A team of batter-loving expert judges have done the rounds to find the best plaice in the land
In news all you malt-vinegar-and too-much-salt lovers have been waiting for: the shortlist for The National Fish and Chip Awards 2016 have been announced.
The annual event – which whips round a team of expert batter aficionados to entrants up and down our fair isles – has declared the final 10 who have beaten out chippies in their respective regions to have been shortlisted for the ultimate glory.
And it's not just about the perfectly crispy coating or most gloriously fried chip. The criteria also includes responsible sourcing policies, shop appearance and facilities, staff training and development policies, marketing and promotional activity and local community involvement. Mystery shoppers, in-depth interviews and thorough probings have got the contenders this far.
Here's the list in full.
We say: the freshest local fish, simply prepared and expertly delivered, from this Scottish chippy
Have: battered haddock, homemade curry sauce and maybe a cheeky chip butty
They say: "Tasty fresh fish and yummy chips! A cut above."
1 Union St, St Andrews KY16 9PQ, cromars.co.uk
We say: everyone in the locale loves this family business with buzzy service
Have: a large cod and chips, thank you very much
They say: "We're proud to be voted south Wales's best chippy."
74 Briton Ferry Rd, Neath, UK SA11 1AP, hikarysfishbar.com
We say: Friday and Saturday will see you waiting in line for a cod supper here – but we're assured it's totally worth it
Have: freshly battered cod with tartare and marrow fat peas
They say: "We fry to order and freshly chip potatoes every morning, for a superior flavour."
19 Georges St, Dungannon, County Tyrone BT70 1BT
We say: serving the good people of Lancaster since 1988, Nigel and Linda know their way around a deep fat fryer
Have: the lightly battered haddock with a homemade Yorkshire fishcake
They say: "We are committed to raising standards within the industry, aiming to bring fish and chips into the 21st century."
96 Prospect St, Lancaster LA1 3BH, hodgsonschippy.com
We say: super sustainable, super delicious, this is the chippy to head to in Plymouth
Have: go lavish with a half lobster and chips.
They say: "Fish so fresh it feels like kissing the sea."
6 Glen Rd, Plymouth PL7 2XS, kingfisherfishandchips.co.uk
We say: you can also order wine at this North Yorkshire chippy – so worth it just for that, no?
Have: a freshly fried haddock and chips, with homemade gravy
They say: "Fish straight from the sea, and potatoes stright from the soil."
61-63 Micklegate, Selby YO8 4EA, mistercs.co.uk
Cox’s of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, central and southern England
We say: all the pies and all the pasties alongside the classics here. Divine
Have: share one of the massive portions of chips between two with the seafood basket, and don't forget a pot of strong tea
They say: "We fry in not too much oil, for a lighter take on cod and chips."
2 Arena Parade, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3BY
We say: a name more suited to a deep pan pizza place sure. But with fish fresh from Billingsgate Market every day, it's a total corker
Have: the 'Moby Dick',' a jumbo portion of cod
They say: "Fresh fish cooked simply in a family-friendly, all-day restaurant and takeaway, plus meaty grills."
497 London Rd, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6DB, papasbarn.co.uk
We say: with gluten-free options, homemade tartare sauce and all-natural ingredients, you can't go wrong
Have: a prime fillet of cod with a homemade pea fritter and chips
They say: "With us, you know exactly what you’re eating - simply tip top quality fish and chips!"
75 Priors Rd, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 5, simpsonsfishandchips.co.uk
We say: No sealife is safe from the fryer at this posh chippy. Herring, skate, gurnard, hake, crab, lobster, oysters and whelks – you name it, they'll serve it up.
Have: Whole lemon sole deep fried in beef dripping, battered onion rings and chips.
They say: "Our commitment to quality and locally sourced, seasonal produce, shines through our extensive menu."
170 Bramcote Ln, Nottingham NG8 2QP, codsscallops.com
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