Last week I took my kids to Bournemouth for the day to make the best of the last nice not freezing day we'll have for a while. As we were walking back towards the beach along the pier I spotted Harry Ramsden's place right on the sea front. I asked the kids who wanted fish & chips, one said yes and the other said McDonalds but Harry's won as McDonalds was 15min walk away.
I was quite looking forward to having some as had been ages since had fish &chips and about 10 years since had Harry Ramsdens.
Approaching Harry's I could see some people were sat in an outside area which being not such a cold day it would have been fine but I decided we'd eat inside. I walked straight past one opening which looked like the takeaway part and went into an end door but found that wasn't the restaurant but a little cafe part with snacks and drinks being sold. There was also an outside hatch serving customers with drinks and snacks too. So I went back to the takeaway part and on entering saw they have about 6 long bench style tables for people to sit at but it wasn't a restaurant. I was a bit confused as was sure they had a proper sit down and order restaurant but anyhow joined the queue for 5-10 minutes to place our order.
We ordered 2 kids meals at £3.49 each and one cod and chips for me along with a sachet of ketchup and mayonnaise which appeared to be added to the total. Total cost of our 3 meals with sauces was £13.08.
At the service counter 2 people were taking the orders and staff behind them were making the orders up. Once you had ordered you were moved over to the side so the next persons order could be taken. You went to the left if served on the left and to the right if served by the right person. I then was stood with my kids for 15 minutes whislt I awaited my order. I was getting a bit annoyed as other people were getting theres faster including a family of 6. I was about to complain when they shouted out my order which I took and simply said "thank you at last". I felt 15 minutes to wait was a bit long as it wasn't the restaurant but a takeaway. We managed to grab a bench just as some people were leaving thankfully.
The kids had fish bites with chips, a carton of juice and a packet of raisins with their meal. Their meals were a fair size and my son ate his no trouble whereas daughter aged 3yrs couldn't manage it all. My own portion was also a good size not huge but enough and cooked lovely and was fresh too.
Each meal came in an polystyrene container and there were decent plastic forks available to use.
We were sat by the window so had a lovely view out over the ocean and could see the pier too. The food wasn't amazing but it wasn't bad either. Harry's is meant to be world famous for it's food but I'm not sure why! The service was slow, the place could have done with a bit of better cleaning up too.
Would I go back here? probably not. Would I try another in it's chain? Nope not unless I had no other options.
On leaving we crossed the road to the beach and looking back at Harry's I could see people sat upstairs eating, so the restaurant must have been upstairs but I have no idea how they got up there as I couldn't see any restaurant signs or stairs so I will remain puzzled by that.
The large York Street branch is now gone, so you'll have to use the Botanic branch.The food is poorly cooked in badly filtered oil and when we tried to return the food were mocked by the staff.As a bonus (weeks after we complained) we were promised vouchers for some more!Bishops nearby on the Dublin Road is much nicer if you absolutely want fish and chips.
In may my wife and I ate a fish meal at the Bournemouth restaurant. Within minutes I was very sick obviously with food poisening. This continued for both of us for two days.I wrote to the head office including the reciept and wrote to the Bournemouth restaurant.One month later I have still not had courtesy of reply from 'world famous Harry Ramsdens'.
I like this Harry Ramsden. The Guiseley Ramsden is my fav. UK location. I favor to swindon or yarmouth which tends to be crowded and louder sometimesAll are good. It's good food they are popular for a reason. Price is not obscene for the food. Staff is friendly. I don't see fit for harsh reviews. I like the eat and run take out in Euston but i wish there were more for convienceBring to Canada!
A large group of us went to Harry Ramsdens Blackpool a few weeks ago.
My meal, the first out, and had to be sent back because it was ' just about warm ' A number of others sent theirs back also.
We dined ' joke' in a room off the main restaurant, which in my opinion was grubby. and was surprised that peas etc were extra, making basic fish and chips about £ 10. A pot of tea was also a rip off.
I was expecting a large fish for my money, but got one which was about the size of two Tapas which you can get in Spain for less that 1 Euro each!. The only difference is that the Spanish Tapa is edible and served fresh and hot. The chips were obviously the frozen variety. They were soggy and tasted of......nothing! So much for the bu*****t they portray on the posters, methinks.
