Gordon Ramsay's British empire just got a bit bigger with the opening of his fourth restaurant along the Strip in Las Vegas.
The celebrity chef from England, where fish-and-chips shops are about as common as 7-Elevens in the States, said opening his own "chippie," the colloquial British word, has been a dream of his for many years.
"Fish suppers were a treat at home," he said. "We finished Saturday and Sunday nights with a fish supper and we had to share, so I'd share with my brother. My sisters would share one. We were never allowed a full fish supper [because of the cost]."
The fried, sustainable cod filets are "cracker," to use a glowing British adjective. The batter is remarkably crispy, and the fish is flavorful and tender, lacking the grease so common at other fish-and-chip stands.
"We lightly salt it for 20 to 25 minutes with lemon salt. It helps cure the fish, which stops it from being watery," Ramsay said. "Water destroys the batter."
"We tested the batter. It stayed crispy for 32 minutes," he added.
A three-piece portion with fresh-cut fries, homemade tartar sauce and malt vinegar runs $11.99.
The small menu also includes a fried fish sandwich ($14.99), fried shrimp ($15.99) that have been marinated in basil and lavender, and a battered sausage ($13.99).
Customers purchasing the sausage may compare its appearance to a corn dog, but that's where the similarity ends. Ramsay said the coating encases a "proper British sausage," or "banger," that's laced with fontina cheese.
Meals come with fries and also with what Ramsay fondly remembers from childhood as "the bits."
"They're all the little, crispy bits of batter that are scooped up at the end and salted," he said.
Diners may be tempted to top off their meal with a decadent Biscoff or a sticky toffee pudding milk shake ($8.99).
The restaurant has seating for 25 guests, but Ramsay said he expects 60% of customers to carry out their orders. The exterior is hard to miss, given its red doors that resemble old-fashioned British phone booths.
The eatery is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until 1 a.m. on weekends.
Ramsay may bring his latest concept eatery to Southern California too.
"We're looking at doing one close to the pier in Santa Monica, but I want to get Vegas right first," he said.