The Dolphin Takeaway won the prize at a top awards ceremony for the third time running.
The Dolphin Takeaway in Dungannon has been crowned the Best Fish and Chips restaurant in Northern Ireland for the third year running.
The award-winning eaterie was also placed amongst the top three in the UK in three other award categories, including the Healthy Eating Award.
Owner Malachy Mallon revealed: “At the Dolphin, our core ethos is to give the customer exactly what they want; great quality food, friendly service, and quality, responsibly sourced ingredients.
“We always go the extra mile in everything we do: we stand out from the shoal because of that.
“To be crowned Northern Ireland’s Best Fish and Chip shop for three consecutive years is something we are very proud of indeed.
“The National Fish and Chip awards are the Oscars of the industry, highly coveted and always hotly contested! It feels amazing to have national recognition for our passion and to be rewarded for providing the very best for our customers,” Mal explains.
“The Dolphin is family-run and family orientated, we have a great team who all feel like extended family. Generations of local customers love our food, we have such a loyal fan-base and since winning the awards we have seen so many customers travel to us regularly because of our reputation. As a true independent business, it’s a blessing to have customers who are so very supportive of what we do in the shop and in the community.
“Dungannon isn’t my home town, but the people of this great town make me feel very much at home.”
Speaking of their focus on ethical fishing, Mal explains, “Responsibly and sustainably sourced ingredients, and in particular, fish, is very important to us. Where possible we look at provenance before profit and look at the bigger picture.
“It’s very important to keep our oceans healthy and teaming with fish for generations to come.
“It’s vital we keep our local economy, business and employment thriving by supporting local suppliers. We display a map of all our local suppliers in our shop and worked very hard with our local fish supplier in Ardglass to achieve the Blue MSC ecolabel together, so we could offer our customers quality and better choices.
“We work closely with education and the chefs of the future to encourage them, and indeed, the wider public to shop locally and seek out responsibly-sourced goods. We can all help make the world a better place with small, simple responsible steps so why not start by choosing MSC certified fish and supporting your local independent businesses.”
Guilt Free Options
“We tirelessly research ways to make our Fish & Chips healthier and develop innovative methods of doing so.
“We stand out because we aim for healthier fish and chips without losing that amazing traditional taste that customers love.
“Fish & Chips is in fact one of the best takeaway choices for your family. Cooked fresh to order, it’s a highly nutritious dish, very simple natural ingredients with no artificial colours or preservatives. Our Battered Cod, Chips & Peas meal is actually less than 10% fat. We now offer a range of Lighter Bites, all under 350 calories and serve a gluten-free menu (the first takeaway chippy in NI to do so over 20 years ago).
“Tasty healthier options are proving to very popular, particularly this time of the year when we are all watching our waist-bands! We also have steamed cod on the menu and offer Lo-Salt at the counter.”
Chefs of the Future
“Post awards, I was back in South West College with the catering students,” Mal reveals.
“This is something I do on a voluntary ongoing basis, it’s a great experience being in the Northern Ireland colleges.
“These young students are the chefs of the future, and at this time in their career it’s a great opportunity to encourage them to source locally and responsibly and become master fryers!
“We get the students involved in so many initiatives, everything from fleet-to-fork learning trips, recipe competitions to frying masterclasses and cooking for charity events. It is so rewarding. The Dolphin also engages with local primary schools to educate the younger generations about the benefits of eating fish and looking after our oceans for the future.
“To be a part of the glittering London awards ceremony is so exciting, it’s a fantastic feeing to be amongst the best in the UK.
“To celebrate our achievements and as the official NI ambassador for Fish and Chips, we aim to make a unique and meaningful contribution to our great industry.
“We celebrated our success in 2017 with the #MalOnAMission charity event, cycling 1500 miles around the Top 10 Fish and Chip shops in the UK and in doing so raised over £9000 for the Fishermen’s Mission.
“This year there’s an even more ambitious challenge on the horizon! In September 2018 we will climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity and are aiming to be the highest fish and chip shop in the world. The Dolphin definitely goes the extra mile!
“The Dolphin will never become a chain – we are one of a kind! But we will continue to invest in our award-winning Dungannon shop, our staff, product and menu development and in our amazing local community.”