Meet the people behind the profiles
The creation of the different social media formats has brought a new wave of food ‘critics/reviewers’. In this issue of the Fish Friers Review we talk to a Chip Advisor UK and Chip Diaries on their love for fish and chips.
Tell us about yourselves:
Chip Diaries – We are a small group of friends that are fanatical about fish and chips. We call ourselves Chip Friends. Our first review was published in 2014 and since then we have visited over 430 different shops.
Chip Advisors UK – Ahoy there, we are chipadvisorUK, your number one fish and chip review page on Instagram. On our page you will find light hearted pun filled reviews of chip shops in the UK. ChipsdvisorUK codprises of Ben and Todd, a couple of young chips off the old block. Based in Bedfordshire we sail out to different chip shops weekly in search of the ultimate Big Buoy. Big Buoys are fish and chip shops which we have scored a 9/10 or above. We’ll touch more on the judging criteria shortly.
*ChipAdvisors UK at Frenches Fish and Chips
What brought your passion for fish and chips?
Chip Diaries – We have been passionate about fish and chips for as long as we can remember. It’s a beloved food for most people because it is associated with Friday night treats or seaside holidays. Everyone likes to remember a notable portion of fish and chips that they have enjoyed.
Chip Advisors UK – Our passion for fish and chips stems from fond childhood memories of tasty cod and chips supplied by our parents free of charge, whether it be by the seaside or from the local chip station. The only difference is we now have to pay from our own pockets, nevertheless the passion remains for tucking into a good old portion of the nations’ favourite, and we won’t have it said otherwise.
*Chip Diaries enjoying fish and chips at No 1 Cromar
Whose idea was it for the Chip Diaries?
Chip Diaries – Our idea for starting was to keep a diary of all the great chippies we visit and also to share the reviews with fellow chip lovers via our blog (thechipdiaries.blogspot.com), Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Readers can either read our reviews as tips about choosing where to eat, or they can join us on a virtual chip tour around the UK looking at our mouth-watering photos of fish, chips and mushy peas!
Chip Advisors UK – ChipadvisorUK was a joint idea following the scoring of a few local chippys. We decided why not blanch out and make it a weekly occurrence to drive to different towns and plaices which we never would have visited for fish and chips and a pint of neck oil, absolutely splendid. We throw in the puns to put smiles on the faces of our loyal followers who await eagerly on a Thursday for a new review to be uploaded.
*Chip Advisors UK at Riverside Fish and Chips
Do you tell the shop you visit who you are?
Chip Diaries – We don’t tell the shop who we are when we visit because we prefer to do the reviews as a ‘mystery shopper’. We want to be regarded the same as any other customer. We also have a policy that the reviews should focus on the food rather than us. So we choose not to appear in photos on our social media pages; fish and chips are much more photogenic than us. However, we have got some favourite shops that we like to support and communicate with online. Fish fryers are very friendly people.
Chip Advisors UK – Generally, we don’t inform chip shops of our visits, but if the staff are friendly enough and want to engage in some general chip chat then we won’t hesitate to let them know what we’re up to.
*Chip Diaries enjoying food from Burton Road Chippy
What are your judging criteria?
Chip Diaries – Our judging criteria are based on quality ingredients that are freshly prepared. We don’t mind waiting for a fish to be fried for us rather than standing in the cabinet to go chewy. Mushy peas that are soaked and cooked on the premises are a must! Tinned peas are a no-no! Homemade tartar sauce is always a bonus too. We enjoy visiting shops where the owners have pride in their food.
Chip Advisors UK – Our judging criteria is based on 5 specific factors; food quality, customer service, portion size, appearance and extras. Extras being anything out of the ordinary, from halloumi strips to home- made pies or ice cold beers anything that catches the eye! It’s worth noting that we only visit fish and chip shops which do not sell kebabs as we like to focus solely on the main event, not straying far from the Dory.
What areas of the country are you planning on visiting next?
Chip Diaries – Some of the best fish and chips we have eaten so far have been in Sheffield and the North East: places such as Scarborough and Newcastle. Norfolk has some great chippies too. We would definitely like to visit more chip shops in the West Midlands and Wales once it becomes safer to travel.
All this talk is making us hungry. Sorry but we must go and have our chippy tea…
Chip Advisors UK – In the coming months we’d like to head down to the South of the country as we’ve been keeping our eyes on a lovely looking establishment in Portsmouth. Following that we’d like to venture to the North to a town called Whitby to a freshly opened Eatery which looks simply divine for some top notch doo dah. Cod bless indeed.