Seafish has announced the 10 takeaways to make the final cut for the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award - eight of which are new to this stage of the competition.
Only two of the takeaways have got this far before, Dolphin Takeaway in Duncannon, Country Tyrone, which has reached the final now for the past five years, and Golden Carp in Redditch, Worcestershire, which made it in 2018.
The ten shops still competing are:
• Carron Fish Bar, Stonehaven, Grampian
• Dolphin Takeaway, Duncannon, Country Tyrone
• Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove, Chester, Cheshire
• Golden Carp, Redditch, Worcestershire
• Hiks, Swansea, West Glamorgan
• HOOKED@31, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire
• Rockfish, Brixham, Devon
• Seafare, Guildford, Surrey
• Shap Chippy, Penrith, Cumbria
• The Cod’s Scallops, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Commenting on his first time in the Top 10, Matt Phillips, owner of Shap Chippy, said: “We’re over the moon to make the top 10. We took over the business in July 2018 and were new to the trade, although we do have a big hospitality and retail background. We were lucky to take on a good business - it won Best Newcomer in 2015 - but it did need a polish. We’ve not fundamentally changed the food, just added some new products, focused on local sourcing and modernised the restaurant. We entered Fry Magazine's 50 Best and got in
the Top 50 this year, which was incredible, and now to get in the Top 10 in the national awards is just fantastic. We’d love to take the first, second or third spot, but even to make the top 10 is great.
“It’s nice to see that when you put the effort in it does pay off.”
For Malachy Mallon, owner of Dolphin, this is familiar territory with this being his fifth year in the final 10. He comments: "This is our fifth year and I think that shows consistency, determination and resilience. I'm always working on something fresh so I'm really looking forward to the final this year and bringing not just ourselves forward but moving the industry forward too."
All ten shops have been assessed on the various aspects of running a fish and chip business, including food quality, sourcing of key ingredients, staff training and menu development.
They have undergone mystery shopper judging as well as a full back-of-house audit and now have just one final hurdle - a 20 minute presentation to an industry judging panel.
Marcus Coleman, chief executive officer at Seafish, said: “These ten finalists represent the best fish and chips on offer in the UK today. They are consistently excelling across all areas and providing their customers with healthy, high quality fish and chips on every visit. Each of them is a credit to the industry and should be commended on the commitment they have shown to maintaining its fantastic reputation.”
The winner of the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be announced at The National Fish & Chip Awards’ 32nd anniversary awards ceremony in London on 23rd January 2020.