We tried the NI chippy that's frying high after being named one of the UK's best

by 24britishtvMarch 29, 2024, 6 p.m. 18
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Easter is almost upon us and what better way to mark the long weekend than with a visit to your local fish and chip shop.

Since Northern Ireland is home to a beautiful stretch of coastline, it's no surprise that so many of us love a hefty serving of battered cod and a portion of salty homemade chips.

Fish and chips are a Friday night staple for many and Good Friday seemed like the perfect time to tuck into the delicacy in one of our top seaside towns.

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It was also an excuse to stop off in one Co Down spot that's recently been frying high with success!

The team at the Holywood Fryer have recently been through a rigorous assessment to achieve Quality Accreditation status.

The popular High Street spot has gained its place amongst the UK’s top fish and chip shops by achieving the prestigious NFFF Quality Accreditation sponsored by Sarsons Vinegar.

The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), the trade body that represents the nation’s fish and chip shops, runs the scheme as a way of raising standards within and enhancing the profile of the fish and chip industry.

The scheme is a way of rewarding and promoting shops that provide good quality products and high standards of hygiene, as well as friers who show a high level of competence.

To qualify, each shop must go through a virtual inspection by an NFFF Approved Assessor who assesses the shop’s presentation, hygiene and cleanliness, staff training, equipment, frying and sales skills and most importantly the quality of the cooked product.

That's exactly what the Holywood Fryer owner Stuart Quinn has been hard at work doing to gain its place in the scheme.

Since taking over the business almost two years ago, Stuart and his team have worked hard to put their own stamp on things and it's fast become many locals’ favourite spot for a chippy tea.

We ordered a haddock and cod fish supper, priced at £11 and the generous portion size was the first sign that we were definitely getting value for money!

A beautiful piece of fresh fish, coated in Stuart's trademark beer batter (made with his own secret recipe), came nestled on a heap of the crispiest and fluffiest chips along with a side of homemade tartar sauce and mushy peas.

It's easy to see why the place is gearing for a busy weekend ahead and while we left with full bellies (and some leftovers for later!), we made a note to return to try some of Stuart's famous homemade pasties.

Priced at only £3 each, they have proved to be a huge hit with local students with hundreds flying out the door every week.

The tradition of eating fish rather than red meat on Good Friday means that your local fish and chip shop may be a little busier than normal but our lunchtime visit proved to be the calm before the storm.

Holywood Fryer owner, Stuart, said: “To be recognised as one of the top fish and chip shops by the NFFF is indeed an honour and a credit to our hardworking staff, who I would like to offer my sincere thanks for the continued hard work and efforts to maintain our excellent reputation.

“I would personally like to thank all our customers, new and old. The support and encouragement they have offered has been great. It has motivated us to maintain our high standards which have been recognised with this accreditation.”

This accreditation sets the new benchmark for quality within the industry. It will signal to the consumer that they can buy with confidence where the award is displayed, and it will encourage more outlets to raise their standards.

NFFF President Andrew Crook added: “The Holywood Fryer clearly takes pride in where it sources its fish and potatoes from. Achieving the NFFF Quality Accreditation provides reassurance to customers that they are being served cooked food using high-quality ingredients.”

With reviews praising the establishment for its cleanliness, friendly staff and piping hot food, it's no wonder that the Holywood Fryer has been hailed as one of the best chippies in the UK.

So if you’re looking for the perfect fish supper this Easter weekend, then the Holywood Fryer may be the one for you.

For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up to our daily newsletter here.

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