Line a large sheet of newspaper with greaseproof paper, cut the double layer into 12 squares and twist each into a small cone.
Rinse the chips in cold water and dry thoroughly on kitchen paper. Pour the oil into a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan to a depth of at least 7 cm (3 inches) and heat to 180–190°C (350–375°F), or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Deep-fry the chips for 4–5 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper and deep-fry them again for 1–2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain the chips and keep them warm.
Put the flour on a large plate and season well with salt and pepper. Toss the whitebait in the flour and fry in batches for 1–2 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
Toss the whitebait with the chips, season with salt and pile into the paper cones. Serve the malt vinegar on the side.