Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Superbites ‘frying high’ with best local Fish and Chip Shop accolade

Crossmaglen’s hugely popular fish and chip shop, Superbites, has joined the Fish and Chip Shop elite from across the UK, after being announced as the top Fish and Chip Shop out of counties Antrim, Down and Armagh, as part of the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.

Competing to be crowned Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, the renowned local takeaway and The Dolphin Takeaway in Dungannon will now ‘fry’ for glory against each other in the race to become Northern Ireland’s best fish and chip shop.

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 to determine the regional winner for Northern Ireland who will then compete against nine other regional winners in the UK for the top accolade at the 2016 awards ceremony.

Speaking to The Examiner about the latest achievement for Superbites, owner Gerard McMonagle said,

“We’ve been in the top three of the competition this last three years and this is the first time we’ve made it to the final two in Northern Ireland. We’re delighted to be there and we’ll give it our best shot.

“From here we will undergo an in-house inspection, both front of house and back of house, which will take place unannounced between now and 30th September. After that a points and scoring system will determine the winning shop.

Gerard has high praise for his dedicated Superbites staff, commending them for all their hard work and effort.

“This competition has been going on since the 1st April and the team has been fully committed to it and have put their full effort into it,” added the proud boss.

“None of the awards and accolades Superbites has received over the years would be possible without the hard work of the staff here.”

Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, offered his congratulations to the “excellent shops” that have made it through to this stage of the prestigious competition and wished them the best as they prepare to continue their quest towards winning a regional title.

“I also thank them for consistently helping us to reinforce the UK’s reputation as the home of the world’s best fish and chips,” he said.

Culminating in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2016, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.

In October, Seafish will announce the top 10 regional winners competing for the flagship award. These shops will then be invited on an all-expense paid study trip to Ålesund, Norway, organised by award sponsor the Norwegian Seafood Council, to witness first-hand why the country is regarded as one of the world’s most sustainable fishing nations.

Joint award sponsor Mick Bacon, Manager of the Responsible Fishing Scheme, said,

“Fish and chips shops are great ambassadors for the seafood industry with many showing passion for sustainability, provenance and social responsibility. We are honoured to support The National Fish & Chip Awards and help reinforce the awards’ commitment to responsible sourcing. Congratulations to the finalists, we wish all of the top 20 shops the very best of luck.”

For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit Follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter for all the awards news and information.