For a place which boasts quality food, it is about time that it got its act together, as a number of other reviewers have also written. I only wanted what they advertise.
Unfortunately, I required the toilets during my visit. These were downstairs, and I was unable to hold my breath long enough to prevent the 'stink ' of the drains from overpowering me.
I dont suppose that Harry Ramsdens care about such rantings as mine and others who can be bothered to warn other victims from parting with their cash, as there are plenty of other mugs happy to eat there.
They probably say that for the amount of complaints they get they have thousands of happy diners.
I must say, however, that the waitress did a very good job in the circumstances.
I could have got a much better meal from a proper restaurant for a few pounds more, or even one twice as good as Harry Ramsdens from one of the Two For The Price of one outfits includind a bottle of wine for less than I paid there.
Ho hum, I have had my rant now, and I feel somewhat better now. and vindicated for the rubbish meal which I was served. Incidentally, everyone else in our group felt the same. I did not want the risk of complaining at the time as they might have offered me a free meal. Its what nightmares are made of .....Yuk.
OVER PRICED OVER DONE OVER STAFFED AND OVER RATED
Poor Mr Ramsden will be spinning in his grave. I have just been to the 'flag ship' restaurant in Guisley. Hold your heads in shame, this was a very poor eating experience. £8.29 gets you a small, warm piece of fish, with chips that are under cooked, and garden peas that are barley cooked either. Cheap sliced bread and a mediocre cup of tea. Dine for two at just off £20.00. Nice surroundings, but staff were very surprised when I complained. Was offered a voucher, but declined as I had no hope that it could be any better on a further visit. Harry's is now a corporate thing and has lost its magic. Save your hard earned cash. What is wrong with this country when chefs have no idea on how to cook decent chips? "World Famous" they claim. Yes indeed but for all the wrong reasons these days.
We visited the restaurant in Newcastle near the Metro Centre on Saturday tea time.The restaurant had another two diners in it.We could not have any fizzy drinks because the machine was broken.My husband was given a bottle of beer with no glass. I ordered a ginger beer but was told they had none and was shown ginger ale which I am sure the waitress with either a cold /hay fever thought was the same thing. Portions were small and we had to ask for bread and butter to fill us up. My daughter had the childrens meal but although fish nuggerts were offered she wanted a small portion of whole fish,which was unavailable. Finally we wanted choc mint ice cream in a cone which was surprise,surprise also not available. In all very unsatisfactory and we left as soon as we can because the air conditioning was on freezing !!!!
I now know why Harry Ramsden's fish and chips are world famous. It's been years I have been here and every time I pass by Harry Ramsden I used to think- why eat fish and chips when you want to go to a nice restaurant when you can get it most canteens or chippy shops. But once when I tried it then I realised how different their fish is. I tried in Exeter and Cardiff and both tasted the same- excellent. Their starter combo platter priced at £7.99 is a big meal on its own- many items and filling- you get to taste their fish bites, breaded mushrooms, wedges, chicken nuggets and onion rings- all in one and a good quantity too. If you have a small appetite, then you might just want to stick to this. Their fish is very lightly battered and oil fried- it's crispy and the fish seems very fresh. Their chips aren't the best but if you like it, they give unlimited refills with main course.
The restaurant in Cardiff is situated the Bay with a beautiful view. The restaurant looks very clean, spacious and well maintained.
They do except tesco vouchers (valid until end of July). So hurry, if you are just thinking of trying it- might be now's just the time.
I've eaten at a few branches of Harry Ramsden's, the most recent being the restaurant at The Regent Palace Hotel in Piccadilly.
My sister and I were asked to choose our own table when we visited, it was only just 12 o'clock so it was quite quiet although there were several parties already seated at the larger tables. We chose a nice table and a friendly lady came to take our order. The restaurant is very attractive, all the tables were laid with cutlery and napkins ready for diners and the decoration inside is crisp and clean looking. It doesn't feel like a glorified chippy at all!
We had decided to eat at Harry Ramsden's simply because we wanted a nice fish and chips meal so I did not take very much notice of the other sections of the menu, I saw someone eating gammon while we were there so they definitely serve other foods apart from fish and chips!
