Saturday, 20 October 2012
The Regent Chippy, Regent St, Eccles, Salford
Eccles is one of those places that wouldn't usually spring to mind when someone says 'foodie'. A typical Northern town in decline with high unemployment, empty shops, Cash Converters and a cast of people that look like a mix of Jeremy Kyle meets Corrie, it isn't a place where you would normally make the effort to go on a daytrip. I mean, they don't even know what 'real' coffee is here! However, let me persuade you otherwise. If you yearn for times gone by, if you want something that little bit retro or you want a naughty, calorific treat, Eccles is THE place. You may have seen my previous post on Mario's Fish Bar, an Eccles institution. This time, I wanted to check out its closest rival, The Regent. A similar set-up to Mario's, the Regent is a sit-down chippy, a bit like what you find in seaside resorts. The Regent has a great location by the tram stop and bus station, the heady smell of salt and vinegar resulting in a steady stream of ravenous commuters. When I worked in Salford and used to get the 33 bus home, the driver would often run in the chippy and eat his chips whilst driving, sending all the passengers crazy with the smell! Talk about free advertisement for a captive audience.
The Regent's owner is Cypriot and has all sorts of Cyprus memorabilia adorning the seating area. For those who want to steer clear of chips, he even offers a Greek Salad on the menu! Both owner and staff are friendly and make the effort to get to know the customers. It seems a bit like Cheers Bar- everybody knows your name. I ordered chips with hot curry and the Carnivore went for the full monty- fish chips and mushy peas. Together with a tea and a Coke, this came to £9. The service was prompt and the portions were a damn sight more generous than Mario's. My curry sauce was more potent with a kick than Mario's efforts as well. Both the fish and chips weren't greasy, the Regent's USP being that they make everything fresh for each customer. For the health conscious amongst us, they will make your fish with less batter upon request. You can't be too health conscious in the Regent though, as they even have a dessert menu which includes old school favourites like sponge and custard and tinned fruit with ice cream. Desserts range from 75p to £2, perfect for eating out on a budget.