The top five seafood restaurants in the UK have been announced in the 2017 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition. 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 assesses restaurants on the quality of the seafood dishes they serve, their responsible sourcing policies and their knowledge of fish and shellfish species, both front and back of house.

Following mystery dining visits and a further group judging session, the top five seafood restaurants in the 2017 competition have been determined.

In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Ninth Wave, Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute
  • Rocksalt, Folkestone, Kent
  • The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall
  • The Salt Room, Brighton, West Sussex
  • The Staith House, North Shields, Tyne and Wear

This year’s panel of competition judges included Alex Aitken, chef-patron of the Jetty Restaurant in Christchurch and winner of the 2016 title; Derek Marshall, chef-owner of Gamba in Glasgow and winner of the 2015 title; Calum Richardson, owner of the Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven; and Giovanna Grossi, AA advisor and ambassador. José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College London; and Catey winner Paul Hurren, managing director of Lusso Catering also joined the panel, all determined to find a top five that reflected the very best service of seafood across the UK.

The final five demonstrate great service, fish and shellfish species knowledge, and are seen as ambassadors to other restaurants in the UK who have an ambition to sell more fish and shellfish on their menus.

Andy Gray, trade marketing manager for Seafish, said: “The Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wide range of restaurants, pubs, and cafés that are excelling in providing customers with high-quality fish and shellfish dining experiences.”

Alex Aitken, chef-patron of The Jetty in Christchurch, Dorset, the 2016 winner, said: “Winning the Restaurant of the Year award for the care taken to serve responsibly-sourced fish and shellfish meant a lot to the team – especially as the competition is judged and decided by our peers and industry experts.

“This was the perfect accolade for us to win, especially with the association and backing from Seafish UK and The Caterer. We try to be as sustainable as possible, and have strict buying guidelines that our suppliers have to understand. We pride ourselves on attracting and retaining excellent staff who are proud of the product and service we provide. We have daily briefings before lunch and dinner service so that everyone is on the same page, and they all know their species. We teach in a fun way and hold regular ‘Catch it, Cook it, Eat it’ sessions for our customers.”

The overall UK winner of the 2017 Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition will be announced in October.

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