A GOUROCK chippy is frying the flag for Inverclyde after making it to the finals of a prestigious national good food competition.

Mario’s has been named in the top 15 chip shops in Scotland after being shortlisted for the ‘best fish and chips’ prize at the Scottish Italian Awards 2017.

Customers nominated the Shore Street takeaway for the award and then voted in their droves to ensure it won a place in the final.

Judges will now visit all those shortlisted to taste the fish and chips for themselves before choosing a winner.

Mario’s boss Claudio Bastinelli says customers are never disappointed and hopes his fish and chips takes pride of plaice at the awards.

He said: “It’s all about the batter.

“We use a special blend of three different types of flour.

“Only the best vegetable oil is used and all the best products.

“It’s not easy but we also try to make everything as fresh as possible.

“We haven’t won anything yet but it’s good to reach the final because the shop has been nominated by customers, which means they like what we are doing.”

Claudio ensures every fish supper is fresh and tasting its best by making it to order and serving it with a lemon wedge.
Mushy peas are available on request.

Staff also take care when it comes to presentation.

Claudio said: “The fish is made fresh to order and we serve it very nicely in a cardboard box with a wedge of lemon.

“I think we are one of only a few in Scotland who serve it that way.

“We offer very good products and customers say we sell the best fish and chips in the area — and it says that on reviews on Just Eat.

“We’re the only shop representing Inverclyde and it’s thanks to our customers.

“Of about 100 shops, 15 reach the final and that’s those who have received the most votes.”

Claudio lives in Gourock and has been running the business for the last six years after moving to Scotland from Monte Cassino, near Rome, in Italy.

He said: “I’ve been here seven years but it feels like yesterday.

“I’m lucky because it’s a beautiful place and has very, very nice people.

“I feel at home here.”

Greenock restaurant Tonino’s, at Grey Place, has also made the finals in the ‘best pizzeria’ and ‘best pizza’ categories, while The Wee Plaice in Largs is also in contention for the ‘best fish and chips’ gong.

Winners will be announced at a glitzy ceremony in Glasgow on November 12.