THE GOURMET’S GUIDE TO FISH AND CHIPS – TOP OF THE CHIPPIES
Edinburgh Evening News – Tuesday 3rd July 1990
I’ve always considered myself a connoisseur of fish suppers (the sauce of the man, you’re saying) but nobody bothered to consult me for the Gourmet’s Guide to Fish and Chips, a just-published book claiming to list the 500 best chippies in the UK.
They left it to the real experts who have selected as the one and only shop worth mentioning in the Lothians, L’Alba D’Oro (Italian for Golden Morning), in Edinburgh’s Henderson Row. It’s Filippo Crolla’s place. He opened there in 1975 and has since acquired the adjacent two shops: one is a pizzeria. Filippo (36), came here virtually direct from Cassino (the town at the foot of Monte Cassino, scene of the greatest battles of the Second World War) where he was a farmer. Not only his fish and chips are rare. He too is different. For an Italian anyway. He has no interest at all in football.
“I’m here seven days a week. I’m a working man and I’ve no time for pleasure.”
He has, though. Shooting is his big hobby and he bangs away at the borders.
His customers have included Robbie Coltrane (Robbie scoffing a fish supper with double chips, salt, vinegar and a pickled onion must be one of the great sights of Henderson Row), Take The High Road’s Terri Lally and even Tomorrow’s World’s Judith Haan.
I’ve tried Filippo’s fare myself. No complaints except that Sydney Devine was murdering Maggie [Thatcher] on the shop radio at the time. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought that up.