Gok's family chippy

Fashion guru, Gok Wan, gave us his five favourite places to eat in Britain. Some you might have heard of - Hakkasan being the most famous. One you most certainly won't have heard of (unless you live south of Leicester) is The Whetstone Fish Bar

It's run by Gok's parents John and Myra. "My mum makes the best chips in the whole of the UK," said Gok, in his review, so 4Food went along to find out more.

John and Myra have run the Whetstone Fish Bar for nine years, but it's been a chip shop for longer than that. "The old guy who used to deliver the coal for the old coal fired ranges still comes in," Myra tells us. "It's been a chip shop for something like 60 years," adds John. Next door is now a Chinese takeaway run by Gok's uncle.

Fish and chips

Gok's parents used to run restaurants when the children were younger and Myra tells us how she's rather glad none of the children entered the trade. John reckons they'd still be handy in the business if needed. We talk a little about catering, the long hours, the hard work - running a restaurant takes it out of you that's for sure. We ask them if they're proud of their son: "Very proud, what you see is what you get with Gok," says Myra, beaming with pride.

But back to the produce - "The fish comes daily from Grimsby," says Myra. The chips are fried in vegetable fat. There are the classic Pukka pies, fish cakes, mushy peas and beans. And on the subject of gravy Myra says this: "We didn't really used to do gravy, but then we'd get a lot of drivers from the North stop off and ask for it."

Slowly the shop begins to fill up with customers. John points out a regular: "This gentleman drives from Cosby," which is about 2 miles away. "Are there no chip shops in Cosby?" we ask him. "I live about 200 yards from one but it's not as good as here," he replies.

And so after enjoying our fish and chips washed down with a can of Tango, we head off and leave John and Myra to do what they do best, which is serve the locals a good chippy tea, which let's face it, will never go out of fashion.


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