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Battered Christmas dinner on the menu at chip shop.

Byline: TYLER MEARS Reporter tyler.mears@walesonline.co.uk

A FISH and chip shop has started selling a battered Christmas dinner and it's getting a mixed reaction from customers.

Penaluna's Famous Fish & Chips in Hirwaun is serving up Christmas dinner with all the trimmings - but deep fried in batter.

The unusual dinner includes battered jumbo pigs in blankets with smoky bacon, battered Brussels sprouts and battered turkey and stuffing meatballs.

To finish off with something sweet, the High Street chip shop - which has won a number of awards - is also serving up battered Christmas puddings and mince pies.

Customers can buy each item individually, with prices ranging from 50p for a sprout to PS1 for mince pies and PS2 for jumbo pigs in blankets.

The idea for the unusual Christmas dinner comes courtesy of owner Lee Penaluna, 34, who started experimenting with deep-fried Christmas puddings about a decade ago.

"We were featured on TV around 11 years ago after we started serving battered Christmas puddings," said Lee, who used to work at the Michelinstarred The Walnut Tree Inn in Abergavenny.

"After that we started serving jumbo battered pigs in blankets. And then we thought - well, why don't we do the full Christmas dinner?" Lee said the unusual offering has gained a mixed reaction from customers but that most are left pleasantly surprised by the taste.

"It's 50/50 really. I think people have a certain idea in their heads, but after handing out samples - people said they taste amazing.

"They're buying plenty of it anyway. The pigs in blankets are a big seller, although the sprouts are a bit hit and miss.

"I think you're either going to love it or hate it."

But what does a battered Christmas dinner actually taste like? "Well, it tastes like Christmas dinner - but the crispness of the batter takes the richness off," Lee said, adding: "It actually tastes really nice."

"Some people are even buying pots of gravy and curry to go with it."

The battered festive dinner will be on sale at Penaluna's until Christmas Eve.

As well as the dinner, Penaluna's will also be serving up a number of other festive treats, including a festive rissole, which is filled with turkey, cranberry, bacon, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

It is also offering a three-course Christmas menu, with a choice of turkey or beef roast dinner, Glamorgan crumble or fish and chips with mushy peas.

Taste test REPORTER Tyler Mears gives her verdict on the deep-fried roast dinner.

| Pigs in blankets: These jumbo sausages were superb, as was the smoky bacon: 10/10 | Sprouts: Not a huge fan of sprouts but the batter made them a little more bearable: 3/10 | Stuffing balls: What's better than a stuffing ball? A deep fried stuffing ball! 8/10 | Festive rissole: Amazing: 10/10 | | Christmas pudding: Again I'm not a big fan of Christmas pudding, so I'd rate these: 3/10 | Mince pie: Perfect for a cold December evening: 7/10 The battered version of the Christmas dinner makes a nice change from the traditional, run-ofthe-mill roast. The batter - which is warm and crispy - offers something a little different. Filled with turkey, cranberry and stuffing, the festive rissole tastes amazing and you can see why the jumbo pigs in blankets are a big hit. If you're not a fan of sprouts, then eating them battered could be the way forward... and for PS3.50 you can't go wrong. Bargain!

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The chip shop's owner Lee Penaluna
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 16, 2017
Words:581
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