I had battered cod and chips but I noticed that I could have had my fish cooked in a variety of ways such as poached or plain fried. The chips can be replaced with salad but I figure there is little point in visiting a world famous chip shop such as Harry Ramsden's if you're going to eat lettuce!
Piglet that I am, I had a starter of prawn cocktail salad which was absolutely delicious and cost just £3.95. There were plenty of prawns which were fresh and very tasty, mixed in with flavoursome seafood sauce and interesting salad ingredients. Harry Ramsden's were clever to serve me a substantial salad, but it was also light and didn't spoil my appetite for fish and chips at all.
My sister and I paid £8.99 for each of our meals and it was certainly money well spent. The battered cod is better than any chip shop or pub I've ever eaten at, it's a very large piece of chunky fish which is coated in a crispy and flavoursome batter. At no point does the meal seem greasy and my plate was certainly not swimming in fat at the end of my meal as it is in my local sit-down fish and chip shop.
The chips are delicious, absolutely wonderful. They are thick and chunky and taste like a more upmarket version of normal chippy chips, again these aren't greasy and I ate every single chip on my plate which is unusual for me as I find chip shop chips to be too stodgy for my stomach to eat too many. My meal was served with a generous pile of the rich mushy peas which I could tell had been cooked with care, rather than the usual practice of simply boiling peas to mush!
Harry Ramsden's is licensed and there is a good wine menu, also beers and ales are available as well as a plentiful selection of soft and hot drinks. I drank small pots of tea throughout my meal as I'm not much of a drinker, my sister had a bottle of real ale which she said complimented the fish well and was refreshing. The tea was excellent and surprisingly reasonably priced considering the average price of a cup of tea in London!
I felt the staff could have been a little more attentive. The lady who took our order was excellent; she made recommendations from the menu and was friendly and patient as we decided what to order. The problem was she disappeared off the face of the earth and we were left with young members of staff who hovered around the tables but didn't seem particularly interested in how well we were enjoying our food. My sister had cause to complain about a knife which hadn't been washed properly and although a new knife was quickly brought to the table there was no apology, it was an efficient replacing of the cutlery but there was no personal touch.
Harry Ramsden's would be fine for any disabled visitors, while we were there a gentleman in a wheelchair was eating and he got around the restaurant with no problems. I think I would find it equally easy to use my mobility scooter inside because there is plenty of room and there are no stairs to navigate. I used the disabled toilet because it was the closest to my table and I was wheezy, the bathroom was perfectly clean and beautifully maintained with white tiling and attractive fittings.
Our meals and drinks bill came to a shade under £30 which I think was very reasonable for delicious fish and chips in a lovely environment such as this. At no point did I feel hurried and my sister and I were able to spend a couple of hours catching up in the comfort of Harry Ramsden's.
Let me start by saying that what I have to say about Harry Ramsden`s is based on their sit in restaurants and not on the new bar type food courts they now have in shopping centres as these are a real let down. If you go to a proper Harry Ramsdens restaurant then the food served up to you will be fantastic (well it always has been for me anyway). These restaurants do sell more than just fish and chips but why anyone would enter a World famous fish and chip shop and order sausage or something is beyond me.
The chips can at times not meet the same standards as the fish served up does but this is only on rare occasions. If you are sitting in your table should always be laid out very neatly and have a large selection of condiments at your reach. Once you place your order the waiter/waitress will bring out a plate of sliced bread and some butter so you can make butties once your meal arrives (not very sophisticated but very yummy). The fish served by Harry ramsdens is delicious and the batter is always done to perfection, crispy on the outside but never hard and soft inside leading you to the marvellous beautiful white fish served in it.
Everyone has their own liking when it comes to how to enjoy fish and chips but for me it is to firstly splash with vinegar then apply the salt so it sticks then tuck in (never any sauce for me). My love of fish and chips has seen me try tons of different fish and chips shops and restaurants but none can even come close to comparing with what Harry Ramsdens serves up. They may be quite expensive with a fish supper costing anywhere up to £7.99 but for me it is always money well spent (better £7.99 on something delicious than a fiver on a greasy mess). Harry`s does do kids portions of all the meals they serve so it is ideal for the family too.
