Di­a­mond chips are gems

Central Leader - - News - By Janie Smith

YOU could say take­away shop owner Nor­man Num is a chip off the old block.

Mr Num’s mother orig­i­nally owned the fish-and-chip shop that is now Di­a­mond Take­aways in Ep­som.

He bought into the busi­ness with his sis­ters 35 years ago, and turned it into a Chi­nese take­away, which also does tra­di­tional Kiwi fish and chips.

It was re­cently named Auck­land’s best chip shop in the That’s Life Best Chip Shop com­pe­ti­tion.

“We are very proud and priv­i­leged to have an award like this, be­cause we are not a spe­cialty fish and chip shop,” Mr Num says.

The chip king’s mother has now re­tired but his wife and chil­dren have be­come in­volved in the Great South Rd busi­ness.

He says the award is a trib­ute to the ef­fort the fam­ily has put into achiev­ing high stan­dards.

The shop has picked up other awards in the past, in­clud­ing Metro mag­a­zine’s best Chi­nese take­aways and a ra­dio sta­tion’s best take­away as voted by lis­ten­ers.

Mr Num says the staff mem­bers who are not fam­ily are from the same area of China as him­self, Tai Shan county in the Guang­dong prov­ince.

It was for­merly known as Can­ton and the food at Di­a­mond Take­aways is based on Can­tonese cook­ing.

But chips are def­i­nitely an in­te­gral part of the busi­ness, he says.

“A lot of things go hand in hand with chips. We al­ways try to go for the best qual­ity.”

The fam­ily started out peel­ing and pre-cook­ing their pota­toes but now the chips are bought in and fried in top qual­ity veg­etable oil.

“We have very dis­cern­ing cus­tomers.”

Heart Foun­da­tion reg­is­tered nu­tri­tion­ist Ju­dith Mor­ley-John was in­volved with set­ting cri­te­ria for the com­pe­ti­tion.

Di­a­mond Take­aways had to meet strict stan­dards for the fat con­tent, colour, crisp­ness and cut of its fries.

The chips were bought by a mys­tery shop­per and an­a­lysed in a lab­o­ra­tory.

This year’s six winning shops’ chips had an av­er­age fat con­tent of 7.1 per­cent, down from 7.6 per­cent last year.

“We’re just re­ally im­pressed with what the take­away shops are do­ing,” Ms Mor­ley-John says.

The na­tional win­ner was So Fine Seafoods in Welling­ton.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Cham­pion chips: Nor­man Num’s chips at Di­a­mond Take­aways were named the best in Auck­land.

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