Coatbridge fish and chip shop voted best in UK
Scottish chippy makes a splash and batters the competition
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
Pittenweem Fish & Chip Bar, Fife
The Bervie Chipper, Inverbervie
The Real Food Cafe, Tyndrum
Mhor Fish, Callendar
Townhead Cafe, Biggar
L’alba D'Oro, Edinburgh
Anstruther Fish Bar & Restaurant, Anstruther
The West End Cafe, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland
The Ashvale Fish Restaurant, Aberdeen
The Wee Hurrie, Glasgow