We ate at Bristol Ramsdens, the service was terrible and the food was cold. I complained and was offered a free meal. I took them up on it and went again.
The service was just as bad and the food was over cooked and the bread and butter stale.
Thinking that, maybe the restaurant was having a bad run, so I went back and tried the takeaway.
I believe that Fish and Chips should be cooked to a golden brown and then given the chance to drain so that the excess oil runs off. Chips should be crisp and golden and not soft and soggy.
We got the bag back to the car and oil was dripping from the bottom. The fish was cooked but only on the outside, the batter inside was like dough. The chips were soft, in fact they looked as if they had only been blanched. Not the crisp chips that I know and love.
After previous complaints I gave up, three times and you're out.
Never again, Bristol branch seems to be a really bad branch.
I have eaten at Exeter, Birmingham and Poole branches, but Bristol is off my list.
I went to Harry Ramsdens on Saturday night. Blunt and to the point eh? Well, its Sunday and I should still be in bed, not being woken up by my daughter playing her new My Chemical Romance@ cd. So excuse me for being a bit grumpy.
Anyway if you live in, or have ever been to Bristol you will know that theres an absolute dearth of restaurants to choose from (God knows, Ive tried most of them!), catering for every taste.
On this occasion it was my daughters birthday and being 14, was past the age of McDonalds. She didnt want a top notch restaurant, and were all quite sick of TGI Fridays, Pizza Hut and Frankie and Bennys. So after having a look through the Yellow Pages I happened across this place and rang up to book as there was 6 of us. But I fell at that hurdle as you can only book for 8 or more, but was assured that if it was busy I would have to wait long.
Im sure any of you are aware that Harry Ramsdens if a fish and chip restaurant, so I guess vegetarians are going to be more than slightly limited! I was a little worried about what I considered to be a limited menu, but Im willing to give anything a chance. The Bristol Harry Ramsdens is a purpose made building on a delightfully named road called Catbrain Lane, which is by the Mall in Cribbs Causeway. (Im so childish I always have a giggle at the BMW garage next door which is called Dick Lovett! Dick Lovett on Catbrain Lane, I ask you!) It was a little gaudy from the outside, all red and green, but the smell emanating from the take-away from fantastic. Stepping inside was a real surprise, not least because it was very quiet for a Saturday. Its also more Georgian tea room, with panelling and chandeliers, than a seaside chip shop.
A very polite chap escorted us to our table which was small to say the least, more appropriate for four, and then I had a rather pleasant surprise with the menu. Yes there was lots and lots of fish but there was a whole other section dedicated to things without fins! Try Ham and Leek Pie, Pork and Leek Sausages and Beef Stew with Dumplings. Of course there were steaks but mostly of the swordfish and tuna verity. The vast majority were around the £8-9 mark.
Being greedy gluttons on this special occasions we all opted for starters. My Leek and Potato soup was piping hot, chunky and delicious. A mound of battered chicken strips and breaded mushrooms satisfied the others palettes.
Our drinks were here at this point and a wide selection was had again. One of the few restaurants Ive been in with Boddingtons on tap as well as Stella. There was also bottled beers and a range of spirits. The advertised wine were not available but their substitutes were not particularly brilliant and a bit on the rough side.
On to the main course and rather unsurprisingly we all chose cod and chips, available in lite bite, medium, large and the Challenge (eat this meal of a whole piece of cod and chips and get a certificate and free dessert. Yes, proudly proclaim to the world that youre a complete greedy fat git!) Being the health bunch we are we all chose chips rather than another potato derivative, you also got peas, beans or mushy peas (Bleuurggh, and thats to the beans as well) Not forgetting the huge plate of bread and butter.
Im not a huge fan of chips, unless theyre chip shop ones, and I was well impressed by these. Hot, fat, fluffy inside and gorgeous! Soggy batter? Not here, just the perfect crispness on a good size piece of fish which was so well cooked it just flaked apart and everyone else was the same. Being the nice generous people that they are, they will also willingly supply more chips and bread and butter should your pit of a stomach require it.
Desserts? Even though we were stuffed full of fat, fluffy crunchiness, it had to be done. Dairy milk ice cream, Crunchie ice cream, Bread & Butter Pudding, Spotted Dick, Apple Pie and Chocolate Puddle Pudding and available with custard, cream or ice cream.
