Wherever there are enclaves of British expats around the world there is an enterprising business that starts up a Fish and Chips shop to satisfy the local craving for this very British favourite.
In France, for example, there is a mobile fish and chip van that tours rural villages to make sure that locals can get their regular fix. In Australia the Fish and Chip shop is, ironically, often run by Chinese owners.
But it is hard to beat the experience of Fish and Chip owner Matthew Hall in Palma, Mallorca, who can now add the newly elected Balearic president José Ramón Bauzá as one of his contacts.
Leaving his La Llonja based Presidential Office for the evening, President Bauzá recognized Fish & Chips owner Matthew Hall from a previous engagement and was happy to stop for a quick chat.
‘We’re directly opposite the Government offices so are well used to serving up fish and chips to various officials and staff but this is the first time we’ve had an audience with the President,’ said Hall.
‘He was kind enough to ask how business was going, delighted to hear that we’re a success story in a tough economic climate and wished us every success and luck. He added that if he could help in any way, he was just over the road. The president pledged that when he had more time he’d pop back and sample some of our food. He won’t be disappointed,’ he explained.
Despite only opening in July of this year, President Bauzá isn’t the only high profile client to have graced Fish & Chips Palma. Retired Premiership footballer Steve McManaman, former Aston Villa Chairman Doug Ellis and Blue Peter legend John Noakes are all partial to a bit of Matthew’s traditional British fayre.
But Matthew estimates that barely 20% of his customers are British.
‘Around 30% of our customers are Spanish or Mallorquín. Some have never tasted it before, so ask us how to eat it or have distant fond memories of mushy peas from their UK travels. We also welcome many Scandinavians, Dutch and Germans who are particularly are crazy about fish and chips,’ he said.
‘Amongst our regulars are National Police who drop in on their motorbikes in uniform and the tourist horse and cart operators who eat their fish and chips whilst the horses drink from the nearby fountain. Business has been brisk from day one with none of the peaks and troughs expected from a new venture but Rugby World Cup Final day was easily our busiest day of the year. La Llonja attracts a vast year round antipodean community and the atmosphere was buzzing,’ he explained.
Fish & Chips Palma is the first of its kind in Palma and serves only the finest sustainably produced fish with cod and haddock coming from Galicia and hake from Namibia. Beef dripping for frying is imported from the UK, expensive but worth it, and the potatoes are home grown in Sa Pobla, Mallorca.
All food is fresh, nothing frozen, with pies and sausage rolls made off site. The business has expansion plans for several new locations in southwest Mallorca.