Scotts Fish and Chips in York has long been attracting Chinese tourists in their coach loads to sample a taste of the UK’s national dish, but now the shop has a new site in Chengdu, China.
Owner Tony Webster knows his market well and has added to the shop’s international accessibility with a menu translated into Mandarin and a strong presence on Chinese social media – but never in his wildest dreams did he expect the call for his humble enterprise to be taken overseas. Last weekend Tony attended the official launch in Chengdu where Chinese businessman Jimmy Yu had proposed the opening of a new site. Whilst the shop produces the famous dish exactly to Tony’s original family recipe, the British business owner still feared a degree of authenticity would be lost in translation. However, after sampling the dish in China his fears subsided and Tony told Metro he was very satisfied with the result. ‘I was worried before I arrived but they are very, very good’ he said.
The Dining Room at Scotts Fish and Chip Shop York
‘You have to tweak the menu and the flavours to the local taste – so they have Sichuan sauce, for example, as well as ketchup – but the core product has to be the authentic fish and chips and they’ve done a bloody good job on that.’
Less than a year after the unlikely duo began discussing their plans, the new branch has now opened to much excitement from locals. There are a few tweaks that Tony has proposed including the introduction of a smaller portion size and the swapping of vegetable oil for beef fat, but overall with the help of investors Tony and Jimmy are hoping that the success of their first Chinese shop will propel them to open more branches together in the future. Who knows, Scotts might become the household name for authentic British cuisine in China.
For battered fish hotspots a little closer to home, check out our list of the best fish and chips in London.