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Get Battered: Fish supper expert searches for Scotland’s best chippy

By Dazza // BBC The Social contributor // 24 November 2020

I am a fish supper expert. Growing up, I survived on two things and two things alone. Oxygen and fish suppers.

I was put on this planet to rate the crisp of the batter, the flake of the fish and crunch of the chippy chip.

I’ve toured Scotland in search of the best fish supper so you don’t have to.

Let’s get battered!

The Coronation, Glasgow

Glasgow | Get Battered

Dazza analyses a Glasgow chippy's fish supper and...gherkin.

Deep in the heart of Glasgow’s Gallowgate lies The Coronation, a fish and chip shop that’s been the talk o’ the steamie for donkeys.

The fish: Oh yes, lads. The batter on this fish isn’t too crispy or soggy. It’s just perfect. Breaks up in the mouth quite evenly. Then ye get to the corners and the crunch hits you like a tonne of bricks.

Nobody wants a fish that’s been sitting in the fridge for about ten month. However, The Coronation’s fish looks like it came out of the ocean this morning. 7/10

The chips: The sun glistens through this golden-brown chip. That’s what everyone should look for in a chip. They taste nice but they’re far too greasy if the oiliness was turned down a notch, they’d be in the high sixes. 4/10

The extra: There were no pickled eggs on offer so gherkin it is. It looks boggin’. And the taste? Indescribably rank. Worthy of a minus ten but that’s not a score. 0/10

Overall: 7/10

Nories, Oban

Oban | Get Battered

Dazza is in Oban and he's got himself a fish supper and a pickled egg.

This isn’t just any fish and chip shop, this is Oban’s fish and chip shop. Let’s get tasting this coastal colossus’ chippy-goodness.

The fish: This is like food porn. This is the way a fish should be. This is the colour a fish should be. Golden brown batter, lightly salted on top.

The batter has the right amount of wrinkles in it. Perfection.

Also, the fish isn’t falling out, it's sticking to the batter which is a great sign.

It’s actually gobsmacking how good this fish is. It’s definitely been caught this morning.

Awk, the smell too! It just smells like a proper chippy. You know when you walk in and you can just smell it and you're like, “I’m home”. 8/10

The chips: It’s like eating mini clouds. They're so fluffy. Oh, and that crunch. What a combination. 9/10

The extra: After feeding The Coronation’s pickled gherkin to the Glasgow pigeons, behold the Nories’ pickled egg. To be honest, it’s too vinegary. Burn the throat vinegary. 4/10

Overall: 8/10

The Fish Works, Largs

Largs | Get Battered

Dazza has his mind blown in Largs by spray bottles of vinegar and weird chips

Did Vikings like chippies? No idea! Let’s find out.

The fish: The batter on this fish is firm and I am pretty sure it’s to do with the oil. The oil's completely different to any fish I've ever tasted. Not in a bad way. Just different.

The fish tastes as fresh as the water it was plucked from. 7/10

The chips: Now, I’ve tasted some greasy chips in my time but honestly there's not a single ounce of grease on these bad boys.

Each chip has a nice and evenly-spread yellow glow. They're not up to my proper golden brown standard but I was told the shop is using a new oil.

When it comes to taste, I cannot put my finger on it. This is a first. I’m speechless. They're like crisps. It's weird. They aren’t as fluffy as I’m used to but is this the way a chip should be? Are they right and I’m wrong?

The crunch on them is perfect but the taste? I'm split. I don't know if I like it or not. 6/10

The extra: I’ve mistakenly gone for the pickled mussels. As I pop the jar, I’m hit with a smell I’ve never experienced in my puff. It’s brutal.

They are so chewy, too. It just won’t go down the hatch. Mingin. 2/10

Overall: 7/10

The Ashvale, Aberdeen

Dazza Goes From Boy To Man In Aberdeen | Get Battered

Dazza goes from boy to man, all thanks to some chips.

Does this Granite City chippy have what it takes to swim with the big boys?

The fish: It’s up to the golden brown standard but it’s a bit squishy. There’s not much crispiness to it. There’s no crispiness to the normally crispy as hell corners.

But wait a minute. Wait one minute. That’s interesting! There’s a hidden crunch to this fish. As soon as it enters your mouth, it’s a crunch sensation. The hidden crisp might be good but there’s something we need to address here. This batter reminds me of the chicken baws you get from the Chinese. Really thick batter but really wet on the inside.

