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The Chippy in Lowfield Street, Dartford, listed among UK's 50 best fish and chip shop takeaways – but is it best in Kent?


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As far as Friday night takeaways go there is only one winner in my books – the classic fish and chips.

Maybe it's the celebratory mood that comes with the end of the working week or the Irish blood coursing through my veins but you can't beat a good hearty fish supper.

The Chippy in Lowfield Street, Dartford. Photo: Sean Delaney
The Chippy in Lowfield Street, Dartford. Photo: Sean Delaney

But what was once a pilgrimage to join a long, snaking queue outside the chippy is now a very different prospect.

Fish and chip shops have had to up their game over the past two years in order to cope with the rising demand of click and collect delivery services.

Call me a traditionalist but I welcome the opportunity to stretch the legs and indulge in a bit of idle chit chat beyond nodding at my Deliveroo driver from two metres.

Truth be told I've been looking for a new fish fix and as luck would have it the aptly named The Chippy in Lowfield Street, Dartford, has recently racked up the accolade of being named one of the 50 best fish and chip shop takeaways in the UK.

It follows two rounds of mystery dining by fast food trade publication Fry Magazine and is a feat only matched by one other in Kent – Catch Fish and Chips in Ashford.

The Chippy in Lowfield Street, Dartford has been named one of the UK's 50 best fish and chip shop takeaways. Photo: Sean Delaney
The Chippy in Lowfield Street, Dartford has been named one of the UK's 50 best fish and chip shop takeaways. Photo: Sean Delaney

An anonymous judge sampled the food and assessed key aspects, from cleanliness and staff knowledge and professionalism to its social media presence.

With the bar set high, The Chippy scored an impressive 95% with the mystery diner commenting positively on the friendliness of staff and of course the quality of the grub.

But is this the best chippy in Kent? Or is there another you can think of that batters the opposition?

Ahead of the busiest day of the year for fish and chip traders – Good Friday – I went down to put the fryers to the test.

First impressions were good. Recently refurbished and under new ownership, both the interior and exterior of The Chippy looks sharp.

The surfaces are clean and the walls are painted a cool shade of blue which makes you momentarily feel like you're by the seaside – and not, in fact, tucked just inside the M25 orbital network.

There is an extensive menu with some notable extras including calamari and white bait. Photo: Sean Delaney
There is an extensive menu with some notable extras including calamari and white bait. Photo: Sean Delaney

Now for the nosh. The menu lists everything you'd expect from your average chippy with some notable add-ons.

Next to your traditional cod, haddock and rock are listings of calamari and whitebait – both favourites of mine but not ones I typically expect to see at a chippy.

There's even sweet potato fries and butterfly prawns with sweet chilli sauce.

Either Dartford's been gentrified and I missed it, or the fast-paced world of fish and chips has left me in the dark ages.

I want to delve head first into this new culinary frontier but I don't feel I could do justice to a fish and chips review without indulging in its take on the classic cod and chips (a portion costs a modest £6.50).

But for some added spice – or in this case carbs – I opt for a side portion of sweet potato fries, at £3, to satisfy both my hunger and curiosity.

Cod and chips costs £6.50 with a £3 side of sweet potato fries. Photo: Sean Delaney
Cod and chips costs £6.50 with a £3 side of sweet potato fries. Photo: Sean Delaney

When it comes to condiments all the usual suspects are there including, dare I say it to appease my northern friends, gravy. I opt for mushy peas.

But there was only one cardinal sin on this of all holy days, and that was the failure to ask "any salt or vinegar?"

I can look past this oversight, however, as some shops leave this to customers nowaways and the staff were otherwise very friendly and attentive.

After beaming me a smile I shuffled over to collect my fish supper and departed for home as there are no dine-in facilities at The Chippy.

Tucking into the cod I was immediately struck by how soft and delicate the batter was.

The skin was very thin and crispy and wasn't greasy to touch, nor did it leave behind any huge stains across rolls of paper.

Turning to the chips they were nice and fluffy and not soggy and dripping with oil like you might find in other shops.

Our reporter Sean Delaney trying to replicate the seaside experience in his backgarden. Photo: Sean Delaney
Our reporter Sean Delaney trying to replicate the seaside experience in his backgarden. Photo: Sean Delaney

It was hard to find a fault in what is a classic, with each morish bite going down a treat.

My only criticism would be the portion size was a bit stingy but I had opted for the standard size and you couldn't argue with the bit of fish I got which was as fresh as you like.

Thankfully, I had some sweet potato fries to ensure I didn't go hungry.

Skinnier than your average chip but no less tasty – this healthier alternative was equally as soft but with added seasoning and flavouring.

Overall, I wasn't shouting from the rooftops but I was left more than satisfied at what was an enjoyable takeaway.

You know what you're getting with fish and chips and this hit all the right marks.

But don't just take my word for it. A quick Google reveals the shop holds a 4.5 star rating based on 65 customers.

Polished
Polished

"This is the best fish and chip shop in Kent, love there cod and spam fritters," chimed one satisfied customer.

While another remarked: "Really pleased to have found this place. Everything you want from a British fish and chip shop; very tasty wholesome food, friendly service, clean well maintained premises, decent-sized portions and reasonable prices."

Others were quick to praise its gluten-free menu – another example of food businesses going the extra mile for their customers.

And The Chippy hasn't fallen behind on the digital front either with all its battery goodness available on both Uber Eats and Deliveroo, as a leaflet tucked next to the door informed me.

Following their award, owner of The Chippy Costas Christou said: "It was definitely a surprise, we applied for the award not knowing we would eventually be chosen as one of the UK's best fish and chip shops.

"We are all very proud to have been nominated and have the hard work of all the staff acknowledged by receiving this award."

What's your favour fish and chip shop in Kent? Find out who took the crown when we asked readers here.

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Ratings out of five

Food: Good wholesome no thrills fish and chips – the way it should be ****

Drink: I was too distracted by the plethora of food options I forgot to grab one from the fridge. But it looked like the usual fizzy parade ***

Decor: Definitely more sanitary than your average chippy – the clean aesthetic filled me with confidence *****

Staff: Friendly and attentive enough, could not complain ****

Price: It's not the cheapest chippy but you get more quality and selection for the extra buck so I'd say it's more than worth it. ****

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