Coatbridge fish and chip shop voted best in UK

Scottish chippy makes a splash and batters the competition

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Fish

A family-run fish and chip shop in Coatbridge, near Glasgow, has won a UK-wide fish and chip shop competition. Atlantic Fast Food was announced as the winner of the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year awards.

Finnegan’s Fish Bar in Porthcawl, South Wales was named second, whilst The Great British Eatery in Birmingham was left thrashing around in third.

It's the third year running that the winning shop has been located in Scotland - with Anstruther Fish Bar & Restaurant and The Townhead Cafein Biggar winning in 2008 and 2007 repectively - proving, if nothing else that, when the chips are down, Scotland knows a thing or two about deep frying.

Owner Giovanni Fionda, joined by his mum and dad Ida and Raphael, marched proudly through London to receive the award. Giovanni said: “To win this competition as a first time entrant is a dream come true... Our team are extremely hard working and it’s thanks to them and our loyal customers that we are taking home this trophy.”

Clearly Giovanni's victory is not beginners luck. The judging process for the competition is no small splash and includes a customer vote, taste tests, two intense rounds of shop inspections and a presentation to a panel of industry experts on issues of responsible seafood sourcing, customer service, food hygiene, staff training and community spirit.

Amazingly, 2010 is the 150th anniversary of fish and chips, and The National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year competition has only been keeping a record of the best shops in the country for the last 22.

Recent scientific findings suggest that, contrary to popular belief, fish and chips is one of the healthiest takeaway meals available in most towns as it contains less salt, a third less calories and over 40 per cent less fat than other takeaways.

Whilst many may still be skeptical about it being considered a 'healthy' option, you can't deny that "fush 'n' chups" is one of the best feelgood foods of the nation. With 183 million portions of fish and chips sold last year, everyone's getting happier at the very least.

The Frying Scotsman: Five Scottish chippy regulars

1 Deep-fried haggis.
Ok, so you know there's going to be a lot of deep fried, artery-clenching foods on this list as we're the masters of staying alive after managing to stomach something that makes the side of your neck hurt. Let's start it off with our hairy, legged friend - The Haggis.

2 Cheese 'n' burger.
Everything bad for you tastes better. It's a fact. It goes back to the natural instinct days of wanting to store fat and miniscule amounts of salt etc. Things have changed but it's still as rewarding to eat one of these even if your skin bubbles and peels off the next day. Who cares! You've just eaten a burger that's been injected with cheese. You know your life is on track.

3 Deep-Fried mars bars.
How many times on TV panel shows have people accused this of being a myth. It's certainly not, it's a wonderful pudding that someone with a great passion for melted sweet, salty objects created to satify whatever it was that was missing from their soul. P.S will make you puke on your shoes.

4 King rib supper.
What kind of animal is it? We're sure it's pork but then this took some time to come to this conclusion. Some stones, lips and eyes are sometimes best left unturned. It's pork, definitely pork.

5 Chippy sauce.
Not as much of a secret as maybe the makers would like it to be. It's basically just cheap brown sauce mixed with vinegar. Sold in old Barr pinapple bottles with a screw driver hole through the cap. Who's drinking all the fizzy pinapple juice? Food perverts.

The Cod delusion

Here's some of our favourite chip shops from around Scotland. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

The Tailend, Edinburgh
www.tailendrestaurant.com

Pittenweem Fish & Chip Bar, Fife

The Bervie Chipper, Inverbervie

The Real Food Cafe, Tyndrum
www.therealfoodcafe.com

Mhor Fish, Callendar
mhor.net/fish

Townhead Cafe, Biggar
www.townheadbiggar.com

L’alba D'Oro, Edinburgh
www.lalbadoro.com

Anstruther Fish Bar & Restaurant, Anstruther
www.anstrutherfishbar.co.uk

The West End Cafe, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland

The Ashvale Fish Restaurant, Aberdeen
www.theashvale.co.uk

The Wee Hurrie, Glasgow

Comments

1. Atlantic Fish bar Coatbridge29 Jun 2010, 6:43pm Report

My husband and I decided to try the top ten fish and chip shops. To date we have done 5. But I must tell you about our experience in the Atlantic fish bar Coatbridge ( The deserved number 1 winner).
We have no car so we went by train.We explained that we had walked from the train station so we were supplied with 2 stools round the back and a lovely cup of tea.
Then the lady gave my husband an ice cream as he is half Italian and she was of Italian decent. They had a lovely talk about Italy and the war. (My father -in- law was an Italian prisoner of war.) I think the service in this fish and chip shop cannot be beaten and as for the food it was magnificent. We will be going back!!!!!

2. clara1 Sep 2010, 2:06pm Report

I loved this shop when it opened, but recently their portion control has gone right downhill I paid £1.50p for a portion of chips and tosay there where only a few chips is an understatment.
When I complained about the portion size the msnager just stared right through mme.
My advice is don't go out of your way to come to this award winning chip shop, the owners ar obviously very greedy (and not for th food they serve) but your hard earned cash.

3. Andy T5 Sep 2010, 10:37am Report

My wife and I used to go here all the time. We have noticed several times on asking for haddock, we have been given cod. Subsequent times when we have ordered and mentioned this, asking them to please make sure it was haddock we were given, we were told "it is always haddock used" and once again we were given cod. Very disappointing. I can also agree with what Clara above has said.

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