FISH and chips is a takeaway loved by the nation.

It's perfect for a warm and sunny day on the beach, but is equally delicious when eaten in the depths of winter, although the experience is not the same.

As roving reporters, we, the Daily Echo's digital reporters Maya George and Sam Hatherley, decided to investigate Southampton's fish and chip scene to see if anything unusual or different was on offer.

We hit the jackpot with The Phat Chip Company in Lodge Road, a well-loved chippy that offers a plethora of vegan options.

Although neither of us are vegan (but Maya is vegetarian) we wanted to try the vegan offerings  - along with the rest of our newsroom. 
At the time, a vegan alternative to fish  was not available. 

Here's what we thought.

Maya's verdict:

I'll admit, fish and chips is probably my least favourite form of takeaway. 

But, vegan fish and chips did pique my interest, and as a vegetarian who has never eaten a battered sausage, I couldn't resist the Phat Chip Co's vegan alternative.

One word: Delicious. 

It surpassed all my expectations of a battered sausage and satiated my curiosity.

The balance between batter and vegan sausage was just right and ultimately, I was left wanting more. 

Much like many of the vegan sausages I've tried before, this one was soft and bursting with flavour, and had the added bonus of a layer of crispy batter. 

This sausage was perfectly complemeted by some salty, vegan chips, which, in my humble opinion, were far superior to classic 'chippy' chips.

The chips were crispy, flavoursome and in abundance. Oh, and did I mention salty?

Much like Sam (spoiler alert) the accompanying vegan tartare sauce was delicious, along with the curry sauce, because what's a chippy dinner without scrumptious sauces?

All in all, my vegan chippy dinner was a tasty treat and I would defintely return to The Phat Chip Company.

Plus, the staff were really nice and helpful, which is always appreciated when you place a large order for a hungry newsroom. 

Vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike: please pay a visit to The Phat Chip Co, you won't regret it. 

Sam's verdict: 

Daily Echo:

Having not fancied a sausage or a pie, I opted for the Beyond Meat burger with burger sauce and cheese – all of which was vegan.

Topped with salad and encompassed by a soft sesame bun, I knew I was onto a winner, simply by the smell it was giving off from the backseat of my car.

I had reviewed McDonald's vegan McPlant just three months before, so I was expecting great things.

But The Phat Chip Company exceeded those expectations, with an offering more delicious than the fast food giant.

The patty was divine: soft, but not too squishy, and flavoursome like a barbecued beef patty, yet with its own unique succulence.

The cheese was also bursting with flavour. It didn't quite melt like a regular slice, but became more like the consistency of mayonnaise, which wasn't an issue for me.

Vegan chips were also far tastier than I was expecting. As a man who enjoys the crispier scraps that begin to emerge at the bottom of a seaside cone, I couldn't fault them.

And what is a chippy tea without the sauce? Although a spectacularly unappealing colour, the curry sauce was scrumptious – you couldn't tell the difference from its non-vegan counterpart.

The tartar sauce was just as 'normal', if not for a better term.

It's also worth noting the staff were very friendly and helpful, which was convenient as I initially forgot to order a couple of items.

I'd recommend everyone tries the vegan offering at The Phat Chip Company in Lodge Road, and it's great to see more places emerging for vegans in our city.