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 judging session at The Caterer's offices in London last week.
The five restaurants, located across the country, 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. The final five restaurants were shortlisted down from a previous Top 12 semi-finalist stage, who had all recently received visits from a mystery dining judge.
The top five shortlisted businesses (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
The Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition was created as an annual means of finding those UK restaurants that are 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.
Competition judges Guy Owen, head chef of The Idle Rocks in St Mawes, Cornwall (and last year's winner) Derek Marshall, chef patron of Gamba, Glasgow (the first ever winner of the competition) Adam Bateman, group operations and development chef, IHG; Adam Thomason, executive head chef, Genuine Dining Co; Amanda Afiya and Giovanna Grossi, hospitality consultants; Calum Richardson, owner of the Bay Fish and Chips in Aberdeenshire, Jose Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College and Lisa Jenkins, products and suppliers editor, 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 the organisers for a final inspection and interview, presented with their commemorative competition certificates, and the ultimate winner will be announced in late October or early November.
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, an in addition to attendance on a study trip 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 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."