Comprising twelve restaurants from across the UK, the semi-finalist shortlist for the 2018 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition has been announced. The award, presented by Seafish and The Caterer, is designed to find the best restaurants cooking and serving delicious seafood dishes.
Launched in 2015, the 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. Following initial judging assessment by competition judges, the resultant 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
Progressing to the next round of the competition, over the next few weeks the shortlisted restaurants will be visited by a Seafish 'mystery diner judge', appraising the performance of respective restaurants, the levels of customer service on offer and assessing the quality of dishes offered on menus. Scores from this forthcoming judging stage will be aggregated with previous judging round scores to determine a subsequent top five finalist shortlist.
Along with a bespoke trophy for their restaurant, three members of the team from the winning restaurant in the 2018 competition will be invited on an all-expense paid study trip to Brixham, Devon, to further hone their knowledge regarding the catching, processing and supply of seafood. This trip will also provide an opportunity for the team to meet key industry players and experience some of the world's freshest and tastiest seafood.
The 2018 judging panel includes: José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College, London; Giovanna Grossi, AA advisor and consultant; Calum Richardson, owner of The Bay Fish and Chips in Aberdeenshire; hospitality industry consultant, Amanda Afiya; Dave Mothersill, group head chef of The Salt Room, Brighton, East Sussex, and Paul Hurren, managing director, Lusso Catering.
Details of the finalists will be announced at the end of September with the winner announced in October.