Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow, Cornwall has been named the 2019 Seafood Restaurant of the Year. The competition, organised by The Caterer and Seafish and now in its fifth year, highlights the great use of seafood and rewards knowledge and use of often under-used seafood products in all types of restaurants.
The owners, Rick and Katie Toogood, first entered the world of fish and shellfish in 2013 when they opened a fully licensed fishmongers and restaurant, Prawn on the Lawn in Islington, London. In 2015 they opened their second restaurant of the same name in Padstow.
The Padstow restaurant offers just 24 dishes with the menu changing daily, working with local suppliers to make their food as sustainable as possible.
Although the competition was exceptionally close, it was the judges’ personal experiences at Prawn on the Lawn, its visible fish counter, wide range of fish species, excellent wine list, and its overall “cool concept” that secured the award for the Padstow outfit. The restaurant’s blackboards displaying the sourcing details of their ingredients were also singled out for praise by the judges.
Judge José Souto said: “Prawn on the Lawn Padstow is a restaurant others would look up to. It’s a great concept – promoting fish and seafood in a simple and positive way.”
Guy Owen, head chef of the Idle Rocks at St Mawes (Seafood Restaurant of the Year 2018), added: “Prawn on the Lawn had an exceptional mystery audit report and is quirky and fun. It’s an accessible restaurant that people will understand. It’s a small business using local day boats for supplies of fish and shellfish and a variety of other local suppliers. It’s a bit of London in the south west.”
Dishes on the menu include Prawn on the Lawn (soda bread with prawns and avocado), Porthilly oysters ; scallops with Thai marinade and basil; mackerel with soy, sesame, ginger and garlic; whole Padstow lobster and whole turbot.
The Toogoods were surprised and overwhelmed by the announcement. “We are absolutely stunned and a bit emotional,” said Katie.
“It’s incredible to win this against such respected competition. The other restaurants in the top five are all brilliant,” added Rick.
Three members of the Prawn on the Lawn team will receive an all-expenses-paid study trip organised by Seafish, where they will have the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the catching, processing and supply of seafood.
Andy Gray, trade marketing manager for Seafish, said: “We are delighted to support and promote the Seafood Restaurant of the Year award. It’s genuinely inspirational to be among such talented seafood ambassadors. Seafood is widely recognised as one of the healthiest and most sustainable proteins, and as part of a healthy diet regime. As consumers we should all be endeavouring to include at least two portions of seafood in our weekly diets.”