Redbridge fish and chip shop crowned best in London and Essex

Mustafa Redif, owner of Serene fish and chip shop with his son Mert. Serene is now at the number one

Mustafa Redif, owner of Serene fish and chip shop with his son Mert. Serene is now at the number one spot in the London and South East division shortlist for an award that could see it being crowd the best chippie in the country. - Credit: Archant

A fish and chip shop in Gants Hill has battered the competition hooking first plaice as the best chippy in greater London and Essex.

Serene Fish and Chip shop in Woodford Avenue is the best independent fish and chip shop in the region as part of the 2014 National Fish and Chip Awards.

Mustafa Redif, 51, opened the family run business 22 years ago after the café he lived behind was up for sale.

“When you do your job – which is 70 per cent of your life – and you enjoy it and have fun and are passionate, then the results will come,” Mr Redif said. “When they told me my mouth dropped open and I was just silent.”

After working in the shop for so long, he says seeing customers grow up and then bringing in their own children, is one of his favourite aspects of owning the business.

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“That’s a pleasure you cannot buy. Sometimes when they move out of the area, they will come in especially to see us. We had one take our fish back to Canada with him.”

One of the factors in the shop scooping the prestigious award, Mr Redif believes, is the attention to detail and ensuring everything is of the highest quality.

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All the Maris Piper potatoes, which the staff wash, peel and cut into chips themselves, are tested before and after cooking to see how much oil they absorb.

“We just about comply with each regulation that there is. Before sustainability and ethical sourcing were popular, we were practicing those aims.”

His 21-year-old son Mert is also is now working full time in the shop. He said: “The shop’s been here since before I was born and since I was seven years old standing on crates of Coke serving customers, I’ve loved it. My dad puts all his effort into his shop.”

Serene will now go on to the next round in the hop of winning the south east England division.

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