Circus  Chipshop 033 (Small)I went to New Addington, near Croydon and Biggin Hill, to meet Yasmine Smart. (See Circus Article, coming soon.)

As I was early, I wandered around to find somewhere to eat. I’d never been there before, and didn’t know the area at all.

Up a side street off the main road, I discovered a small parade of shops; a baker’s, a supermarket, and a fish & chip shop.

Now, as you regulars will be aware, Dear Readers, I have severe food additive allergies, and I still find it embarrassing to have to ask before I can eat, to check if they actually make their own proper, untouched food!

It’s really difficult to find a genuine fish & chip shop any more. I actually passed out after eating fish & chips once! The chips were ready-chipped, and treated with a chemical to stop them turning black. And the batter came out of a catering-sized tin.

But, oh joy! McDermott’s is a real, genuine Fish & Chip Shop!

And the sign, ‘Winner of the Best Fish & Chip Shop Award in the UK!’ stuck over the window was encouraging!

Although someone else makes the chips for them as they’re so busy, they’re real chips. They make their own batter, and also their mushy peas.

The cod was highly recommended by Donna, who has worked there for 1 1/2 years, and loves every minute of it!

I sat down and was brought an Amuse Bouche, a small toastie with a prawn in a cocktail sauce.

Then came a basket of French bread, which was a first for me in a chip shop.

Apologies, Dear Readers, but I was very hungry, and the smell wafting from the plate dulled my professional senses, so I covered it with tomato sauce before I took the photos!

When we lived in the Midlands, every chip shop sold mushy peas. But it’s still hard to find them here Down South. I loved them!

The chips were big. I believe that chips should be big, crunchy on the outside and soft inside. And oh, the batter! OK, we all know that I’m a Restaurant Reviewer, but, hand on my heart, it was one of the best batters that I’ve ever tasted. It was crunchy, and just the right thickness.

Don’t believe me? Well, go and try it for yourself then!

Sean McDermott came to talk to me as he’d finished the lunchtime cooking.

His father, Tony, was the eldest of 12 children.

He left Ireland and, with his wife Anne, went to Saudi Arabia where they worked as nurses.

Having saved enough money to start a business back in England, they opened a newsagent’s.

But Tony decided that, having tried quite a lot of chip shops, he could run one much better.

30 years ago next year, he opened McDermott’s Fish & Chips, and it’s still growing!

Sean has been working for his father for nearly 12 years, and he took over from his Dad six years ago, although Tony is still very much involved, and comes back to give a hand when he’s needed.

Obviously, Sean and his parents never go on holiday together!

McDermott’s is No 1 out of 250 Southern restaurants in Trip Advisor.

Their success is due to their quality and their reputation. There are no offices or industrial businesses nearby, and no passing footfall.

Sean told me that they have a very successful Loyalty Card Scheme. When a customer gets five stamps, the 6th meal is free.

They give away between 250-300 free meals a week!

Friday night is by far their busiest time. They expect around 1200 customers, both eating in the restaurant, and takeaways. They’ll be queuing out the door.

Five guys were working out the back, preparing fish for the evening. There will be 22 staff there on Friday night, and seven nationalities!.

McDermott’s doesn’t have a hotbox. Everything’s freshly cooked. And they use fresh oil every day.

I let Sean go home for a rest. He starts at 7am every morning, and he had to be back for the evening cooking. They still have traditional opening hours, although they’re planning to open on Sundays and Mondays as well, as there’s plenty of customers out there who would use it.

I asked Sean the secret of their success and he told me; ‘We do one thing and don’t overcomplicate it. We’re proud of what we do.’

Sean’s wife is expecting their second child in a few days’ time. They already have a girl, and this one is a boy. So the next generation of McDermotts is assured!

 

McDermott’s Fish & Chips

Forestdale Shopping Centre

Featherbed Lane

Croydon

Surrey

CR0 9AS

Tel 0208 6511440

WWW.MCDERMOTTSFISHANDCHIPS.CO.UK

Opening hours Tuesday-Friday 12-2pm. 5-9.30pm.

Saturdays 12-2pm 5-9pm.

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.