“ Address: 4 St James Street / Burnley / Lancashire BB11 NG / England „
on hearing about how good frydays was, i called in one tuesday afternoon, and yes as stated in another review, the fish was cooked there and then, but was very disappointed on eating when the fish tasted like it was cooked in old oil, quite soggy, which then spoilt the rest of the meal, i wouldnt want to go back in a hurry
Fish and Chips is a national institution, and has only recently been challenged as Britain's favourite take away by the curry. In fact, according to icons.org.uk, even during wartime, although supplies were scarce, fish and chips was never subject to rationing. Fortunately, you won't have to search hard in many of Britain's towns and cities to find a fish and chip shop. The challenge though, is finding an excellent one and I firmly believe every town should have at least one chippy that verges on perfection.
In the last few years, I've moved about a bit within the UK. Every time I set up home in a new town, I make it my mission to find the best fish and chips that town has to offer. Moving day is a great time to start this task as eating fish and chips out of the wrapper whilst sat on a box of books is a moving tradition for me.
During my first few months living in Burnley I managed to find a few good chippies, but the best chippy in Burnley eluded me. I tried Bellfields, which boasts numerous awards and trophies, only to find the skinny portions of fish dry and overcooked. The Park View chippy was tasty enough but lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. Then a new fish and chip shop opened in town and this new kid on the block had a lesson or two to teach those old timers.
Frydays is located in the centre of Burnley on St James Street. Inside, there are a few tables for those wanting to eat in and it is quite light and breezy. The owner, Nick, is always friendly and polite and happy to provide some cheerful banter whilst you wait for your food. That's right, you'll have to wait to get your food because unlike some other chippies I can think of, Frydays doesn't fry the fish in advance and leave it sweating on a warming shelf. Instead, when you place your order the fish is taken out of the fridge along with the batter, and you can watch as it is freshly battered and fried in front of you.
As with any chippy, you can also get pies, sausages and saveloys plus they have a selection for soft drinks and also tea and coffee for those dining in. There are occasionally deals on for eating in and student offers which are prominently displayed in the window.
So you've waited patiently and paid for your food. It's perhaps slightly dearer than you would expect for fish and chips but it's well worth it. Fortunately for me, I don't live too far away so I hurry home with my fish and chips. I like to chuck mine on a plate with a massive dollop of ketchup (Heinz of course) and a couple of slices of freshly buttered white bread. Firstly, I'll have a few of the chips whilst I gaze in awe at the perfectly battered fish. The chips are chip shop chips as they should be - not too soggy, not too crispy and a perfect flavour. Then comes the fish with it's golden perfectly cooked batter. Break through the batter with a slight crispy crunch and inside is the whitest of fish which flakes beautifully as you break it with your fork. The fish to batter ratio has obviously been carefully calculated and the combination of the fish and chips is irresistible. In fact, just the though of it is making my mouth water now!
I'm not entirely sure what the secret of Frydays is. Nick tells me it's simply down to the fact that he gets the freshest and best fish available in the North. I think there's more to it than that but sometimes it's best not to know how a magician does his tricks.
Now there is a downside to Frydays. Unfortunately, due to its town centre location, it isn't open in the evenings or on Sundays. Last year, it did open on Sundays during the run up to Christmas but this didn't continue into the new year. This means that if you're working during the day, you'll struggle to grab your supper from Frydays. So I'll have to resign myself to the fact that I won't get to treat myself to a fish and chip supper until tomorrow now. But at least I know, it's well worth the wait.