A fish and chip shop that opened just 12 weeks ago in Largs, North Ayrshire, has won two prestigious accolades at an awards ceremony dedicated to Scotland’s takeaway industry.
The Fish Works
scooped Best Fish and Chip Shop in Scotland at the Dine In Takeaway Awards
where it was up against nine other rivals. It also went on to win Best Newcomer where it faced competition from a host of offerings including dessert restaurants, milkshake parlours, gourmet burgers and pizzerias.
Opened by locals Ross and Tiffany Irvin in April, The Fish Works is situated on the promenade in Largs and combines views of the west coast of Scotland with a range of fresh, local seafood. This includes haddock in batter and fish finger butties as well as twists on the traditional, such as fresh langoustine, calamari and seasonal fish from boats that deliver daily to the pier opposite.
Tiffany, who previously owned an ice cream kiosk in the area, comments: “We are so delighted with the awards and it’s great for the team as the staff have all been fantastic and really give it their all. They enjoy being in the shop and we have such a great working atmosphere which I think our customers can see and appreciate."
Tiffany believes there is no real secret to the shop's rapid success, just a back to basics attitude and a desire to produce great food. This includes twice frying their chips to ensure they are fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside, using a batter that she says is lighter and crispier than traditional Scottish batters, and sourcing a particular cut of fish that guarantees a nice chunky fillet.
"We’re big fans of fish and chips so we set out to serve good quality food that we would want to eat ourselves," explains Tiffany. "We cook everything fresh to order and we serve a variety of different fish along with award-winning black pudding and haggis from our local butcher.
"We are lucky enough to be situated on the seafront, so our location is amazing with the best views. Along with this we are so lucky to have fresh langoustine landed daily, which we have on our menu cooked in garlic butter and served with chips."
It’s not just the food that’s made an impact on locals and visitors but also the decor, which includes a floor made up entirely of 1p coins - which Tiffany and Ross laid themselves - a wall constructed from recycled wooden pallets, and hand stenciled menu boards also made from pallet wood.
“The shop is quite quirky as we wanted to be different and not your typical fish and chip shop,” says Tiffany. “Even down to the range, I know most people have a counter range but we chose a wall range so that when customers walk in they can see everything being cooked.”
Being the pair's first venture into fish and chips, Tiffany and Ross attended the KFE School of Frying Excellence
and visited shops across the country. Tiffany adds: "We have had to learn everything from scratch as neither of us had ever even been behind the scenes of a fish and chip shop until we had designed our shop."
The Dine In Takeaway Awards are voted for online by the public with the most popular outlets making a shortlist and undergoing a visit by a panel of judges. Sponsors included KFE, Vegware, UberEats and AG Barr.