I come from what I call a ‘road trip family’. We really get around the place and there are very few parts of New Zealand I haven’t seen. We’ve been known to go from Auckland to Rotorua and back in a day, although we prefer a weekend, and give us a long weekend and who’s to say where we’ll end up. I have to say I haven’t been everywhere in NZ, but not far off and as far as I know – and please comment and correct me if I’m wrong – The Chip Shop on Manukau Road, Royal Oak is the only one to do coeliac safe, gluten free fish ‘n’ chips. And I love them for it! I mean, wow, gluten free fish ‘n’ chips, what more could you want? Well, how about award winning gf fish ‘n’ chips that are prepared and deep fried in a coeliac safe, contamination free space, completely separate to all products containing gluten? Seriously, The Chip Shop delivers on all fronts.
For the record those awards include being named “Best Gluten Free Takeout in Auckland” in the Viva 2010 Takeout Awards and “Best Fish and Chips Takeout in Auckland” in the Viva 2011 Takeout Awards. Not something to be sniffed at.
To be fair, I would go there even if the fish ‘n’ chips weren’t the best as this is one of the things I missed the most over the five years I spent being coeliac and not knowing about The Chip Shop. Even though I hardly ever have this kind of food, the thought of never having it again was kinda depressing and it was such a delight to find this place, especially when you count the fact that these really are the best fish ‘n’ chips I have ever had.
Now if all of that wasn’t exciting enough for you, the good news doesn’t stop there. You see there are other gluten free delights on offer too. Although not everything on the menu is gluten free (the menu clearly states what is and isn’t) there are enough gluten free options to keep you trying new things for a very long time. There are paua fritters and battered mussels, a fish meal and a sausage meal, hot dogs on sticks, a smoked fish pie, burgers and sauces and so much more. As I said I don’t go there too often and I haven’t yet tried everything I want to, but I am dying to try the kumara chips and corn fritters as well as the grilled fresh snapper. There are even two dessert options, a pineapple fritter with cinnamon sugar and a whole battered banana with cinnamon sugar. Honestly, There are so many options you’d never even know you were coeliac at The Chip Shop.
On top of all that the owners are very friendly and the service is great. If you go on a Friday or Saturday night be prepared to wait a little for your food, just a half hour or so. This is only because they are so busy, a testament to the quality of the food. That is unless you order over the phone, then they have your lunch or dinner ready when you are. Yes, you read right, they do lunch as well.
The shop itself is small and doesn’t provide a dine-in option, but there is a comfy couch to sit on while you wait for your order. The food is always well wrapped to keep it warm while you make your way home or to Cornwall Park which is just up the road and the perfect spot for a picnic lunch or tea on one of Auckland’s perfect summer evenings (or picturesque autumn evenings, or crisp winter’s days or warm spring afternoons). Now I ask you, what could be easier or nicer than a coeliac safe, fish‘n’chips picnic in the park with the best fried goodies you’ll find anywhere? Just add great company and personally I reckon there’s nothing better.