Sandwell chip shop comes top in borough
A family-run chip shop in Sandwell has been named the best "plaice" for the cuisine in the borough – for the third year running.
The Port chip shop in Dudley Port saw off fierce competition to be named Chip Shop of the Year for Sandwell in the Express & Star's competition.
Chippies were rated by the number of tokens handed in by readers, while there was also a mystery shopper element which saw the takeaway taste tested.
Manager Manny Dhariwal described the hat-trick of awards as "amazing" – and put his success down to customers, staff and quality products.
He said: "It's amazing. It's great to win it for three times on the bounce and the fact we can repeat the quality and the success of it is amazing.
"The chip shop is owned by three brothers – I'm the nephew to two of them.
"I would like to give a huge thank you to the customers more than anyone else – especially over the years.
"For them to keep coming to us and helping us grow as a small business is incredible.
"The one thing that was emphasise is using quality products – that we don't negotiate on.
"We get the best fish, potatoes and kebab and we keep that quality.
"The staff are brilliant and their relationship with the customers is fantastic. Without them, we wouldn't have a smooth sailing ship.
"I'm quite shocked to win, to be honest.
"But when you've got confidence in your food you just go for it.
"It's absolutely brilliant because that level of spick-and-span is fantastic."
Mr Dhariwal's family reopened The Port in 2015, marking 30 years since the previous owner shut the doors of former chip shop Guest Fish and Chips.
And since then, the chippy has aimed to create a sense of nostalgia among its older customers by offering an unusual dish.
"The man thing is that we cook our battered chips in beef dripping to create nostalgia – especially for the older people and that's a recipe that's worked for us," he said.
"Customers who don't want the chips cooked in that way can have it in vegetable oil – we offer a choice.
"The heritage of the chip shop is close to 40, 50 years.
"It was a chip shop then and when we reopened, it's always had an attraction and a heritage there and to continue that success is fantastic.
"The previous owners had a good track record as well.
"It's like with everything – things are always going up and trading is so hard and the fact we can still run a success business through this time is amazing."
Family-run chippy The Codfather, on Brades Road, came runner-up in the competition.
Raan Kandola, manager of the Oldbury-based business, said: "We would like to thank the customers. They are very very loyal.
"We gave all the papers out and had great feedback from the customers and everybody has been asking about it.
"I want to thank Sunny and Jindi for being a big help.
"We haven't got that much staff, but we have a lot of customers.
"I want to thank them for voting for us, for the reviews and the comments they made while they were here.
"We gave them what they wanted across the board.
"We've got a lot of fresh fish and home-made mushy peas, which is a speciality, and we do battered chips on a Sunday.
"It's down to them that's made us get to where we are."
Despite finishing second, however, the 52-year-old said it had been a "nice experience" to take part.
She added: "We tried really hard this year.
"But we said at the beginning to all the customers, even if we don't win it's been an experience.
"It's just been a really nice experience."
George's Fish Bar, on Great Bridge Street in West Bromwich, finished third.
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