THEY are the top ten tasty takeaways in Edinburgh and the Lothians – but only one will be named batter than all the rest.
Now we have our shortlist, it is up to the customers to decide which one merits the sought-after title Chip Shop of the Year.
Could Giovanni’s in Northfield Broadway scoop the honour or is Mario’s in Loanhead a more deserving winner of the coveted crown?
Will Barracuda batter its rivals into submission or will Dino’s in Loanhead be crowned king?
That’s not forgetting the Marchmont Takeaway and the Coral Reef in Musselburgh. Will one of those emerge triumphant once the votes are counted?
But it’s not all about the fish and chips, particularly with an ever-expanding range of takeaway choices across the city.
And those who prefer a deep pan pizza or a doner kebab can also cast their votes to ensure their favourite has the chance to claim the top spot.
Staff at Bar-B-Que in Glasgow Road said they were delighted to have been nominated by their loyal customers.
Catherine Sutherland, who has been working as a counter assistant at the Corstorphine shop for 25 years, said: “It’s been going for years and years and we are very popular.
“People come from all over and they even pass other fish and chip shops especially to come here.
“If they have been to Australia, they will come back here and say ‘Thank goodness, I have been wishing for a good fish supper’.
“The produce is always fresh and the customers are quite willing to wait if it’s not quite ready.”
But being a good chippy is not just about the perfect battered haddock and a generous portion of succulent chips.
“The customers also come in for the banter and we like to have a joke and whatnot and we would miss our old regulars if they went,” she added.
Owner Dario Diduca, who has been at the shop for 15 years, added that it was “good” to be nominated and thanked his customers for their support.
Staff at Eatalia’s in Brunswick Place, meanwhile, also welcomed their nomination.
It is owned by Ida Scarano, née Crolla, of the Leith Walk dining dynasty, who has been working at the shop for 34 years.
She said: “I know the customers personally. They are not just customers but part of the family.
“We have had a big reaction and a lot of people have come in to tell us we had been nominated.
“They have been asking for postal votes which was really good.”
Asked why she thought the shop had been nominated, Mrs Scarano said it was because the food was good and the shop has a “family feel”.
“We hope to do well in the competition and it would be great for the business if we did win,” she said.
The shop got huge exposure on the BBC’s Take On the Takeaway when it narrowly lost out to Antonio Carluccio on points.
The takeaway has won two PAPA awards for its pizza and pasta, but those who love kebabs will have to look elsewhere.
Khalid Elouahhabi, counter manager at Mr Crolla in Tranent, has been trying to contact his boss to tell him the news that they have made it into the top ten. He said: “I have sent him a message to tell him what happened but he is away. I know he will be pleased.
“We are a takeaway but we strive to give the best possible service, and we are quite a busy shop.
“Most customers are happy with our service so we are not surprised to reach the top ten, but it’s nice to see all our hard work paying off.”
Nikki Hawkins, organiser of the National Fish and Chip Awards, said the product itself was the key to a good chippy.
She added: “It is the product first and the service second, but a good fish and chip shop should have the whole package.
“It doesn’t have to be glitzy. It can be a high street shop but the product has to be right. It’s about taste. It’s like anywhere else.
“If you have a bad pub meal, you won’t want to go back. Scotland also uses a lot more fresh fish which is good.”
The ten finalists
01. Bar-B-Que, Glasgow Road
02. Eatalia’s, Brunswick Place
03. Dino’s, Loanhead
04. Barracuda, Northfield Drive
05. St Andrews Takeaway, Portobello High Street
06. Marchmont Takeaway, Marchmont Road
07. Mario’s, Loanhead
08. Giovanni’s, Northfield Broadway
09. Mr Crolla, Tranent High Street
10. Coral Reef, Musselburgh
To Vote by Text
Text EENCHIPS then a space, followed by the number of the chip shop you wish to vote for along with your name, address and postcode to 65550.
To Vote by post
Complete a form from the pages of your Evening News and send it to Chip Shop of the Year, PO Box 316, Rossendale, BB4 0DU
The ‘healthy’ fast food
FISH and chip lovers learned recently that their favourite treat is the healthiest of takeaways.
The traditional British dish contains 146 fewer calories than the
average takeaway curry, while a standard portion of thin crust pepperoni pizza contains four grams more fat than a regular serving of fish and chips, according to figures from the Potato Council.
Foodies have been quick to heap praise on the dish which has been a British institution since Victorian times.
Malcolm Duck, chairman of the Edinburgh Restaurant Association, described the national dish as “comfort food”, adding: “Like everything in life balance and proportion is important. If you spend your life eating chips for every meal then that isn’t good, but everything in moderation is fine. Potatoes are good for you and an important staple of any diet.”
The recent trend for gourmet fast food has also seen a range of posh chip shops popping up across the UK, including Edinburgh.
Fresh produce is key to creating the perfect chip supper, according to John Wild, one of the directors of the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF).
He said: “There are no additives and no nasties in there, so what you see is what you get.
“As long as everything is cooked properly and you have the best provenance then it is much healthier than your average korma.”