Fish and Chips
Sitting on the outskirts of Barnstaple, and just off the North Devon Link Road, is The Pelican. The welcoming frontage and lighting enticed us to head inside this popular fish and chips restaurant.
We were welcomed by Ginni, the owner, and her friendly team. Her husband Martin was busy frying, as he has done for many years.
The contemporary and stylish decor, along with an aquarium, old photograph gallery, and a genuine buzz made us look forward to the meal ahead. The Pelican was named one of the top five independent restaurants at the 2017 National Fish and Chip Awards, and were North Devon Journal’s Best Family Eatery and Best Restaurant finalists. It’s the first and only fish and chips shop in North Devon to become MSC certified and has recently scooped the prestigious National Federation of Fish Friers Fish & Chip Quality award. The fresh catch of the day arrives every morning from South Devon.
There’s a great range of draught and bottled beers available, along with cider and local fruit drinks. I chose Pelican’s own amber ale while my partner plumped for Luscombe’s wild elderflower bubbly. Wine and spirits also complement the varied menu, which features burgers, salads, curries, chicken, gammon steaks, and a variety of homemade dishes to name but a few.
The list of starters is comprehensive and includes crabcakes, sticky chilli chicken and classic prawn cocktail. For my main dish, I had to go for the haddock and chips – a succulent portion of fish enveloped in light, crispy batter sitting alongside fluffy chips. My partner chose the homemade Thai fish curry, which comprised cod, hake and prawns in a mild, creamy coconut curry sauce and was accompanied by coriander rice and salad.
For dessert, we tucked into a crispy banana fritter with Verney’s Molton Ice vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries with a drizzle of golden syrup, along with Verney’s mango and ginger sorbet – a superb palate-cleanser. The Pelican offers free top-ups of tea, coffee and chips but we were defeated.
The restaurant is open every day (except Sunday) until 9pm, and if you fancy taking your meal to the nearby river or park, takeaway is available until 9.45pm. There is also plenty of on-site parking. This fantastic venue really is the catch of the day.