An award-winning fish and chip fryer has expanded his business and opened a takeaway and restaurant in the heart of Diss.
Merdan Adiguzel does not share the often-expressed gloomy view that the town centre is dying and has taken over the Market Place fish and chip shop, which he has refitted and renamed the Fish Kitchen.
If you serve delicious fish and chips, people will come to Diss for themMerdan Adiguzel
“This is a fantastic location and I have every confidence in Diss,” he said.
“It is a national dish and this community loves fish and chips.
“If you serve delicious fish and chips, people will come to Diss for them.”
He will offer gluten free fish and chips in the shop and restaurant twice a week and cook fresh fish from sustainable sources.
“Fresh fish has a better texture. It is softer and sweeter than frozen,” he said.
The restaurant is licensed and the dessert menu includes gluten-free ice-cream from a Beccles maker.
“We like to support local suppliers,” he said.
Turkish-born Mr Adiguzel (43) had studied politics and economics before he came to England in 2003 intending to learn the language and return to his homeland.
“Then I changed my mind and thought I would stay. I had to find a job and knew someone who worked in a fish and chip shop.”
Fish is a popular dish in Turkey but not battered fish. But Mr Adiguzel worked in fish and chip shops and took courses and learned how to cook in the traditional English way. He came to Diss, where his sister lived, and in 2008 took over the Fair Green fish and chip shop. He has twice received quality awards from the National Federation of Fish Fryers and has hopes he can soon make it three with an award for his new shop. To win the awards Mr Adiguzel was watched by a federation observer from the moment he opened his shop until he cleaned up at the end of the day, and all his preparation and cooking in between.
Since taking over Mr Adiguzel has redecorated the Market Place takeaway and restaurant inside and out and has installed an eco-friendly low energy fish and chip frying range. He plans soon to celebrate the opening by holding a charity day to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
As well as his sister, Mr Adiguzel’s brother Cemal also lives locally. They have worked together at the Fair Green fish and chip shop, which will now be run by Cemal.