Why is this NR2 chippy ranked as one of the best places to eat in Norwich?

Owner Ben Gan and his wife Eliz Loo at New Sole Plaice on Vauxhall Road

Owner Ben Gan and his wife Eliz Loo at New Sole Plaice in Suffolk Square - Credit: Lauren De Boise

It is ranked as one of the best fish and chips shops in the city and now this popular NR2 chippy has revealed the secrets to its success. 

New Sole Plaice, in Suffolk Square, is currently ranked as the third best restaurant in Norwich, according to Tripadvisor. 

And it is all down to the hard work of owners and husband-and-wife frying team, Ben Gan and Eliz Loo, who took on the business nearly eight years ago.

Owner Ben Gan and his wife Eliz Loo at New Sole Plaice on Vauxhall Road

Owner Ben Gan and his wife Eliz Loo at New Sole Plaice in Suffolk Square - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Mrs Loo, who moved from Malaysia 19-years-ago, said she was surprised to be named as one of the best places in Norwich but she believes it is thanks to their loyal customers.

"I’m so grateful and very happy," she said. "We just try to do our best. 

"I think it's because of our location as well and the local businesses and community are very supportive.

"I really appreciate all of our customers, they are lovely."

Fish and Chips at New Sole Plaice on Vauxhall Road

Fish and Chips at New Sole Plaice in Suffolk Square - Credit: Lauren De Boise

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The couple, who live behind the shop, say it is their "tasty" batter and "special" chips which people keep coming back. 

They also fry everything in vegetable oil which attracts a large vegetarian following.

And local resident, Jessica Long, couldn't agree more. 

The 29-year-old said: "When I first moved to the area I would visit for convenience but now I wouldn't get my chips from anywhere else.   

Owner Ben Gan and his wife Eliz Loo at New Sole Plaice on Vauxhall Road

Owner Ben Gan and his wife Eliz Loo at New Sole Plaice - Credit: Lauren De Boise

"The batter is really light and the chips are perfect and never too greasy.

"The staff are also very friendly and always up for a chat and sometimes you even get a free pineapple fritter." 

Christine Fulcher, 64, is another regular, who has been visiting the business for years.

She added: "This has always been a really good fish and chip shop. They do my fish from fresh when I come in. 

Christine Fulcher enjoys her fish and chips at New Sole Plaice on Vauxhall Road

Christine Fulcher enjoys her fish and chips at New Sole Plaice - Credit: Lauren De Boise

"I like the batter because it is nice and crispy."

But it comes at a bittersweet moment for the business which has been affected by the ongoing cost of living crisis. 

With the cost of fish, oil and wheat on the rise, Mrs Loo said they were forced to increase their prices. 

"Business had been very steady since we opened eight years ago," she said. "But then we had Covid and now everything is very expensive, people want to save their money. 

New Sole Plaice on Vauxhall Road

New Sole Plaice in Suffolk Square - Credit: Lauren De Boise

“It has affected us a lot, we have lost about 30pc of our business.  

"We put up the price and lost some of our customers and some stopped ordering fish and changed to sausage and chips because it is cheaper."

Our review 

Evening News reporter Emily Thomson visited New Sole Plaice in Suffolk Square

Evening News reporter Emily Thomson visited New Sole Plaice, which was ranked as the third best restaurant in the city by Trip Advisor - Credit: Archant

Evening News reporter Emily Thomson visited the chippy to taste it for herself. 

As an NR3 resident, I rarely wander out of my postcode if I'm after a chippy tea.

But after my visit to New Sole Plaice, I may be forced to make the journey.

I ordered a medium cod and chips, with the classic sides of curry sauce and mushy peas and the owners kindly treated me to some potato fritters.

And everything was wonderful.

The fish batter was thin and crispy, the curry sauce was nice and thick and the chips were cooked to perfection.

But what made my visit even nicer was the lovely welcome and hospitality from Eliz and Ben, who clearly love what they do. 

I'm also partial to a battered sausage or steak pie but I was far too full.

So, I will definitely be back again soon to try them.