The Scottish champion beat off the regional competition to take its place in the UK finals, however it was Simpsons Fish & Chip shop in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire that was eventually crowned the best in the UK.
The awards were announced following an extensive search across the UK by the judges, during a prestigious ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel in London.
Competitors progressed through a rigorous, multi-stage judging process over a seven month period; encompassing several mystery shopping assessments and in-depth judging audits by industry experts, reviewing everything from responsible sourcing policies to menu diversification – and off course, the quality of fish and chips on offer and levels of customer service provided by staff.
— Cromars (@eatatcromars) January 20, 2016
The final stage of judging put each shop’s presentation skills to the test as they faced a 12-strong specialist industry judging panel – ‘battering’ it out against the nine other regional finalists in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch.
Colin Cromar, who has been in the industry for 32 years, said: “Cromars is all about cooking to order; It’s something I have always done in my career and always will. It does take a little longer but the results are well worth it. We do consider ourselves to be the Rolls Royce of Fish and Chip Shops as we have a very wide ranging menu, including scallops, and we use the best, premium local suppliers we can find.
"We also serve wines and champagne! We have taken a fish and chip shop to a higher level but at the end of the day it’s all about the quality of the fish and chips – you can’t have style over substance!”
Colin also paid tribute to the many award winning food businesses in St Andrews at the moment. “The town is becoming something of a foodie mecca. It’s great for the whole area and we do benefit enormously from the cosmopolitan feel St Andrews has with so many visitors and people staying here from all over the world. I think many of the restaurants and artisan suppliers here are aware that we have a real opportunity to shine, but we have to keep standards high.”