The final shortlist for the 2019 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition, organised by The Caterer in partnership with Seafish, has been unveiled following a final judging session at The Caterer’s offices in London.
The five restaurants, from Padstow in Cornwall to the coast of Pembrokeshire reached the Top 5 finalist shortlist as a result of their all-round excellence with regards to their use and knowledge of fish and shellfish, and were shortlisted down from a previous Top 12 semi-finalist stage who had all recently received visits from a mystery dining judge.
The Top 5 finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
- Coast, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire https://coastsaundersfoot.co.uk
- Fish City, Belfast, County Antrim www.fish-city.com
- Prawn On The Lawn, Padstow, Cornwall www.prawnonthelawn.com
- Rockfish, Brixham, Devon www.therockfish.co.uk
- The Seahorse, Dartmouth, Devon www.seahorserestaurant.co.uk
The Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition was created to find restaurants demonstrating both excellent examples of the cooking and serving of fish and shellfish, as well as evidence of fish and shellfish knowledge among their staff, both front and back of house.
The judges were looking for restaurants that demonstrated a dedication to education and the promotion of eating more fish; the excellent cooking and presentation of fish and seafood and businesses offering a unique and aspirational dining experience.
Competition judges Guy Owen, head chef of The Idle Rocks Hotel in St Mawes, Cornwall (and last year’s winner), Derek Marshall, chef patron of Gamba, Glasgow (the first ever winner of the competition); José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College London; hospitality consultants Amanda Afiya and Giovanna Grossi, Adam Bateman, group operations and development chef at Principal/IHG Hotels and judging chair, Lisa Jenkins of The Caterer, were determined to find a top five that reflected the very best service of seafood across the UK.
The top five restaurants will now be visited by competition organisers for a final inspection and interview, and the ultimate winner will be announced in late October.
The winning business will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the fishing port of Brixham, Devon where they will have the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the catching, processing and supply of seafood, as well as a bespoke trophy for their restaurant, and attendance on a study trip visit to Billingsgate Fish Market and Billingsgate Seafood Training School in London.
Andy Gray, Trade Marketing Manager for Seafish, said: "To be shortlisted in the Top 12 shortlist in this competition is a great achievement, but to be highlighted in the top five list of finalists is a fantastic accolade and something for respective restaurants to be very proud of. These five restaurants are all providing customers with top-quality fish and shellfish dining experiences and it's a great honour for Seafish to be able to help promote and publicise these accomplishments."