Five popular restaurants from around the country have been shortlisted as finalists for the 2019 Seafood Restaurant of The Year.
Impressing judges with their varied menu and staff knowledge of fish and shellfish, the restaurants have made it to the final five of the UK-wide competition after a number of rounds of judging.
Launched in 2015, the Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition is presented by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry.
The award was created to seek out the best restaurants in the UK displaying excellence in the cooking and serving of fish and shellfish. While menu choice and sourcing policies for key ingredients are taken into consideration, restaurants are also judged on the strength of staff’s seafood knowledge.
Last year, The Idle Rocks in St. Mawes, Cornwall was crowned Seafood Restaurant of the Year. Recognised for its high levels of customer service and diverse menu, with judges being impressed by the restaurant’s approach to educating more consumers on the vast range of fish and shellfish available in the UK.
This year’s competition followed similar judging criteria, which included mystery diner visits, allowing judges to whittle the previous semi-finalist shortlist down from 12 restaurants to five.
The UK Top Five shortlisted restaurants in the 2019 competition (in alphabetical order) are:
- Coast, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire
- Fish City, Belfast, County Antrim
- Prawn On The Lawn, Padstow, Cornwall
- Rockfish, Brixham, Devon
- The Seahorse, Dartmouth, Devon
This year’s competition judging panel consists of some of the finest chefs and foodies in the UK, including Adam Thomason, Executive Head Chef at The Genuine Dining Co. in London; José Souto, Chef lecturer in Culinary Arts, Westminster Kingsway College in London; and Guy Owen, Proprietor and Head Chef of last year’s winner, The Idle Rocks, St. Mawes in Cornwall.
Commenting on The Idle Rocks’ 2018 win, Guy Owen said: “We were absolutely over the moon to be awarded the Seafood Restaurant of the Year 2018. It was, without a doubt, thanks to the fantastic team here – who work so hard to understand our food and ensure that we are sourcing the fish and shellfish that we use in a responsible and sustainable manner, in order to protect the biodiversity of our oceans.”
Andy Gray, Trade Marketing Manager for Seafish, said: “The Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition is a great opportunity to showcase the wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafés that are providing top quality fish and shellfish dining experiences.
“As consumers we tend to focus our seafood consumption on five main species, when there is in excess of 100 different fish and shellfish regularly available here in the UK for consumers to enjoy. The final five restaurants have made great efforts to have a wide variety of seafood choice on their menus.”
The overall UK winner of the 2019 competition will be announced at the end of October.