A Dungannon chippie has been unveiled as the top fish and chip shop in Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and County Derry/Londonderry.
The Dolphin Takeaway and Superbites in Crossmaglen will now ‘fry’ for glory against each other in the race to become Northern Ireland’s best fish and chip shop as part of the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
Malachy Mallon, owner of the Dolphin in Georges Street in the town, said: “We are absolutely delighted at the news that the Dolphin has been announced as Area Winner for the second year in a row – we are proud to be Mid Ulster’s Best Takeaway and that’s official. We’re now just one step away from the coveted tile of N.I Regional Winner. It will be a tightly fought contest - any chippy that makes it to this stage in such a prestigious national competition is a force to be reckoned with. But we will give it our best battering and I’m sure all our customers and the Dungannon community are routing for us! The Dolphin staff are very excited by the announcement and rightly so, they have played a huge part in the Dolphin’s success and we are now in the Top 20 in the whole of the UK, a great achievement given that there are over 10,000 chip shops in the UK. This competition is the big one, The National Fish and Chip Awards are like the Oscars for the industry and to win even the N.I title would be such a catch. We’ll be waiting with baited breath for the regional results in October and there’s every chance we could be winging our way to London for the UK finals in January, wouldn’t that be amazing!”
To get to this stage and secure a place in the coveted shortlist, shops have been appraised across a variety of judging criteria including shop appearance, responsible sourcing policies, customer service and staff training policies. They also received mystery shopping assessments by industry experts to ascertain the quality of the fish and chips and the levels of customer service provided by staff.
Over the coming weeks, the shops will be subjected to further mystery judging evaluations and in-depth judging audits. This next stage of the competition will determine the regional winner for Northern Ireland who will then complete against nine other regional winners for the top accolade at the 2016 awards ceremony.