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Mike Cohen takes a trip to Brit & Chips and enjoys some maple syrup batter

    For years I have driven by the three Montreal locations of Brit & Chips (www.britandchips.com), curious about the experience but never venturing inside.  When I had to drop a family member off for a doctor’s appointment recently on Côte des Neiges Road, I did a google search for restaurants nearby. Brit & Chips was a mere two blocks away.

    I called my friend Sam, whom I was overdue to have lunch with. He too had never been to the place, but happily accepted my invitation. The Côte des Neiges locale has been around for six years. It is much deeper than it looks from the outside, with seating for 65 indoors and 12 more on the terrace.

    This restaurant serves exactly what its name suggests. We were welcomed by  Simon, who actually comes from France. He has been with Brit & Chips since day one. He gave us a table at the window. I watched as people file in. Some went directly to the bar for takeout orders; more sat down for a  meal.

    Our server Simon brings some delicious fish and chips.

    There are six choices of fish: cod with burgundy batter; haddock with maple syrup batter; salmon with Murphy’s stout batter; sole, with sour cream ‘n onion batter; hake, made with gluten free flour and orange crush batter;  smoked panure chipotle, with chipotle batter; and the fish of the month. You can order just the fish for between $10.75 and $11.25 or add the chips as in their excellent and crispy French Fries of which they give a generous portion.

    There are shrimp and green salads and selection called Nibbles: tandoori popcorn shrimp; poutine crevettes popcorn; fresh fritters; cod fish cakes; scotch egg; curry & chips and poutine. Well Sam and  I started with the tandoori popcorn shrimp, small gumball sized pieces which came crispy and without a couple of sauces. It was an excellent appetizer to share and we made it disappear quickly.

    For the fish Sam opted for the cod while I wanted the haddock, specifically because of the maple syrup batter. That was a first for me and let me say the dish was delicious. The fish was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Sam liked his as well.

    There are a few desserts on the menu: an ice cream cone; “99” ice cream with a flakey bar; a flakey bar on its own and a deep-fried whatever. We asked for the flakey bars and Simon brought us a pair of small container of soft ice cream as well.

    The menu was created by a team of Montreal’s  preeminent experts in English cuisine and food  culture, after tireless treks through England,  hunting down different recipes and ideas from the  most renowned English  Fish n’ Chips  shops.  Toby Lyle of the Burgundy Lion Group, which owns the brand, says that the  result is an amazing mix of the best that Britain  has to offer, with a little Québecois spice. “We even brought our chef to the United Kingdom before we opened,” he told me.

    There are beers, wine and soft drinks available as well, Corporate catering is available, with free delivery, for groups of 50 or more.

    The Rue McGill locale, which opened in 2010, has about 50 seats inside and 20 on the terrace; De Maisonneuve, which made its debut in 2016, can seat 50 inside and 40 outside. Yes, the owners would like to introduce a fourth Brit & Chips to the groups and their eyes are wide open for a good spot. Perhaps the West Island, Laval or South Shore? They already own the Burgundy Lion and Bishop and Bagg Pubs on Notre Dame and St. Viateur respectively.

    Brit & Chips is located at 5536 Côte des Neiges, 433 Rue McGill and 1390 De Maisonneuve. For more information on individual stores call 514-737-9555, 514-840-1001 or 514-844-3474 respectively, log on to www.britandchips.com or e-mail info@britandchips.com

    Mike Cohen

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