THERE’S no plaice better than Castle Chippy!
The fish and chip stall is a true Sheffield institution. Hidden deep in the heart of Castle Market for more than 40 years, it serves hundreds of people in the city every day.
And now it has been nominated in The Star’s ‘Best Chippy’ campaign.
“What a lovely surprise,” said Bruce Payne, a third-generation ‘fish and chip man’, who has owned the stall for 12 years.
“It’s really great to hear the people of Sheffield think we’re doing something right.”
The Star launched its search for the best fish and chip shop in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley this week, to celebrate National Chip Week, and has already received scores of nominations.
“Castle Chippy’s chips are so tasty, you could eat them without salt and vinegar,” said 68-year-old George Harris in his nomination.
“The cod fish is lovely and white surrounded by delicious batter that isn’t at all brittle.”
Fellow nominator Annie Coldwell, 91, who posted her nomination form in to The Star, agreed.
“I think they’re great fish and chips - and the cheapest around,” she said.
Bruce admitted he was thrilled by the feedback.
“Our customers are fantastic, loyal and warm, and we get a lot of the same faces in, day in and day out, which is great,” he said.
“Some of them have been coming to us for years and it gets to the point where you know what everybody wants without having to ask - you can’t beat that local connection.”
Bruce comes from a proud Sheffield fish and chip family, starting with his grandparents and including father-in-law Tony Pearce, who owned his own shop on Duke Street in the 1980s and was known as the Codfather of Sheffield.
“We’re a big family of fish and chip people, that’s what we do,” said Bruce.
“I have brothers and sisters who own shops all over the city and, to be honest, none of us eats much else.”
And Bruce says Castle Chippy has never experienced any problems due to the downturn of the economy - it’s people’s New Year dieting that gives him trouble!
“We keep our prices low so we’ve never really felt the recession, but there’s always a noticeable dip in January when people start their health kicks,” said Bruce.
“But it never lasts long though,” he laughed. “Two or three weeks and they’re back.”
So just what is Castle Chippy’s secret?
“We get a lot of compliments on our fish cakes, but I would say the secret is the batter, which we make ourselves on site,” said Bruce.
“It’s a third generation recipe and it’s really stood the test of time.”
n Which is your favourite chippy and why? Tell us by emailing email@example.com with Best Chippy in the subject field.