London chippy set to batter opposition in national award

The father and son team Pic: Catherine Davies

Rico Karoulla, left, and his dad Kyri are aiming for success   Pic: Catherine Davies

Brockley’s Rock, winner of Best Chips in London for two years running, has made the shortlist in the National Fish and Chip Awards.

Over the next few weeks, a 60-strong nationwide shortlist will be battered down to just 20 as expert secret shoppers visit the contenders.

Brockley’s Rock, on Brockley Road, Lewisham, is competing in the London and South East category. If it wins that round the popular chippy will then battle for the prestigious title of Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.

The best chips in London Pic: Brockley's Rock

The best chips in London Pic: Brockley’s Rock

Organised by Seafish, the UK authority on seafood, judging criteria includes responsible sourcing policies, marketing and staff training.

Owner Kyri Karoulla, 47, knows good fish and chips. He’s been in the business for 25 years and previously had a shop in East London before setting up Brockley’s Rock in July 2011. Speaking to Eastlondonlines about the news, he said: “It’s fantastic. We’re ecstatic.”

The shop has become a linchpin of Lewisham serving a range of fish from cod to grilled sea bass to calamari and offering a gluten-free option on Tuesdays. Kyri said: “Our customers keep coming back. We’ve had fantastic support from the locals from day one.”

A linchpin of Lewisham Pic: Catherine Davies

A linchpin of Lewisham Pic: Catherine Davies

His 22 year-old-son Rico is manager of the new Brixton branch, which opened last week. Rico said: “I started as a waiter and progressed to cheffing. I look after Brixton while my dad stays in Lewisham.”

Brockley’s Rock prides itself on serving ethically and responsibly sourced fish. Rico said: “With our MSC certified cod, people can see it’s ethically sourced.”

“People don’t feel guilty about eating it and they enjoy it more,” Kyri added.

Speaking about the secret of their success, Kyri said: “Freshness, that’s what people want more of and that’s how I like it.”

Rico revealed the real secret, though: “It’s the love and care that only a family could put into it.”

The final winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in January.

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by Catherine Davies

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