And they were good! The most enormous glass of ice cream Ive ever seen! Spotted Dick pumped full of sultanas and cinnamon, and my Chocolate Puddle Puddle was, quite frankly, in Bristolian terms, gert lush! A sponge pudding, filled with white chocolate sauce, covered in chocolate sauce and cream was divine.
So all in all, a pretty successful meal, but Harry Ramsdens about more than the fish, it also quite like a bit of a tune. Once a month, they have opera evenings! They also hold regular tea dances and in the upcoming months an Elvis and Abba tribute. This happens all over the country you lucky devils!
I thought Id better have a look for those non-meat eaters of you and afraid you might be a little disappointed! You get a choice of .wait for it .one dish! And you are buggered if you dont like mushrooms! A mushroom casserole is yer lot. Although it did mention something about a vegetarian dish of the day, but no idea what that was! Sorry, no vegetarians in our house, wed probably get chucked out of the house, called a hippy and told to go hang off the side of a whaling ship in the North Atlantic if we renounced meat! So I will apologise on behalf of Harry Ramsdens for their vegetarian options being so bad!
After a recent visit to Harry Ramsdens in Nottingham I was bitterly dissapointed. I would ordinarily have no complaint about the time I had to wait for food, especially if the food was being freshly cooked. It became apparent that this was not the case when tasting the food, warmed up or overcooked is the term I would use. The batter on the fish was so over cooked that it had almost caramelised, being very hard and very greasy and the fish content was almost none existent. What fish there was inside this huge amount of overcooked fish shaped greasy batter was also greasy. The chips were also very greasy and overcooked, as were the parsley fish cakes. As is mentioned in another opinion,this food is very much "overhyped" and "overpriced" as well as being overcooked! There is nothing whatsoever inviting or appealing about Harry Ramsdens food.
Harry Ramsdens is listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the busiest fish and chip shop in the world. It also has a reputation as being the best in the country which as a local living about a mile from the place I find hard to believe. Harry started his business in 1928 from a small hut in Guiseley (on the main A68 from Leeds to Ilkley) and went from strength to strength. Not everyone in Guiseley lives in small huts today, some of us have big huts! The actual record for most portions of fish and chips sold in a day was set in 1996 by Harry's branch in Melbourne Australia, just over 12,000 servings. This is strange as their website doesn't show this outlet on the world map. Many famous people have visited the Guiseley outlet, including most notably Jimi Hendrix. The the other "stars" are either locals or Tory Politicians, probably trying to prove to the unwashed how working class they are by eating this type of food. There are now about 40 establishments mainly in the UK but more exotic locations include Singapore and Jeddah which are on the map. The Guiseley outlet I found modest first time I visited it as it isn't exactly massive, the shop front is about 150 feet long and set back from the road so you could miss it driving past. There is a petrol station next door if you do want a landmark to aim for, and it has a small roundabout close by on the main road. The car park is large but you do find in summer especially the place is packed. YOu can easily queue for half an hour or more before being seated by the very attentive staff, dressed in their rather old fashioned uniforms. The food itself is very good, the batter being made to a special recipe which is a guarded secret. It doesn't taste particularly different to me but does seem to be crispier than normal. The fish is very good quality and the potatoes used for the chips are excellent, in fact the chips are my fav
ourite thing here. The menu is very extensive for this kind of restaurant and you can have wine or beer with your order. If you don't like fish and chips (what are you doing here?) there are plenty of other things to choose from. But the big let-down for me is the price, no doubt racked up with all the paraphanalia on display and the fact that you are paying for the name. The cheapest fish and chip item on the menu was £5.90 last time I went and £8.50 for a special which is a larger piece of fish. It is worth visiting once for the experience, the place seems to cater more for tourists rather than the locals such as I. I prefer Murgatroyds, about 2 miles away near Leeds Bradford Airport. The food is just about as good for little over half the price. I would rate 3 and a half stars but it didn't let me! Another chip shop just down the road from me, the Westfield, won the award for Best Fish and Chip Shop in Leeds for 2001, sorry Harry! Thanks to the website for some of the information in my piece, www.harryramsden.co.uk Some interesting facts and a menu on there if you are bored!