The wetness of the batter actually absorbs all the fish flavour, making it taste like fish.

This is such an eye-opening experience that what was going to be a low-rating surely can’t be. It’s a surprising supper, to say the least.

I’ve tried something new the day and I liked it. 8/10

The chips: I’m just going to come right out and say it, this is not up to my golden brown standard. But when I bit into these chips, I realised there more to these than meets the eye.

The taste has you rocking like a boat in the middle of the North Sea. This is a fisherman’s chip. 9/10

The extra: N/A

Overall: The fish’s texture sensation and chips turning me from boy to man in the space of thirty seconds means The Ashvale delivers. 9/10

Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther

Anstruther | Get Battered

They're supposedly the best fish and chips in Scotland - Dazza finds out!

This place comes highly recommended and you can tell. It’s absolutely hoaching. The portions are decent too. You need sellotape to keep the box closed.

The fish: I’m puzzled by the batter to fish ratio here. You can see this fish through the batter. It’s also a wee bit greasy for my liking.
It breaks in the hands too easily. It’s supposed to break up in my mouth.

I went for a pickled onion. Problem is, an onion is already mingin so what’s pickling going to do to it?

By the way, I’ve only gone and judged this book by its cover. Once bitten into, this has a perfect batter to fish ratio. I dunno how they have done it. 8/10

The chips: When I saw the chips coming out the fryer and then shovelled into the box, I wanted them shovelled into me. They look incredible and they taste… banging. 7/10

The extra: I went for a pickled onion. Problem is, an onion is already mingin so what’s pickling going to do to it? Ahhh naw, the juice is rancid. It’s boggin. 1/10

Overall: 9/10

Allanwater Cafe, Bridge of Allan

Bridge of Allan | Get Battered

Dazza reviews a chippy in Bridge of Allan and this time it's gluten-free!

This toaty Stirlingshire town gave us Judy Murray but does it deliver a dynamite fish supper?

The fish: The biggest talking point is the gluten free batter. It smells like normal batter. It looks like normal batter. Difference is, it’s extremely crispy. The fish meets your common level of greasiness. When you squeeze it there’s no oil bubbles. I like that.

Do the chips slip out of the hand in a feeble grip? They don’t. Perfect greasiness.

I don’t normally do this but I’m going to take the fish out of the batter… get a real feel for this gluten-free crunch. It’s got a nutty flavour to it.

The fish itself is so fresh I can still taste its memories. The batter’s crispy, the fish is chunky… glorious. 8/10

The chips: It’s just your average chippy chip. Y'know when you just ask for a bag of chips. You get these. That’s not a bad thing though. This is what you expect from a chippy. Chippy chips. Pure and simple.

Do the chips slip out of the hand in a feeble grip? They don’t. Perfect greasiness.

It’s not up to my golden-brown standard which I’m a wee bit disappointed by. But the taste makes up for it. 7/10

The extra: N/A

Overall: 8/10

Frankie’s, Shetland

Frankie's Fish And Chips In Shetland | Get Battered

We've reached peak fish and chips in Shetland!

All I’m saying is, this better be good. I got on a ferry for this fish supper.

The fish: The colour on this fish is pure golden, even the underside. It’s stunning.

I’ve no words. I mean, I should ‘cause it’s a review, but I am honestly lost for words.

The batter holds the grease so well not not in a way that gives you sticky fingers. It's as if this fish looked outside and saw it was raining and put a batter jacket on. It fits the fish perfectly. And the fish fits it.

The crispiness has layers. Layers upon layers of crispiness. Like an onion but from the sea… and it’s a fish.

Usually with the fish, there is only one winner. It's either the batter or the fish. But today, it's both. This fish has actually cheered me up. It hits every point. 10/10.

The chips: This is the standard. Every single chip is the same. Each as perfect as the last.

I’ve no words. I mean, I should ‘cause it’s a review, but I am honestly lost for words.

It's what a chip aspires to be in its chippy life. The fluffiness is unreal. It reminds me of when your granny makes you a massive pot of mash and you could pick it up and sleep on it.

I can’t believe that I had to come to the most northerly chippy in the whole of the UK to get decent chips. 10/10

The extra: N/A

Overall: I’ve travelled half way across Scotland, tried countless chippies but finally, after a twelve-hour boat journey, I’ve found it. The perfect chippy. 10/10