The Caterer and Seafish UK have announced the shortlist for the inaugural Restaurant of the Year competition, the search to find the best restaurants in the UK serving fish and shellfish among their menu offer.
Restaurant of the Year 2015 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 its staff both front and back of house.
The competition's judging panel have reduced the entries to a shortlist of 10 restaurants which will be visited by a mystery shopper (a Seafish-appointed auditor) this month, before a final judged further to select a final top five, to be revealed in early June.
The top 10 shortlisted businesses are:
- Chamberlain's, London
- Dylan's, Anglesey
- Ee-usk, Oban
- Gamba, Glasgow
- Hix Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis
- Outlaw's at the Capital, London
- Rocksalt, Folkestone
- Smith & Baker, Sheffield
- The Salt Room, Brighton
- The Jetty, Christchurch
In addition, the judges have selected seven restaurants which they would like to highly commend:
- Frankie's, Brae, Shetland
- GB1, Brighton
- Irvins Brasserie, North Shields
- Kaspar's, London
- Newman Street Tavern, London
- The Crabhouse Café, Dorset
- The Captain's Table, Cleethorpe's
The final five shortlisted restaurants will be invited on an all-expenses paid study trip to Brixham, Devon, to further hone their knowledge regarding the catching, processing, supply and transfer of seafood from the south west of England to other parts of the UK, and to meet a range of key industry players and experience some of the world's freshest and tastiest seafood.
The final five shortlisted restaurants will also be invited to attend an awards ceremony in London on 24 June 2015 at Benares Restaurant, London at which the overall national winner will be announced.
The winner will receive a bespoke trophy for their restaurant and an individually designed seafood masterclass at Billingsgate Seafood Training School with a guest chef. There will also be a range of other prizes including vouchers to be redeemed against cookery equipment and signed copies of cookery books.
Andy Gray, trade marketing manager for Seafish, said: "The new Restaurant of the Year competition provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafes that are excelling in providing customers with top quality fish and shellfish dining experiences."
The judging panel comprises John Campbell, chef and managing director at the Woodspeen in Newbury, Atul Kochhar, chef and managing director of Benares Restaurant & Bar, London, chef Alfred Prasad (previously with Tamarind Collection and Zaika, London), André Garrett, executive head chef at Cliveden House in Taplow, Berkshire, Will Smith, co-proprietor, Arbutus Restaurants, London, Xavier Rousset, co-proprietor, Texture and 28-50, London, and AA group area manager Giovanna Grossi.
Seafish UK is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) set up to improve efficiency and raise standards across the seafood industry and are the organisers of the National Fish & Chip Awards launched in 1988. The awards have gone from strength to strength as more businesses develop fish and shellfish dishes on their menus.