A Herne Hill restaurant is aiming for top plaice after being named as one of 10 finalists in the 2019 National Fish and Chips Competition, writes Hannah Kanik…

Olley’s Fish Experience represents London and Southeast England and will be in the running for the top fish and chip shop in the UK. The announcement came on September 10.

The other 10 finalists come from across the UK and have been assessed on a variety of factors such as sustainability, taste and innovation to qualify.

There will be a final round of judging on 24 January in London where The National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be presented.

Harry Niazi celebrating behind the frier

Olley’s Fish Experience, on Norwood Road, opposite Brockwell Park, has been a part of the community since 1987. It offers a wide variety and have a strong sustainability policy to minimise its impact on the environment.

Harry Niazi, owner of Olley’s, said he was “very surprised” after he heard the news.

“All the customers say, ‘wow, I’ve never had fish and chips like these’,” Harry said. “We’re only as good as the last portion we serve.”

The National Fish and Chips Competition has been standing for the past 31 years and is organised by Seafish, a non-departmental public body, to honour the UK’s best fish and chip shop.

Marcus Coleman, CEO at Seafish, said: “It’s not possible to reach this stage of the competition without displaying true quality in every aspect of running a fish and chip business, so Olley’s Fish Experience should be extremely proud of what they’ve achieved so far.”

The finalists are:

Angel Lane Chippie, Penrith, Cumbria

Captain’s Fish and Chips, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire

Dolphin Takeaway, Dungannon, County Tyrone

Harbour Lights, Falmouth, Cornwall

Krispies Fish & Chips, Exmouth, Devon

Low’s Traditional Fish & Chips, Westhill, Aberdeenshire

Mister C’s, Selby, North Yorkshire

Olley’s Fish Experience, Herne Hill, London

Papa’s Fish and Chips, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire

The Crispy Cod, Tonyrefail, Rhondda Cynon Taf