Sat beneath a bright red facade that brags some interestingly eclectic culinary influences, including English, Greek and Chinese, John’s Supper Bar in Clubmoor, Liverpool is as good as place as any to begin this instalment of Dunc’s blog. To be clear from the outset, it has nothing to do with steel doors. Ears pricked by a canteen whisper that our favourite engineer was something of a fish and chip aficianado, I made a mental note to clumsily drop it into conversation the next time he showed. Sure enough, his cherubic appeared midweek between a West Country jamb and a Cumbrian closer.
In the event, it took very little prompting to elicit Duncs opinion on all things deep fried, it soon became apparent that he is indeed an expert on the nation’s traditional favourite. I had hoped that our chat would reveal his chip-eating rite. We all have a ritual. The preferred shade, shape and crispness of chip, the favourite fish, what makes the best batter and the exact science of mushy pea viscosity. Plate, paper or plastic tray? Curry, gravy or spoil it with cheese. Overly sweetened strong tea, Lilt or Champagne? For better or worse, for richer or for poorer, we are married to our chip choices ’til death do us part. Sadly, on this occasion, we never got to the how, we only had enough time to discuss the where.
Which takes us back to a red chip shop in Liverpool, because the expert opinion is that John’s is the best chippy in the country.
Before we give out the gongs, you could rightly point out that the result is purely subjective. The selection not made by any empirical scientific process or, that our one man judging panel, couldn’t possibly have been to every chippy in the United Kingdom. While we would whole-heatedly agree with your first objection, only you know what you like, we are quite confident that if not all, Dunc has visited most. Bradford to Troon, Great Yarmouth to Great Eccleston. No battered sausage left unturned. Expertise built on a lifetime lunchtime love affair.
The stated reason for his choice, was simply that the owners are “nice, ordinary, honest friendly people, the lovely chicken curry, generous portions and fair prices.” Maybe the next time you are passing, you can see for yourself.
For better or worse, for richer or for poorer, we are married to our chip choices 'til death do us part.