UK semi-finalist shortlist announced
The semi-finalists for the 2018 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition, run by Seafish and The Caterer, have been announced today (Wednesday 29 August). Featuring the twelve best restaurants in the UK serving excellent fish and shellfish dishes, the finalists will now compete to win the ultimate title of Seafood Restaurant of the Year.
Launched in 2015, the competition was created to find the finest restaurants in the country that not only cook and serve exceptional fish and shellfish dishes, but who are able to demonstrate their commitment to responsible sourcing and customer service. Following initial judging, the Top 12 shortlisted restaurants in the 2018 competition (in alphabetical order) are:
- Fish City, Belfast http://fish-city.com/
- Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill, London www.kaspars.co.uk
- Lussmanns Restaurant, St Albans, Hertfordshire www.lussmanns.com
- Mourne Seafood Bar, Belfast www.mourneseafood.com
- Purslane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire www.purslane-restaurant.co.uk
- Pysgoty, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion www.pysgoty.co.uk
- Riddle and Finns, Brighton, East Sussex www.riddleandfinns.co.uk
- The Idle Rocks, St. Mawes, Cornwall www.idlerocks.com
- The Kilted Lobster, Edinburgh www.kiltedlobster.com
- The Little Fish Market, Hove, East Sussex www.thelittlefishmarket.co.uk
- The Saltwater Fish Company, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear http://saltwaterfish.co.uk
- Wright Brothers, Borough Market, London www.thewrightbrothers.co.uk
Over the coming weeks, the twelve restaurants will be visited by a Seafish ‘mystery diner’ who will rate the performance of the restaurants, focusing on customer service, quality of menu and flavour of dishes. The scores from this judging stage will contribute to determining the final five restaurants in the competition.
Last year’s winner, Raz Helalat, owner of The Salt Room in Brighton commented: “Winning the Seafood Restaurant of the Year in 2017 was an amazing experience, showcasing that we really are the best seafood restaurant in the country. We wouldn’t have won this award if it wasn’t for all the hard work of the team. Winning was truly a group effort which topped of a fantastic year for The Salt Room.”
This year’s judging panel consists of some of the finest chefs and foodies in the country, including Dave Mothersill, Head Chef of The Salt Room; Calum Richardson, owner of The Bay Fish and Chips in Aberdeenshire; Giovanna Grossi, AA advisor and consultant; José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College, London; hospitality industry consultant, Amanda Afiya, and Paul Hurren, managing director, Lusso Catering.
The eventual winners of the competition will be taken on an all-expense paid study trip to Brixham in Devon, to further hone their knowledge of catching and processing seafood, as well as introducing them to key industry players in the south west region.
Andy Gray, Trade Marketing Manager for Seafish, said: “The Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafés that are excelling in providing customers with some of the world’s freshest and tastiest seafood as part of a top quality dining experiences.”
Details of the finalists will be announced at the end of September with the eventual winner awarded in October.
About Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition
The annual Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition is open to all UK restaurants (that include fish and shellfish on their menus), and rewards restaurants and cafes and other eateries that are demonstrating both excellent examples of the cooking and serving of fish and shellfish, and evidence of fish and shellfish knowledge. The judges look for clear evidence of responsible sourcing of sustainable raw ingredients, successful fish and shellfish promotion on menus, excellent levels of product knowledge both front and back of house, and examples of how customers are encouraged to eat fish and shellfish.
Seafish is a non-departmental public body (NDPB), set up by the Fisheries Act 1981, and is funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood in the UK. We cover the seafood industry from catch to plate providing facts, stats, research and a range of business and industry support tools as well as promoting seafood to consumers. Its vision is for a UK seafood industry that is truly thriving and we believe seafood is the way forward for business, communities, sustainability and for personal health and wellbeing.
Visit www.seafish.org or follow @seafishUK