Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Scots chippie crowned best in UK

The Anstruther Fish Bar
The Anstruther Fish Bar has regularly lifted the title of best Scottish fish shop

A Scottish chippie has been crowned the best fish and chip shop in Britain.

The Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife triumphed over nine other finalists in the awards, which are run by the Sea Fish Organisation.

Owner Alison Smith said: "The title is a great way of reminding our customers, and fans throughout the UK, where to buy the best fish and chips."

It was the second victory in a row for Scotland, following the success of the Townhead Cafe in Biggar last year.

Robert and Alison Smith have run the Anstruther Fish Bar and Restaurant in Fife since 2003.

Since then they have won the Scottish Fish and Chip Shop of the Year four times and were UK runners-up in 2006.

Their most popular dish is haddock and chips, although they do serve up a variety of fish including trout, halibut and lemon sole.

This is the Oscars of our industry
Robert Smith

Alison said: "Being named best in Scotland for the fourth time was fantastic for us, but claiming the national title has always been our ambition, it's the ultimate goal in our industry.

"The title is just reward for our hard-working staff."

Husband Robert added: "This is the Oscars of our industry."

They received the award from chef Simon Rimmer, star of BBC2's Something for the Weekend, at a London hotel.

They also lifted the award for Contribution to the Local Community.

Simon said: "The high standards of our fish and chip shops rival the top restaurants in the country.

"The best shop owners work hard to deliver outstanding quality by using the finest ingredients and a responsible attitude to the sourcing of fish."

Robert Smith was born and bred in Anstruther and both he and his wife are hands on at the fish bar and restaurant.

They entered the competition through the Sea Fish Organisation.

The various stages of the competition included a mystery inspection, a mystery shopper, tasting tests and shop inspections during which everything is examined including the fish and chips, bookwork, hygiene and customer service.

On Wednesday afternoon the Smiths gave a presentation on their shop to a panel of 11 judges.

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