No, I haven’t gone all English and twee and posh on you all of a sudden, dear readers. It’s just that I find Starbucks’ most recent menu offerings are a throwback to all that is deliciously British: namely sausage rolls and this particularly savory treat: the fish and chips wrap.
Now the thing about classic fish and chips is that it quite literally is a movable feast. While you can dine in at some chip shops in the UK, the bulk of orders are usually take-away ones that are totally noshable whilst on the go. You know the sort: the battered fish fillet (usually cod or haddock) is cushioned by some chunkily-cut fried spuds in a cone of newspaper – a rather iconic image, really – and sprinkled with some malt vinegar or plain ol’ salt and pepper. No frills, no fancy sauces, no embellishments whatsoever – and they’re perfect that way.
With that said, the Starbucks version of this classic dish may be seen as a regular head-scratcher because it wraps the battered fillet and peppery potato wedges in an edible wrapper – a flour tortilla – and dresses the lot with a dill-infused dressing made with mayo and diced hard-boiled eggs.
Now, I take issue with the flavors added by the dressing and the tortilla: the sort of curried, wheaten taste it has. It’s not bad, really; in fact, it’s quite tasty. However, the vibe it gives off is not about fish and chips at all! Instead, it gives the impression of yet another British dish: kedgeree. Kedgeree is essentially a dish made by sauteeing flaked fish with some onions and cooking it in a curry-based sauce. Rice and sliced hard-boiled eggs are added to make it a rather substantial breakfast dish. The vivid yellow dish is mildly spicy, creamy, and hearty – which is pretty much how I’d describe the fish-and-chips wrap. Plus, I found it a tad too stodgy: I pretty much thought there wasn’t any fish in there – until, of course, I was nearing the end-third of the wrap.
Now, maybe the folks over at Starbucks ought to rename this as a Kedgeree Wrap. But since most Filipinos aren’t clued in with regard to British cuisine, alas, the name Fish-and-Chips Wrap remains.