With diets having changed over the past decades (back when you thought tofu was a make of Hungarian car) some London eateries no longer exist.
My dad worked in Baker Street. When he grudgingly took part in “take your son to work” day, we would go the Golden Egg. I’d always have the plaice and chips and, having been brought up in Balham and rarely subjected to any form of nature, always thought lemons were an eighth of their actual size.
My first job involved me going to Fleet Street twice a day for three-months. I would frequent Mick’s Café most days, as I felt empathy with its name. It’s probably now a Starbucks.
In the late ‘70s I worked in Paddington, where every other restaurant seemed to be a Micky’s Fish Bar. Again, unswerving loyalty ensured most days involved some form of fried fish – accompanied by a portion of chips and increasingly higher cholesterol.
Healthier eating means these shops now sell nutrition bars, which tastes of sawdust; this is because 85% of it is made from balsa wood and is invariably made from a recycled Airfix ME109.
Balham, my hometown, had shops which suffered similar fates: the ABC turned into a branch of Abbey National – no good if you wanted an iced bun and a cup of tea, but handy if you needed a mortgage.
And all the bricks from the Lyon’s Corner Houses are being used to build the Northern Line extension.
Plaice is off, love.