Four Scottish outlets have been named among the UK’s top 20 chippies as part of the National Fish & Chip Awards.
The Craft and Harbour in Ayr, Food in the Park in Blair Atholl, Tailend in Dundee and Tailend in St Andrews have all been named in the list of the UK’s best fish and chip shops in the awards, which are run by Seafish.
Shortlisted as semi-finalists for the Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award, Craft and Harbour, Food in the Park, Tailend (Dundee) and Tailend (St Andrews) will now ‘batter’ it out for a place in the final against contenders from across the rest of the UK.
The 20 restaurants have been assessed against a wide variety of judging criteria, including menu development and innovation, responsible sourcing policies, staff training and development processes and marketing and promotional activity.
Judges will make unannounced visits to the top 20 restaurants to undertake mystery diner assessments, appraising both the fish and chips on offer and customer service.
This next stage of judging will whittle down the shortlist and establish the top five fish and chip restaurants that will compete for the overall national title, to be presented at the 30th anniversary awards ceremony.
Marcus Coleman, chief executive at Seafish, said: “Fish and chips represent everything that is British, conjuring up notions of days by the seaside, often with family and friends, enjoying succulent battered fish and fluffy chips.
“With fast casual food dining on the rise, we’re seeing a new range of bespoke fish and chip restaurants opening up across the UK, and it’s safe to say that they’re doing a fantastic job of linking this nostalgia to a quality dine-in experience.
“Congratulations to the four Scottish restaurants on reaching the semi-final, in what is one of our most hotly-contested award categories, and best of luck in the next round of judging.”
Award sponsor Alan Pearce, field sales manager at Goldensheaf, added: “This award category rewards those that provide an outstanding fish and chip dining experience for their customers, while continually striving to improve their standards and diversify their offering.
“We congratulate the 20 restaurants in reaching this stage of the competition and wish them the best of luck in the next round of judging.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that two newcomers on the Scottish chippie scene have also been named in the UK’s top ten new fish and chip shops for the awards.
The Fish Works in Largs, Ayrshire, and Quayside Restaurant & Fish Bar in Gourdon, Aberdeenshire, have both been shortlisted as semi-finalists for the Best Newcomer Award.
They’ll now go up against the seven other semi-finalists from around the UK, with the judging sessions taking place over the next few weeks.
The Best Newcomer Award, which is sponsored by Frymax, is open to independent fish and chip businesses that have been operating “since no earlier than 1 May, 2015”.
Andrew Marriott, UK brand and marketing manager for leading all-vegetable frying fat producer Frymax, added: “The future of our trade relies on top quality and highly motivated fish and chip businesses that are a credit to the industry.
“This year’s top five all bring innovative concepts and new ideas to the fish and chip trade – each would be a worthy winner.”
The winner of the Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award will be announced at The National Fish & Chip Awards’ 30th anniversary ceremony in London on 25 January next year.