Norwich – The Chip Shop (Stafford Street)

Not the most innovative of chip shop names, but I’ve heard positive things about this location and their reviews are broadly glowing in praise. Before I start, I’ll get my pet hate out of the way, which is businesses that don’t take cards. Although I have no complaint as they can run their business how they want, it means I won’t go back. The number of locations that don’t take cards is now so small that customers expect it, and in my view, local businesses need to fight back against the sea of monotony that is offered by some chains.

Indeed, Amex is running their usual December offer early, so any customer visiting a chip shop (or any small business which accepts Amex) with that offer will get £5 for free if they spend £10. More and more market traders are accepting cards and any business which doesn’t seems destined to need a large sign visible in their window or on entrance telling customers they don’t accept cards. And, that was the case here, the first marketing message in the shop was “cash only”. Although to be fair, the shop wasn’t quiet, the trade was steady.

The service was polite and efficient, with the social distancing system being a little unclear (over half the customers got it wrong), but the staff were verbally explaining it. The price for battered sausage and small chips was £2.60, which is below average and the portion of chips was substantial. There was a moderate customer service failing in that they wrapped the whole lot up, even though I wanted it unwrapped, and didn’t offer salt and vinegar.

But, the chips were excellent, fluffy on the interior, slightly firm on the exterior and they had a pleasant taste. The sausage content was a little generic, but it tasted fine and the batter seemed freshly made, was golden and had a richness of flavour.

So, I can understand why they have the reputation that they have, there’s a focus on the food and all seemed fine with perfectly good value for money. The locals are fortunate to have this chip shop here, it is clearly well respected in the area.