The Craft & Harbour in Ayr, Food in the Park in Blair Atholl, Tailend in Dundee and Tailend in St Andrews, Fife have all been named in the list of the UK's best chippies in the awards which are run by Seafish.
Shortlisted as semi-finalists for the Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award, Craft Harbour, Food in the Park, Tailend (Dundee) and Tailend (St Andrews) will now ‘batter’ it out for a place in the final against fellow contenders from across the rest of the UK.
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To reach this stage of the competition, 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.
Over the coming weeks, judges will make unannounced visits to the top 20 restaurants to undertake mystery dining assessments, appraising both the fish and chips on offer and the levels of customer service provided by staff.
This next stage of competition 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 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: “As the UK’s leading batter mix producer, with a heritage of over 60 years, we can identify with the importance of being recognised as a quality performer within the fish and chip industry.
“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.”
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 2018.