Perhaps it’s the sea air — but Bangor sure knows how to serve up a good old-fashioned fish and chip.
And one of its most popular chippies, The Frying Squad, could be set to get its very own takeaway should it scoop the Best Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop Award — which it has just been shortlisted for along with two others in Northern Ireland.
And it’s not the first time this multi-award winning chippie has had a taste of industry success — they estimate they have received an impressive 20 similar awards to date.
So what is the secret ingredient behind their success?
“We’re unique in what we do,” says Angela Crothers, business improvement manager at The Frying Squad.
“Our batter mix is our own recipe, our goujons are made from our own spices, and we have a nice brand. There are a number of factors.”
News of the latest potential accolade created something of an appetite for more success in the kitchens of its two Bangor takeways — not least because it was the Community Telegraph that broke the news to them.
“We hadn’t been aware that we had even made it this far, so this is really good news,” continued Angela. What she is aware of, however, is the success the local takeaway has had in Bangor since it opened in Balloo Road in 2005, followed by a second in 2007 on the Belfast Road.
Angela claims The Frying Squad has benefited from the recession as people “can’t afford to go out and spend £60 or £70 on a meal”, so turn to takeaways.
And the fish and chips meal is as popular as it ever was, she added: “I think it’s tradition, people grew up getting fish and chips on a Friday night and that’s still the case. On a Friday night, we will see between 200 and 250 people come through the doors.”
In The Frying Squad, a cod supper will set you back £5.60. Recession-busting deals are also ongoing.
The takeaway, owned by Michael Neill, is described by the awards organisers, Seefish, as a place “serving the healthiest natural products to customers”.
“After a great deal of research into developing the perfect dish, The Frying Squad has developed its own batter mix, exclusive to the shop, ensuring that each and every customer gets the lightest, crispiest, golden batter possible, to compliment its fish,” Seefish added.