Chip shop owner to retire after almost four decades at Stansted takeaway
- Credit: Archant
An episode of Lovejoy starring Ian MacShane was filmed there, The Daily Mail has listed it in the paper’s national guide to good chippies, but now Mr Ho, 74, is retiring from Eddie Ho’s fish and chip shop in Station Road, Stansted Mountfitchet.
After 52 years of serving behind a take-away counter and in his 40th year behind this one, Eddie Ho is going to be missed by his regulars who pour out of the station of an evening and for the king of comfort foods.
As one of his customers, retired nurse Sherry Wakeman said: “So many people have passed his doors and enjoyed their chips. He is providing a real service to the community. I think it would be nice to thank him from the locals and the not so locals for all his years of cheerful and gentle service. He is such a lovely man.”
Mr Ho opened the Mountfitchet chip shop when as the chef at the nearby Chinese take-away, The China Garden, people kept asking him to cook them fish and chips. For a while he ran both businesses.
He remembers: “The door of the fish and chip shop would be open and customers would buy fish and chips while they were waiting for their Chinese take-away, Sometimes the children would prefer pie and chips or chicken and chips.”
The secret of success he says is quality. His chips are made from fresh potatoes peeled and chipped on the premises, never frozen.
“I always use big, deep sea fish, between 16 and 32 ounces. A lot of shops use codlings, but that fish is long and thin and watery. It comes from the sea shore where there is pollution from diesel. The codlings can’t get out to the deep sea because the waves knock them back.”
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Mr Ho came to England from Hong Kong in 1961. “I wanted to see the world and what it was like.” He didn’t mean to stay but he met his wife Madeline, a student nurse working at Whitechapel Hospital.
“I knew her brother at home in Hong Kong, he told her to visit me in London.”
They have three sons and four grandchildren and still live in London. Eddie’s chip shop will continue. Mr Ho is planning to retire in August but the eatery is being taken over by restaurateur Moinul Abedin who currently owns an Indian restaurant in Bishop’s Stortford.