Chip shop is batter than rest.
Chamberlains Fish and Chips has been crowned Best Newcomer in the UK at the National Fish and Chip awards.
The restaurant and take-away, based in Wolverhampton Road, Oldbury, near the junction with the Hagley Road, claims to offer diners the poshest fish and chips in Britain and has set out to recreate the traditional salt and vinegar essence of the seaside on the fringe of landlocked Birmingham.
Victory in the national awards vindicates a decision by husband and wife team Simon and Eileen Shaw to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in the venture, which has created 20 jobs. The Shaws run Chamberlains with co-owner Dan Lynch, who is Eileen's son, and his fianc, Annabelle Curtin.
The restaurant prides itself on frying with beef dripping but also offers customers the option of cooking in vegetable oil. Chamberlains is also one of the few fish and chip restaurants to cater for diners with Coeliac disease, whose immune systems are harmed by gluten. The restaurant can cook to order with a gluten-free batter and also runs special days each month when the entire menu is gluten-free. The next gluten-free event is February 6. Chamberlains was presented with the Best Newcomer award by celebrity chef Richard Corrigan in London.
Factors that impressed the judges included the business's commitment to providing excellent fish and chips, high levels of customer service and a top five stars for hygiene from Sandwell Council.
Mr Shaw said he spotted a gap in the Birmingham and Sandwell markets for top quality fish and chips. In addition to the take-away, there is a 76-seat licensed restaurant, free car parking, disabled facilities and wi-fi access.
Mr Shaw said: "This is fish and chips at its poshest. Yet there is nothing on the menu for more than pounds 10." The only exception is a pounds 14.95 fish and chip platter that feeds two with mackerel and spinach parcels, lemon and pepper haddock goujons, squid, salmon and hummus canapes and mini cod fishcakes with a honey and chilli dip.
Alongside cod and haddock meals - complete with bread and butter and a pot of tea or coffee - the restaurant also serves homemade fish pie, tuna, smoked hake and cod and king prawn curry, homemade beef burgers, chicken and vegetarian meals.
Posh fish and chips from Chamberlains, which also has a 76-seat restaurant