British tourists rave about fish and chips in Pattaya

Quality British fish and chips is an unexpected bonus for tourists in Pattaya. (Photo: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)

The latest contingent of British holidaymakers, who have zoomed in since the abolition of Test and Go health tests, say fish and chips in Pattaya are much cheaper than at home. In the UK, the cost of arctic fish and imported sunflower oil has increased by around 70% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to Codfather, a UK-based food checker, the average cost of takeaway fish and chips in the UK is currently £11 or 460 baht. The National Federation of Fish Fryers predicts that a third of the country’s 10,000 “Chippies” could close this year.

Stanley and Marjorie Price from Doncaster said they were amazed at the cost of good quality fish and chips here in Pattaya. “We were recommended Sharples in Tree Town and the Caddy Shack in South Pattaya and both charged around 250 baht (7lbs) for imported cod, proper fries, mushy or garden peas and a choice of sauces” , said Stanley. He added that these prices were those in the UK before it left the European Union, which also increased costs as UK fishing rights were reduced after the Brexit deal.

According to a good Facebook food guide, there are over 100 restaurants selling fish and chips in the greater Pattaya area. But aficionados say most can be reduced immediately. “As soon as they sell red snapper or catfish with oven chips you can forget about them,” says Peter Weston, who writes a global history of Britain’s iconic dish, invented 160 years ago . He says the threat of mass lockdowns in the UK is very real as fish and chips have traditionally been a cheap meal since World War II. “It’s just not feasible anymore,” he said, adding that inflationary pressures are also building in Thailand.

Peter explains that excellent fish and chips from the Pattaya region end up in unexpected places. “The cook needs to know all about proper and inappropriate potatoes, the correct oil temperature at different stages, and the quality of the fish.” One of his recommendations is Bang Saray Beach Club, an upscale spot a 20-minute drive away, where the huge king-size cod, chips and peas will set you back over 500 baht but “worth every penny.” The queen size is considerably less expensive.

The quaint Bang Saray Beach Club offers an upscale setting for the traditional dish.

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