Sea Cow takes elements from the traditional chippie - a takeaway option, low prices, mushy peas, lots of chips - and combines them with some of the flashier touches of a mid-range seafood restaurant like Cafe Fish. The decor is clean, plain, and a little bland, but enlivened by a bed of ice where the wet fish is displayed. The menu is all seafood (no battered sausages, or greasy fried chicken here, thankfully), with the takeaway staples supplemented by a range of more exotic options like Bream and Red Snapper, as well as shellfish and crustacean starters. And unlike the traditional high street chip shop, you can have a bottle of decent house wine with your meal.
We shared a plateful of crevettes for a starter, which were impressively fresh and satisfyingly plump. Firm, fresh battered cod was no better or worse than you'd get in a decent takeaway (which is not intended as a criticism - it's one of the things the British do best) and came with some delicious homemade dips. The crab cakes with lime mayonnaise were the highlight of our meal: huge, crumbling discs of crunchy batter and soft meat.
Since cod is now almost as rare as caviar, it was inevitable that the British fish 'n' chip industry would start to smarten up. Sea Cow strikes an excellent balance with the basics very reasonably priced and some flashier options for those who want to splash out.