter.

The equally great value (irony) chicken bites, also at £2.49 (check that, McDonald’s) are equally bad. At least the apple crumble at £5.45 defies its strange, pie-like shape to taste crumbly with an OK custard. And this jam roly poly entertains us for a few moments.


Is it meant to be be this hard, says Joe as another piece skites away from the spoon. Honestly? I dunno. Mother Hubbard’s then? Do Glasgow’s dwindling band of traditional chip shops need to quake in their welly-boots? Hmm. That’ll be a no.


Mother Hubbard

3A Springfield Quay

Glasgow G5 8NP

Opening: seven days

Tel: 0141-429-3355

Menu: Making fish n’ chips since nineteen-canteen in England and now here, with Haddock Suppers, Spicy Haddock Suppers, Fiery Fish and brick-hard Jam Roly-Poly. 3/5

Service: Woefully slow counter service, didn’t even have the basic skills to shout an explanation or apology, pretty poor. 2/5

Atmosphere: You’ve seen this movie before: blow-ups of old newspapers, upholstered booths, still a cheap chain feel about it. 3/5

Price: The Spicy Fish is £8.95 (without chips), a pretty large portion of Fish and Chips is £10.45, plus there’s those bargain onion rings looking and tasting like £2.49 worth. 3/5

Food; Being generous: if they actually get the service working properly and get the fish from the fryer to the table a lot faster this could be well be reasonable. Putting this visit down to an off night it’s a 5/5

Total: 16/30