Poppies (Soho)

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Fish on the catwalk
This is the third proper outlet for rather celebrated fish and chips restaurant Poppies – a business started in 2011 in Spitalfields by seasoned Irish-born East End fish fryer Pat "Pop" Newland, who's been in the business since 1952. A second full-on sit-down branch followed in 2013 in Camden Town, with Soho opening in July 2016 in the expansive spot most famous for its 1956–70 tenant, the 2i's Coffee Bar. Fish is very fresh and is fried in groundnut oil (something of a rarity), and they are particular about their potatoes as well as other key ingredients. Fish cakes are plump and 'meaty'. There's even real attention given to desserts. Decor is quality-kitsch 1970s retro (with a somewhat nagging period soundtrack to match), just as Spitalfields is 50s and Camden Town 60s. But the jewel here is the inviting-looking pavement-accessible takeaway stand bang in the middle of the restaurant, right on Old Compton St. Think three pints at directly adjacent Comptons or nearby Duke of Wellington etc, followed by a portion of chips. Note that the takeaway window remains open until 2am Thursday, Friday and Saturday.