REVIEW: Downey’s, Marine Walk, Roker, Sunderland

Downey's Traditional Fish and Chip Shop, Roker Pier
Downey's Traditional Fish and Chip Shop, Roker Pier
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A trip to the seaside always ends with a craving for fish and chips, even when the weather is far from beach perfect.

But, unlike the brave few who were sitting along the seafront clinging to their wrappers, I chose to sit in Downey’s fish and chip restaurant, in Roker, to satisfy my taste buds.

With a huge selection of battered delights, I was stuck for choice. In the end I opted for the half and half special, which was a piece of small cod, five pieces of scampi served with chips, a side salad, a lemon wedge and a choice of sauce, (£7.99).

I chose not to have salad – if you’re going to pig out on traditional English grub you’ve got to do it right. My partner ordered a chip buttie (£2.50) with a battered sausage, (£1.60) and a tub of curry sauce of the side (90p).

My eyes lit up when the mammoth dish was served to me. Small cod? It was hanging over the sides of my plate.

From the massive cod to the pieces of scampi, a mountain of chips and batter, and to top it off two slices of extra thick white bread – everything was fighting for space on my plate.

I maybe little in size, but I have a huge appetite and I apart from one or two chips I managed to clear the lot. And it was delicious.

The batter surrounding the cod and scampi was crisp and light, and made that mouth-watering crunch when cutting into it.

The cod itself was bright white and was so tender it fell to pieces.

Even my partner who hates fish had a couple of mouthfuls and confessed he really liked it.

You could also taste the fish in the scampi, rather than just battered balls I’ve had many times before from other takeaways, and you can’t beat proper fish shop curry to dip everything into.

When I’d demolished my fish the slices of bread, which were like doorstops, made for great chip butties and soaked up the rest of my curry.

The best part was it didn’t feel like I’d had a takeaway, the food didn’t taste greasy or left a slimy feeling in my mouth.

In fact the food was second-to-none, however, the service was disappointing.

The staff were more interested in their iPhones than seeing if everything was okay or if we needed anything else. Even when I went to pay I wasn’t asked if I enjoyed my meal, which is unusual because back in my waitress days that was the first thing I asked customers, not handing over the tab.

The food was top quality, it’s just a shame the service didn’t match.