Gluten Free At Ripley's Fish & Chips, Ripley
I am a curious birdie as you know dear reader, so when word reached me that Ripley’s Chips do a “Gluten Free Friday and Saturday“ at their restaurant and takeaway I wondered how the batter would match up to a “regular“ batter. The Boy Wonder didn’t really want to do much except veg out, but a quick bout of nagging / whinging / persuading did the trick and we were soon flapping our little wings over to Ripley. We arrived just after 1pm and took a seat in the eat-in side of the premises, and it looked as if the lunchtime had been popular, which is always nice to see.
The decor was your usual easy to keep clean set up, with tiled floors and brickwork walls punctuated with vinyl covered banquet seats and fixed chairs. There were several seating areas rather than it just being a boring open plan layout, and it was well lit. The staff were all very friendly and smart, and the service was very efficient.
I ordered the gluten free battered Fish with chips and mushy peas, and The Man Bird had ordinary battered Fish with chips and Beans, and we had a pot of tea each. When the meals arrived you couldn’t tell them apart, the batter was lovely and golden and crispy on both bits of fish. I tried a bite of the regular fish and batter first, and then had a good munch of my gluten free offering. Both seriously good, I have to say. In fact, I don’t know whether I was expecting the gluten free batter to be somehow lacking in substance, crunch or taste but I was really pleasantly surprised to discover that my Fish was every bit as tasty as the regular stuff. Both meals were steaming hot, portion size was great and the chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Both Fish portions were a good thickness and size and the fish was skinned and boned so you can literally eat every last morsel. At this point I think I ought to make my confession. I won’t be offended if you have a little titter at me, and I know for certain that you won’t be surprised at what I have to say. My fish and chips were so delicious (and in my defence I hadn’t eaten anything since my gluttony at Ice Creams and Dreams) that I merrily scoffed my way through the majority of my portion before I realised we hadn’t taken a photograph of the food ! So please excuse the rather tatty looking piccie of what remained of my food, but by golly they were blooming good :)
To say it’s your basic town centre premises the atmosphere was really warm and welcoming, and there were couples, families and all generations in there tucking into their meals. We felt in no rush to leave so we had a couple of coffees (a Latte and a Latte Macchiato) as well. The coffee was from a range we hadn’t heard of before, Rijo 42, and again we really enjoyed them. The coffee has a lovely smooth taste to it and I would happily drink it again.
So if you have a member of your family, or a friend that has a Gluten intolerance, IBS or Coeliac Disease please tell them there is somewhere local that does a cracking fish and chip meal that they can indulge in on a weekly basis. Top marks team Ripley’s, nice to see a local business with a bit of forward thinking :)