Chippy hopes to batter others for UK win

A CHIPPY which has just scooped the title of the best in Suffolk is now hoping to batter the opposition and catch itself the title of the best fish and chips in the land.

Russell Claydon

A CHIPPY which has just scooped the title of the best in Suffolk is now hoping to batter the opposition and catch itself the title of the best fish and chips in the land.

The Fish'n' Chick'n is now frying with four of its Norfolk rivals for the title of the region's favourite.

But you won't find this chippy along the Suffolk coastline, as some may suspect.


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Chip lovers will have to travel to the Ravenswood Shopping Centre, off Nacton Road in Ipswich for what judges of the National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year deem to be the best cod and chips in Suffolk.

With 20 years frying experience behind him, Errol Souter, manager of the Fish'n' Chick'n shop, is not getting carried away with the nomination.

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“I think our chances are one in five,” he said. “We are delighted to have been nominated and will continue to do our best and just hope we win.”

Offering four types of fish, Mr Souter believes the secret to his success is keeping things nice and simple.

“It is about knowing your product and keeping it traditional.

“When you start doing too much that is when it gets complicated. You have got to keep it simple.”

As far as the title of the National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year competition goes, Mr Souter now has to serve every portion of chips knowing his next customer could be the mystery judge who decides whether his dish will progress to the national final.

He will be up against the Bears Fish'n'Chips in Hunstanton, Mother Hubbards in Swaffham, Seafayre at Fishes in Norwich and Tony's Fish Shop in Great Yarmouth. The grand final will held in London early next year by celebrity chef Simon Rimmer.

Organised by Seafish, the competition recognises the quality, value and choice offered by chippies up and down the UK.

Mr Souter's shop was presented with the coveted Seafish Quality Award - held by only 4% of chippies in the UK - in March and his assistant Barbara believes their cod takes some beating.

“I think the cod is the best I have ever tried,” she said. “We take a lot of pride in it and will not hand out rubbish.

“I think Errol deserves the award as he works so hard.”

Regulars at the Ipswich shop include those as far out as Felixstowe, with one customer on the Suffolk coast phoning through his order every Saturday to get his fish and chip fix.

Mr Souter, who worked in chip shops in Colchester until Fish'n' Chick'n opened their shop in Ipswich in October 2006, believes “a nice, fresh product and crispy, not stoggy, batter” is key.

He added the fish is sourced from the Icelandic waters as he believes it is more sustainable than using dwindling supplies off the UK.

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