Thank Cod, you’re here

By on August 9, 2014

My family lived in London for years before moving to Tokyo. Stopping by a fish and chip shop, (fondly called ‘chippy’ by the Britons), has been an important part of my family’s British culinary experience. The kids loved it. It was our favorite nibbles on weekends when we lived there.

Who else thinks that the only place where one can get fish and chips here in Tokyo is at a British pub? While Britain’s age-old takeaway food is found in every street corner in the U.K (approximately 10,500), surprisingly, Tokyo, home to a number of culinary delights from almost all parts of the world, does not have standalone chippies!

On July 20, British businessman Dan Chuter, after wondering for years why there aren’t Fish and Chip shops in Japan, joined hands with two eager Japanese partners to launch the first. Malins, poised to be the template for ‘quick and best,’ its marketing slogan, opened its doors to woo foodies in Tokyo for two reasons: one, to offer an authentic British Fish and Chips and two, to deliver the best tasting products using only the finest ingredients. The star of the show is no less than the tasty cod ‘tara’, Japan’s gourmet fish deep fried to perfection..

The new British pay-as-you-go food stand is hard to miss. It sits on a small decent space along the busy Gaien Higashi street facing the Tokyo Midtown. Malins has a modern and immaculate interior, white walls with a limited eat-and-go seating style for 7-8 people. A transparent glass partition separates the frying zone and the counter which means you can peek at your order of battered cod, fish cake or pork sausage while being prepared by the master fryer.

There are many ways to spice up Britain’s national dish depending on the place where it is served. In Belgium, the locals eat it with tartar sauce or mayonnaise. In France, some shops put a lemon zest. Malins takes a purist stance, leaving condiments other than the traditional British malt vinegar and salt out of the kitchen. All orders come with a sidedish of good, old mushy peas dip that brings out the flavor of the fish. For a truly authentic fish and chips experience, Malins has imported from the U.K., all ingredients, drinks, technique, and equipment. Even the master fryers are all from the UK.

Fish and chips’ claim to fame happened in the 19th century when its popularity spread across London and South East England. Joseph Malin, the man responsible for opening the very first Fish and-Chips shop in London, instantly became a household name. Sir Winston Churchhill was quoted to have said that fish and chips is “the right combination.”

The food has its healthy appeal. Nutritionists say thick potato cuts absorb less oil than thin ones. An average portion of fish and chips has 42 percent less fat than a Turkish kebab and contains 595 calories compared to 900 calories of a Big mac set (with fries) or 870 of an average tomato and cheese pizza.

Now on its 150th year, Britain’s beloved takeaway food has survived many wars and historical happenings around the globe. With the growing Tokyo foodie population being given yet another smart food choice not to mention the rising number of healthy eaters ditching meat for low-calorie fish, we know it’s here for many decades to stay.

Long live the chippy!

Each year, the National Fish & Chip awards the best vendor in all of the U.K. The 2014 National winner is Whit By Fish and Chips located in North Yorkshire.

  • Many fish and chip shop names are funny: The Codfather, Cod fellas, Oh my Cod Fish & Chips, A Salt & Battery
  • The name of the longest running shop believed to have started in 1865 is
    called The Oldest Fish & Chip Shop in The World located in Yeadon near Leads.
  • Fish and chips were sold from around 1860 and served in newspaper until the 1980s.
  • The late King of Pop Michael Jackson likes mushy peas.
  • There are approximately 10,500 fish and chip vendors in the U.K many of whom are families.
  • The late John Lennon and Paul McCartney have frequently been photographed eating fish and chips.



11 am – 9 am
1F-A, Roppongi 7-12-3
Tokyo 106-0032
Nearest station: Roppongi
(in front of Tokyo Midtown)
Tel. 03-5413-6851
www.malins. jp

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