30 Minutes With…Walker Murray, Owner, Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther, Fife

Home » Interviews » 30 Minutes With…Walker Murray, Owner, Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther, Fife

How did you get into the industry?

We had been searching for the perfect fish and chip shop for some time, wanting to ensure we found the right location. Being from Anstruther, it was a huge surprise to learn that Anstruther Fish Bar was up for sale. In our small fishing village, news travels quickly – the previous owners informed the staff in the morning and by the time my brother, who was in Lanzarote, heard about it, he called me in Warsaw. Within three hours of the news breaking, I had already made the call. Taking on this beloved establishment in February 2022 felt like a fantastic opportunity, and we were determined to keep it within the local community, as Anstruther has become renowned for its fish and chips.

Whats your favourite food?

This might sound fishy, but seafood has always been my favourite. There’s nothing quite like a perfectly cooked piece of fish, and if I had to choose one it would be turbot, grilled with lemon butter and served with boiled potatoes.

Is there a food you wont eat?

Well, I have tried snake and scorpion in the past, so there’s not much I won’t eat. The few things I am not a fan of are potted meats in the jelly.

Where have you had the best fish and chips?

I have to say Anstruther, but there’s a good reason for it. It’s part of what convinced us to buy the shop in the first place. Growing up in this town, the Fish Bar was always the go-to place. Even as we got older, we’d leave the pub early to ensure we got our weekend chippy fix before heading home. This tradition has been a part of my life for over 35 years. Now, it’s up to us to keep this beloved institution going, maintaining quality through these challenging times for the industry and keeping the business current.

What side is a must with your fish and chips?

Homemade tartare sauce. It accompanies the fish so well, and really brings out the flavour. It has to be homemade for me as the packaged ones just don’t cut it.

Anstruther 2

If you could open a fish and chip shop anywhere, where would it be?

Wow, that’s an interesting thought. I’d probably choose somewhere warmer than Scotland. My top two choices would be Koh Samui in Thailand – though it might not get much passing trade, the lifestyle and weather are incredible, and there’s a fresh fish market every day. The second would be Singapore, with its cleanliness, friendly people and vibrant atmosphere.

Do you have a favourite restaurant?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite restaurant because I enjoy trying new things and exploring different places. When I choose a restaurant, I look for unique venues that specialise in a few outstanding dishes. By the seaside, I’ll seek out seafood, while in the countryside, I love visiting local pubs that serve a great roast.

What is your go-to drink?

I like very plain lagers. I am not a fan of the IPA or the darker stronger tasting beers.

What dish reminds you most of your childhood?

Cheese toasties or French toast. With two young active boys, my mum had to have these in reserve for quick meals when we were coming in off the golf course for a quick five minute turn around to go play football.

What is your guilty food pleasure?

Maybe not a guilty pleasure, but I am terrible for not being able to put anything back, especially sweet things. If I open a tub of ice cream I generally finish it, same with chocolate bars regardless of the size of them. 

Whats been your weirdest food combination? 

Chicken goujons with tartare sauce. I have had so many weird looks behind the range when I order this for my lunch or tea, but my answer is always the same, don’t knock it til you try it.

What one piece of equipment would you love to purchase for your business?

Additional pans for our range as it would allow us to keep our customers happy and serve them that little bit quicker. At times, we get very busy and it causes queues for up to 45 minutes! During Covid the queue was over 700m long up the hill! 

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