Haji Lane has a lot of indie/hipster cafes. I got to try one of them called The Mad Sailors, which served, well, seafood like Fish and Chips.
Fish and Chips it was, for that was what everyone ordered, except for some variety in taste. The classic Fish and Chips I ordered came overflowing from the serving box it came in with – 2 huge pieces of orange-brown fried battered fish laying on a thick bed of piping hot fries oozing with buttery fragrance, which sorta reminds me of the one I had back in Auckland’s The Crab Shack, though the fish was piled over the fries like the mountain of fish found in Boston Sail Loft! The side was coleslaw with Purple Cabbage, which by its looks, added a welcome dash of colour amidst the golden heap of fried food.
Unlike cheap battered Fish and Chips you find in food courts, the fish at The Mad Sailors was soft and yet did not fall apart after you cut open the hard shell of a batter. Therefore, imagine biting into the warm, tender fish sandwiched between the crispy skin… Perhaps tender was a wrong description, but how do you describe fish that is chewy and yet soft to the bite?
The fish tasted nice whether with the tartar sauce it came with, or drizzled with lemon juice; I guess well-cooked food just taste good on its own!
The fries were also great, being fluffy and moist to the palette. As mentioned earlier, the serving was rather huge, so there was a bit of a struggle to finish everything. The coleslaw was nice, cool and soothing, but the fish and fries were too heavy to be balanced out by the veggie. Given the choice, I would prefer to leave the fries behind, since the fish itself was a rare find.
If you ask me, out of all the Fish and Chips I’ve tasted all over the world, Erik’s Fish and Chips by the lake in Queenstown, New Zealand still tugs at my heartstrings, with its soft meat and light batter. The Mad Sailors’ batter tend to be too hard of a shell, texture wise.
Frequent visitors to Haji Lane will know it’s a nightmare to find parking over there, so it will be better to take the public transport to The Mad Sailors. The upper level was air-conditioned, though seats are limited. So it will be good to visit the place during lull periods.
p/s: I know people will ask: what about other food? Do they offer others? For this, I will say that The Mad Sailors did one thing well, that is the Fish and Chips, and they should not be bothered by other stuff. If you do not feel peckish for Fish and Chips, why go to The Mad Sailors in the first place?
If you enjoyed reading this hipster review, please like and share my post to your friends! Or you can read my other reviews on Peranakan buffet at Claymore Connect, high tea style at Merchant Court hotel, or just good old Cantonese food at Xin Restaurant.
If you are looking for traveling inspiration, be sure to check out my post(s) on how to plan for a Christmas Market focused Bavarian trip, or to water the lavender in your sweat during summer in Hokkaido.
Till then, eat happy!
All photos and videos were taken using Olympus TG870 and Google Pixel XL, and edited with Snapseed.
The Mad Sailors
24 Haji Lane